For this, I am grateful…

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” Albert Einstein

The psychology of being thankful is interesting…it is all a matter of perspective and context. Research studies show that a person can choose to be grateful in any situation, and that choice has many benefits. Articles linked below are only a few of the many that discuss the surprising benefits of gratitude, including enhanced mental health, reduced depression and anxiety, brain development, social benefits, and even physical benefits.

At the end of a day, week, month, or year it is a good time to reflect and journal reasons for gratitude. As I reflect on 2019, I have a lot to express thankfulness for at this time, both personally and professionally. I am inspired to write about one of the many miracles of this year: our amazing team. I have been on many teams in my life. I played basketball in school and in college, and am thankful for those teams which have had so much influence on my life. I taught high school on multiple campuses and enjoyed, at times, being a part of collaborative teams during my teaching years. Finally, I was a part of a few administrative teams, and one, in particular, was innovative, collaborative, and highly productive. 

From all of those experiences and witnessing hundreds of other teams at work and play, I have come to understand that there is a rare kind of magic that happens when the right people interact on a team. I am experienced enough now to know that when it happens, it is not to be taken for granted. Therefore, one of the things I am most thankful for is the people I get to work with on a daily basis in our organization. People spend more time with their work colleagues than their own families. At e2L, we have created a culture and a team that makes interacting with our team a blessing. Literally, every person on our team has unique gifts, ways of thinking, and contributions that make us better as individuals and as an organization.

Here are the reasons I am so thankful for this team:

Every person on this team is mission-minded. We are in pursuit of the same thing: ensuring the public, neighborhood school is the first choice for every family. That mission-mindedness is critical to every person, and each person has a very strongly held reason for wanting to make that mission a reality.   Whether it is an e2L Coach who grew up in the South Bronx and wants to give back or an Executive Assistant who moves often with her military family and wants to ensure that military children have great public school options, every team member is focused on the mission.

The diversity of this team is rare and impactful to each person. Because of this diversity, we have the opportunity to learn from different perspectives, cultures, and backgrounds. We have team members representing multiple countries, states, and geographic areas as well as diverse ethnicities, teaching experiences, degrees, and certifications. We are able to solve problems with a holistic view and divergent thinking.

Every person on this team is uber-talented with no ego. Therefore, even though they can achieve amazing results and come up with elegant ideas, it is almost impossible to praise any individual for any of them. Every time, the response is genuinely humble, and the accolade reframed as a team effort. I have been in many work situations where we collaborated, but when it came down to it, there was an underlying competition between team members. That is not tolerated by me or anyone else at e2L. And, frankly, spending time in the presence of all these brilliant minds and passionate hearts, it would take someone with zero self-awareness not to stay humble.

Finally, I know I can trust each person on our team. Since we are a virtual company, that is a great feeling. We do not have to have spy software on our computers or wonder if people are on social media all day. Every day every person is in e2L hustle mode. It goes back to the mission. We know we have an urgency to accomplish this mission for public neighborhood schools before it is too late, so each individual is committed to using every minute to make that happen. We have had ops team members share that they felt they had more time in the day and could take on more responsibility. How often does that happen? We have had coaches and project managers go way above and beyond for a coachee or partner and not even mention it until we hear about it from a client.

Action Item / Call to Action:
What are you thankful for this year? Make gratitude a part of your daily reflection, and if it involves others, let them know! 

THANK YOU for reading! 🙂

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