August 11, 2016 Y Scouts

What Gratitude Means To The Y Scouts Team: Our Values

Gratitude means appreciating the good, the bad and the in-between. Check out our team’s perspective on all of the different aspects of gratitude.

In your personal and work life, how do you show gratitude?

Kelly Geary, Leadership Search Director

Since 2014, I have kept a gratitude practice – via Google Drive in spreadsheet fashion. What’s up Type A?!? I like seeing my gratitude list grow over time, and I like occasionally revisiting days from years ago. Almost everyday, I wake up before everyone else in our house (1 dog, 3 kids, 1 spouse), and I first journal and then open up my Gratitude List and insert 10 rows and just write out the things that come to me in those early morning moments.  Starting my days with a deeper awareness of all the things, of all the people, of all the moments that I show gratitude for has made my life more joyful and my optimism more lasting.  Modern life for me is kind of hectic (note the # of kids, the dog, the spouse) and modern communication means I am just inches away from emails, texts, news, media platforms of all kinds, content coming at me It can easily lead me to feeling overwhelmed, and this is where showing gratitude and cultivating gratitude serves as a great antidote.  As a family in 2016, we started a Gratitude Practice at the dinner table.  Before anyone can eat a thing, we go around to all five of us and share at least one thing we are grateful for that day!  Bringing gratitude into our evening routine has been a wonderful way to quickly and easily “teach” gratitude to our children.  Some days, we are simply grateful for mustard, or oxygen, or Larry our dog.   

Dan Zlaket, Director of Administration & Finance

In my personal and work life, I try to show gratitude in the sincerest ways. A lot of the time we envision showing gratitude as saying a simple “thank you,” or recognizing an accomplishment. This is all very true, but I personally believe that gratitude can also be expressed in several different ways. Some examples of how I like to practice gratitude daily include looking for the small things. At times, we can get so tied up in our daily responsibilities, we forget to notice the small wins that made a positive impact. One thing I enjoy is reflecting on my day. I look at the 3 most impactful things that occurred, and if someone else helped me through the journey, I simply send them a thank you card, call, or even a text message showing my appreciation. At times, people that I thank don’t even recall the help they provided. The most important part of gratitude is making it meaningful. When I am getting to know somebody, I try to listen for interests such as their favorite movie, candy bar, or even sport. I try my best to remember those items and connect them to gratitude in some way. Being grateful is one of the most important habits in our lives. When we give thanks, it only creates a more positive mindset and can completely change someone’s day.

Lexi Collins, Leadership Search Director

lexi collinsGratitude is such a wonderful value to hold, but one that can seem like it is overloaded or overindulged in at times, especially around the Holidays. Living in gratitude can be difficult with all of the stimulation that comes at us all day long, too. I believe gratitude comes in all shapes, sizes and behaviors and that truly being grateful internally, and showing that to those around us, is what makes life abundantly joyful. Being grateful for the significant things in our lives is certainly admirable, but I think that gratitude in times of loss, sorrow, challenge or intense growth can be what can make life meaningful.  One of my favorite ways to express my gratitude to someone is by a hand written card. I think it is becoming a ‘lost art’ of sorts which makes it all the more special for the receiver. The time it takes to write one is small for the writer, but huge for the receiver. It shows that you took the effort to think about and write down what you appreciate about someone or something they did. Gratitude doesn’t always have to be expressed or shared externally. It is as much a way of living as it is an expression. I have a piece of art hanging by my bed that reads “Start each day with a grateful heart”. It reminds me to remind myself each morning for what I am grateful, and boy, there is so much in this life to be grateful for!

Max Hansen, Co-Founder & CEO

It’s just an overall way that you carry yourself. There’s a term that I think describes the best leaders: confident but not cocky. And I think it all relates to how they’re grateful. They have this perfect balance, and they’re humble. I think there’s a lot of humility in being grateful for what you have. What you learn—whether it be the good or bad lessons—it’s being grateful to have learned through that experience.


Brian Mohr, Co-Founder & Managing Partner

This one is probably the most philosophical of them all. I mean, we’re here. We’re sitting here talking. We don’t think about it as human beings nearly enough, but what a gift just to be alive. Recognize that every day you have and every breath you take is a gift. You don’t know when life’s going to end. None of us do. There’s no guarantee. The only guarantee is, you’re going die at some point. So recognize the little things and be grateful for just the smallest gifts we’re given every day. That doesn’t mean you can’t aspire to whatever greatness looks like—but don’t forget about the small things.

Why does gratitude matter in doing business?

Candi Luciano, Chief Experience Officer

A leader of good character is a grateful leader. A leader who is thankful is a memorable one.

Max, our Y Scouts CEO left a handwritten note of gratitude on my desk with an artful arrowhead that read, “SKY’S THE LIMIT.” This simple, unexpected gesture let me know he was paying attention to what could have so easily gone unnoticed, or just been expected. Instead, he expressed he was thankful I was living the core value of relentless learning to serve the greater needs of our team. How did he know I had recently persevered through a couple late nights to teach myself a new software enabling me to resolve a marketing challenge?

Not only did it make me feel like I mattered, it continues to inspire me to go above and beyond to serve again and again.

