When I was in college I was still living at home. My best friend brought his girlfriend by the house and my mom, upon meeting her, quickly ran to the garden and cut her a fresh rose. Upon receipt of the gift, the young lady asked my mom, “What do you want from me?” She had grown up in a house where everything was a quid pro quo; had we not understood that fact, we probably would have been even more shocked by the reaction.
That brings us forward 20 years. We have a movement in our culture that has people ending their social media statements with the word BOOM! (or #BOOM), which is really means “In your face sucker, I don’t give a f—k what you think, I am right! End of discussion!” We’ve started beating people down in our society when they have something valuable to say, rather than having gratitude for a diversity of ideas.
My first senior-level executive job, I brought in all my new staff to find out what they valued and their goals. One of them said to me, “I want your job!” My response had her falling off her chair; my response was, “Great, let me help you do that!” Gratitude taught me I would not have my job without her. She was a great performer. I helped her get a job just like mine after several years.
How are these connected? We are sorely lacking that leadership quality of gratitude in our lives, businesses, and relationships. Lately, I have been becoming so thankful, in awe of the people around me, the world and creation, and how greatly I have been blessed that I have begun ending my social media posts with the words OH WOW! or #OHWOW. I explain why later. Here are some of the OH WOW! lessons that I have learned:
#OHWOW 1: Someone Is Always Better. This is a great thing to remember; it is humbling and exciting at the same time. Some of the most successful people hire people far better than ourselves. Surround yourself with coworkers and staff that are better than you; it is the mark of a great leader. Bring out the best in them and yourself. Be grateful for the amazing masterminds you have around you, and every day say #OHWOW.
#OHWOW 2: Your Success on the Job is About Life. Your success on the job is connected to your life behaviors; if you lack the discipline to get to the gym or if you neglect your relationships, all that shows up in your business. This translates into poor discipline at the office and your business or client relationships being poor. When you are thankful for your health and maintain that area of your life or if you are grateful for your significant other and nurture your relationships, your business life will improve. Say #OHWOW and be grateful for those important things around you.
#OHWOW 3: Be Grateful for Your Competition! It took me too many years to learn that it is better to get to know your competition rather than hate them. My sphincter would cinch up when my competition entered the room. Then I got to know them. I would begin to refer business to them or contract out to them when we had too much work. In some cases, they just had a better set of skills for that project and we both ended up being winners. This can also work in the office. Make those people you perceive as a threat into genuine friends. Consider that many businesses grow exponentially by creating strategic alliances with their competition and businesses that complement them. Every day I am grateful for my competitors, who have taught me so much, and say #OHWOW.
#OHWOW 4: Teachers, Mentors, and Masterminds! Within business and on the job, we should seek out mentors, coaches, and mastermind groups AND also be those teachers, coaches, and catalysts for others to grow. Keep growing, making mistakes, and learning. My first serious management job was at a F100 company at age 19; oh wow! I am glad that some of the top management saw promise in me and spent time as a mentor; I learned a lot. I have also paid a lot of money for coaching; some of them think I am not grateful, but I am. When you find that person that will spend the time to help you grow, be grateful and say #OHWOW.
#OHWOW 5: Be Thankful for Bad Shit! Okay, I know this seems odd, but adversity is how we learn. You learn more from the rough experiences than from all your years in school. I have lost everything three times; I got back up, learned from those experiences, and leveraged them for success. Remember that the most successful people have also failed a lot. Failures are lessons and not roadblocks. Since you will learn the most from those challenges, you need to stop and say #OHWOW because you are being prepared for bigger things.
The Reason for “Oh Wow!”
Why I really thought about “Oh wow!” is because I remember someone saying those were Steve Jobs’ last words. As he departed and became part of the bigger universe, he looked out and said “Oh wow!” Rather than, “BOOM! I nailed it,” he was humbled in a good way. There is great power in being humble and grateful, something we all need to remember.
The Final Word on #OHWOW
Give a rose to someone. Ask nothing.
Hear things other people say. Be thankful they challenge you and make you better, even if you don’t think so at the time.
Turn aggression and challenges into opportunities.
Spread the word, use #OHWOW, and learn to be more grateful every day!
Thank all of you for the support and reading my previous articles. I am grateful for a community that is seeking personal and professional growth, my business associates, mentors, family, personal trainer (health), and the entire world of amazing people around me…#OHWOW.
Since the mid-1990s Carl Hartman has been working in senior management at television networks and his own agency, developing innovative formats for digital marketing content as well as consulting with businesses to refine their business systems & logic, soft skills, and marketing to drive their success. Based in Denver and Los Angeles, Carl’s education includes a mix of coaching modalities, creative, and business disciplines.
Visit his company website or follow him on Twitter. Get his bestselling book/workbook on branding for FREE here.