Leading with Gratitude Can Change Everything

Some very relevant and heart-felt words of wisdom and inspiration from our Director of Operations Kim Healey.

Leading with gratitude can change everything. 

At the Abs Company we got together as a team in 2016 and brainstormed on our Purpose, our Mission and our Core Values.  It was a great step for our company, one that I can say changed everything for The Abs Company. Our purpose is to CHANGE LIVES from the Core and our Mission is to become the WORLD LEADER in core and functional training solutions.  Having a purpose gives us true meaning in our work. Having a mission provides us with a north star something to orient ourselves toward, to provide direction. Of course a company can be successful without a purpose and a mission but I do believe that putting these in writing can truly change the course of a business.  In addition to our purpose and mission, we developed our Core Values. These Core Values are non-negotiable, in order to work at The Abs Company you have to hold these values dear and live them day in and day out in the work place and hopefully in your personal life as well. They are a part of our everyday language and they drive our company culture.  Together as a team we brainstormed and came up with 11 of our 12 core values: 

  • We believe that FITNESS CHANGES LIVES.
  • We believe that hard work pays off and produces RESULTS that MATTER.
  • We believe that to be a great company we must have great RELATIONSHIPS.
  • We believe in constant IMPROVEMENT, both business and personal.
  • We demand HONESTY and Purpose: INTEGRITY from ourselves and others.
  • We never give up because we believe that NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE.
  • We believe in taking risks to INNOVATE because we are not afraid to fail.
  • We believe that our team is FAMILY.
  • We value all humanity and believe that we should always GIVE BACK.
  • We believe in our PRODUCTS and the BENEFITS they provide for our customers.

About a year later Sean Gagnon, our CEO came to the team with one additional core value, he suggested that it always be listed as our number 1 core value.  It was WE LEAD WITH GRATITUDE. These 12 core values have become very dear to me over the years, each one in its own way. I recall instances when I leaned on this or that core value and times when I would incorporate one of our core values into a conversation with a customer vendor or colleague.  There are times that a core value has helped me WIN or helped me out of a difficult position. I have found that in just about every situation if I stop and think for a moment, one of our core values relates and can be used to either compliment or resolve that circumstance. Recently I was asked which one of our core values was my favorite, my immediate response was that question is impossible to answer.  But after giving it some careful thought I landed on my answer, my favorite core value. I believe that this one sets us apart, it is the foundation upon which all of our other core values rest, and without it our company would not be what it is today. My favorite core value is: WE LEAD WITH GRATITUDE

I don’t have my own personal core values etched out and written down, however when trying to decide on my favorite core value at The Abs Company, I discovered that without even realizing it at the time, gratitude was a state of mind that could possibly have saved my life many years ago. 

Just over 21 years ago on a hot day in May, my 7 year son Timmy fell from an open window in our home and later died from the injuries he sustained in the fall. I was just 35 years old at the time, a mother of 3 energetic and adorable little boys. How does one survive this type of unthinkable tragedy? When I stop and think about it one of the things that pulled me through was gratitude.  It was certainly not a conscious decision to be grateful in such a time of tragic loss, but I think it was a gut instinct a survival strategy. It was faith that I could and would survive in the end despite the harsh reality that my son had died. I recently came across a journal I kept that first year after Timmy’s death, there was an entry on the first Thanksgiving, just 187 days after his death, where I listed everything I was thankful for.  It was written in list format each sentence starting with: “I am thankful for….”. I still remember writing that entry, tears in my eyes, my heart broken, but still filled with gratitude. 

I am certain that this instinct to be grateful in difficult situations, can also apply to business.  In August of 2017, The Abs Company sent our team to Tony Robbins Unleash the Power Within program. It was a powerful 3 day program and had a lot of good insights on mindset and training yourself to be of a constructive, energetic mindset in order to improve your life.  One of the things Tony teaches is that it’s physically impossible to be angry and grateful at the same time.

If you can shift your focus and find something to be grateful for, you can push away the negative mindset. I have found over the years sometimes I just need the smallest reminder to activate my grateful heart and to turn things around and focus on gratitude.  Many people tend to give thanks after a bad situation is averted or when something wonderful happens, it’s a little bit more difficult to be grateful in difficult times. It’s kind of interesting once you have this mindset of being grateful, you can find something to be thankful for in just about every situation. You just have to look for it.  

In business there are always going to be ups and downs, highs and lows, it’s a marathon and not a sprint.  If you keep leading with gratitude in all situations and looking for the things to be thankful for, the lows won’t seem as low, you will withstand the storms and come out stronger, happier and more successful.   At The Abs Company we LEAD with GRATITUDE - we strive to always be thankful for our colleagues, our customers, our vendors and our families. It’s just who we are.