When gratitude lives in a workplace, it influences a healthier, happier and more productive team culture. Stop by sometime—you’ll feel the radical gratitude expressed at Y Scouts on a daily basis.

Daniel Cheetham, Leadership Search Director

Gratitude is the fuel that powers healthy relationships. An attitude of gratitude fundamentally changes the lens in which one views the world and experiences from a focus of self-service to one of authentic appreciation and abundance.

In the workplace, displaying gratitude not only communicates that you notice and appreciate the actions of others, it also perpetuates future benevolent actions and a culture of collaboration. This, in turn, helps shape and define the type of culture that any employee would love – and appreciate – to be a part of.

Mary Margaret Skelly, Leadership Search Director

Everyone is working hard. Our work ethic here in the United States in particular is exceptional. Whether they’re on Wall Street or Silicon Valley or in small businesses across the country, people in general take pride in the work they do and want to deliver excellence.

We can get too caught up in productivity, however. We sometimes forget there are human beings on the other side of every product or service. We’re ultimately here to uplift each other and help each other grow. Work provides a platform through which we can make the human experience a little more dignified and enjoyable for others. We are not machines, put here to perform tasks at an ever increasing speed. We are dynamic human beings and our purpose-driven work is the gift we offer the world. Expressing gratitude reminds others of their humanity.

Why is gratitude a core value of Y Scouts?

Adam DiBiase, Director of Business Development

When you’re in a growing company with bold plans to connect millions of people to work that matters, it can be easy to focus only on our success and pursuit of the vision. Sometimes it’s hard to recognize what is going well and to choose thankfulness along the way. That’s why gratitude was intentionally chosen as a core value at Y Scouts. We never want to forget what matters in life and in business, and that’s the impact we’re making in the lives of our partners, candidates, and team members. Along the journey, it’s important to pause and recognize the hard work and commitment it takes to have success. We like to recognize each other in our daily work, act with appreciation towards our clients, and acknowledge the trust candidates place in us and our process as well.

What insights have I gained at Y Scouts that I am grateful for?

Ken Butler, Leadership Search Director

Y Scouts has given me the opportunity to learn and grow every day.  Here at Y Scouts we choose to show up every day with a beginners mind, looking to learn from every situation that is presented.  That beginner’s mind allows us to really hear what our clients and candidates are saying, which helps us to serve them better.  By seeing this in action I have developed that skill myself and am reaping the benefits of it every day and in every conversation.   We have a trait we look for in leaders we call “relentless learning”.  I now see so clearly how that trait really sets apart good leaders from the best leaders in the world.

Nick Morrison, Leadership Search Director

By being at Y Scouts I have continued to gain knowledge about the Conscious Capitalism movement and what it truly looks like to be a mission-driven organization. Every day we’re working with organizations that are making a big difference at some of the most human levels. These are organizations that saw a societal need and are doing everything they can to solve the need. I’ve gained the insight that you can uninhibitedly chase after your life’s mission.

What are you most grateful for in your life?

Melissa Schonberger, Leadership Search Director

I am most grateful for growth in my life. As a human being my primary need is growth, in my own personal development, in my friendships, in my relationships with my family and in my career. I have been fortunate enough to experience growth that is exceedingly blissful, where I have learned a beautiful lesson in a fun, positive way and I am so grateful for having had the opportunity. The cliche is that we grow the most from the hardest times. Cliches are cliches for a reason. Most of the lessons I’ve learned lately have come with a feeling of getting hit in the face, having no idea what I’m doing or being mortified in the midst of it and asking myself, “why did I ask for growth again?”. Though these situations are much more difficult, I welcome these as well. Especially lately, the phrase that has been coming out of my mouth the most has been “I’m experiencing a lot of growth right now.” This may come with a smile, through tears or with frustration but regardless of the emotion behind it, I am and always will be most grateful for growth in all of its wonderful, messy, complicated forms and for the way it allows me to relate to anyone.

Marc Ruter, Leadership Search Director

I’ll start by saying, I am not always as grateful as I should be! It’s something I have to work towards. I am glad that we chose gratitude as one of our core values because it’s transformed how I look at life. And I should be grateful all the time, I have so much to be grateful for.  Sometimes a moment comes (I would like that new shiny thing) and I become self-absorbed and don’t appreciate the bigger picture.

At the moment I write this, I am grateful to be sitting in Scottsdale, Arizona in some of the best weather you can imagine as November is always a great weather month here. I am grateful for my wife and daughter. I am a grateful for the team that I get to work with every day. I served my jury duty yesterday (initially, when I got the summons to attend jury duty, I was not grateful) and I am grateful to live in a country where we are all entitled to a jury of our peers to decide our innocence or guilt. I am grateful for my parents, who have both had serious health struggles this year and it’s made me grateful that they are still here on earth.  I am grateful too to share this with you and for you reading it. The fantastic thing about gratitude is that there is always something you hadn’t been grateful for before to discover.


How do you practice gratitude? Let us know on social media – Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Y Scouts is a leadership search firm that finds purpose-aligned and performance-proven leaders to help organizations achieve their missions faster. Ready to supercharge your leadership search and get the right person in your organization? Contact Y Scouts.