Josh Friedlander, CHRO of Latham & Watkins, reflects on the importance of gratitude—and sharing it with those enable our success stories
Y2K+14. That is the algebraic equation for where has the time gone. It is hard to believe that we are now entering the middle of the second decade of this millennium. As time continues to speed by, I think many of us realize that the one thing success (regardless of how you define it) cannot buy, change, nip/tuck or even replace is time. As a result, when we reach a certain point in our careers, we need to simultaneously reflect and prospect at the same time. For me, 2014 is another one of those years.
My resolution this year is to take the time to say thank you to those I care about. I think many of us take for granted the tasks (work, personal, etc.) that people around us do so that we can see through what we do in our work lives. It could be cooking, filing papers, cleaning, completing expense reports, taking out the garbage, walking the dog or paying bills. It does not matter if it is trivial or life sustaining: The key is that they are doing it for us so that we do not have to do it ourselves. The result is that we can spend time on something else and make another meaningful contribution to society. In essence, if they do what they do well and in support of us, we can do what we do.
When we have someone help us, it is important to remember to say thank you. I do not believe they are expecting or even wanting the acknowledgment—which is why the thank you is even more important. We often say thank you to the store clerk, toll collector or the person in our office who cleans up after us. Yet, we don’t do the same to those we care about. Why? My guess is because we have forgotten how important they are to our success.
My hope for 2014 is that by becoming more aware and grateful of the support system around me, and how it enables me to reach higher goals, I can enrich the lives of those for whom I care the most. Thank you: two important words that often are not said to the ones who impact us the most—those who our success would be a lot more difficult without.
Josh Friedlander is CHRO of Latham & Watkins. He was featured in Issue No. 4 of Forefront.