Over the past few years I have developed what I refer to as the Six Pillars of Civility. Over the next few months I am going to explore these six qualities, which in my opinion, are crucial to maintaining a civilized society. The qualities are important not only to a society, but also to the communities in which we live, work, and play. I hope these words will give you pause to think about how each of these qualities resonates with you.


Gratitude is a critical component to any healthy sustainable work environment. It is an action that must come from the top down, and it must flow freely and be spread with great generosity. Gratitude is contagious and when expressed with sincerity, this amazing power can transform many enthusiasm-starved business into a fertile ground. It serves as a vital nutrient to everything it touches.

In the highly competitive business environment in which most of us work, praise is often in short supply, but the need is actually tremendous. Employees work far more effectively when they are encouraged through signs of gratitude that the work they are doing is appreciated. Not only does the work need to be acknowledged as ‘a job well done’, the message needs to be delivered every day. Any “boss” who does not take the time to praise his or her workers, colleagues, or even clients is not using the most powerful tool they possess.

Giving false praise is not healthy, nor is it appropriate. But so much happens around us in the busy world of business, that we often forget to take the time to smell the roses. Stop and take the time. It’s worth more than anything money can buy.

Many of us live in a world of entitlement. We take so much for granted – our health, our access to food and shelter, good friends, a comfortable life style, and the list goes on. I wonder what the world would be like if we took some time everyday to be grateful for our many blessings – including life itself.