We're all great impersonators.

We see, we  model, and then we do.

In an Instagram post today, the living legend we all know and love (that would be Tom Brady, in case you're wondering or live in Philadelphia) just posted a long tribute to his team, the victorious Eagles, and his fans. He used a word that doesn't make the rounds in the sports industry as much as you might think. If you're in business, it might be time to drop what you're doing and adopt this word as your own...starting today.

The word he used constantly? It's gratitude. And, it's what makes a true champion.

Why do we sometimes forget to pat the back of those around us? Too often, it's because we're busy patting our own backs, which takes skill and a flexible arm.

Here's the entire note he posted:

I've learned a lot about gratitude myself lately.

I've never been overly athletic, although I was on a soccer team in high school that took second in my state. Meanwhile, in business, gratitude is sometimes a sign of weakness, a revelation about who really racked up all of those sales or created a brilliant marketing campaign. Yet, it's usually a team of people, not one individual.

Curiously, companies like Apple and Tesla tend to focus on the original founder more than the men and women who create the actual products. That's a shame. For us, it's often easier to pick one person who has all of the brains and ability. With Tom Brady, we all know he is amazingly talented. He's come back from behind and, in a superhuman feat that seems impossible to mere mortals, absolutely destroyed his opponents with quick side-arm passes, brilliantly executed plays, and an ability to scramble out of the pocket that seems like it was the plan all along. He's a master of the gridiron in every way.

And yet.

Where would Tom Brady be without his receivers, without his offensive line, without his coaching staff? We tend to think one person is executing on his own plan when in reality it's often one person who represents the team, a spokesperson of greatness.

We're often guilty of this in our own jobs. We might flatter people or give them kudos in a meeting, but in private with the boss or the investors, we take credit for the success. We make a good argument--we led the team that produced the work, we prompted and motivated. We don't look around and realize who is out on the front lines, who is meeting with clients, who has to deal with the conflicts that arise in rolling out a marketing plan.

Here's the challenge.

Do what Tom Brady does.

Use the word gratitude more often, making an extra effort to make sure everyone on your team is well aware of their valuable contribution.

Stop taking the credit and hand it out willingly.

Pump up others, deflate your own ego, and show gratitude.

Everyone will thank you for it.

Published on: Feb 9, 2018