“There is one day that is ours.
Thanksgiving Day is the one day that is purely American. “

O. Henry
American Short Story writer

“When a person doesn’t have gratitude, something is missing in his or her humanity.
A person can almost be defined by his or her attitude toward gratitude.”

 Elie Wiesel
Holocaust Survivor and Nobel Peace Prize Winner

“Gratitude is the sign of noble minds.”

Greek Storyteller
6th Century B.C.

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues,
but the parent of all the others.”

 Marcus Tullius Cicero
Roman Philosopher

On our worst day, we are blessed to be Americans”

Nikki Haley
Governor of SC 2010-2016
U.S. Ambassador to the UN 2017-2018

One Less Day, 40% More Productive

Small to Mid-size businesses are at a financial disadvantage because of their size when it comes to attracting and retaining talent.  Many have experienced a larger player showing up with a compensation offer they simply could not match.  What to do?
Earlier this month Microsoft announced the results of an experiment in which it offered employees a 4 day work week. The results were impressive: a 40% increase in productivity. Could you do this at your company?. This article from Business Insider and links therein will tell you more. Maybe a four day week might will help you keep a key player or improve your productivity.  

“Stream On”

The recent launch of Disney+ has everyone focused on the chaotic world of streaming. With all the breaking news it’s a little difficult to keep track of who’s in the game, who’s buying whom and who lost content from someone else who just got into the game. 

If you’d like a quick and insightful executive summary of the players, the drama and the future, check out NYU Professor Scott Galloway’s latest “No Mercy, No Malice” Blog in which he observes that “for the foreseeable future, the deepest pockets in the world will spend more on scripted television each year than Canada or Australia spend on defense. If Netflix continues to increase its content budget at the same rate, by 2025 Netflix will spend more on Stranger Things, You, The Crown, and other original content than the US spends on food stamps (SNAP).”

Check out Prof Galloway’s excellent  player by player analysis of what’s going on in his recent blog posting:  Stream On.”  

Amazon: Not the Only River

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos was asked how, back in 1994, he decided to name his company. He replied, “This is not only the largest river in the world, it’s many times larger than the next biggest river. It blows all other rivers away.” Given Amazon’s dominance and power in so many areas, he  can’t be faulted for his choice. Many merchants and manufacturers are frustrated by Amazon’s power, but that power is not absolute.    

To wit, Nike recently announced that it was ending its partnership with Amazon. Check out why they did it, and what’s required to pull it I off.  

The lesson: Amazon is not the only river to the consumer if you have a good enough story (brand).

Econ Recon

Nine Realities: Brian Beaulieu at ITR Economics has warned for some time  of a downturn.  He hasn’t changed his mind but thinks that smart executives need to start thinking about the  eventual recovery   Check out his Nine Reasons Why You Should Chose to Focus on the Reality of Rise.

Staying Bullish: Brian Wesbury on the other has not yet forecast a downturn and encourages you to Stay Bullish.

A Gratitude Sampler

What follows is an excerpt from Vistage Speaker Mardy Grothe’s “Quotes of the Week.” This is a wonderful, inspiration blog that I look forward to every Sunday. You can subscribe at http://www.drmardy.com/  It is always interesting and enlightening.  

It’s Thanksgiving week, so here are a few some great thoughts on Gratitude from his collection…for which I am Grateful!

Dr Grothe says “As Americans celebrate their annual Thanksgiving holiday this week, it seems appropriate to turn our attention to the topic of gratitude, and its related themes of thankfulness and gratefulness.

Whether viewed as an emotion, a thought, or some combination of the two, there is no doubt that gratitude has been viewed as a virtue for close to three thousand years. In his 6th B.C. fable “Androcles,” Aesop wrote: “Gratitude is the sign of noble minds.”

From Aesop’s era to the present day, the twin concepts of gratitude and thankfulness have been associated with “counting your blessings.” However, a strong case can be made that we should be grateful for everything that has resulted in our growth as human beings, including the suffering we’ve endured. 

In 1939, after receiving an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Princeton, Thomas Mann expressed the thought this way:

   “To be grateful for all life’s blessings. . . is the best condition for a happy life.
    A joke, a good meal, a fine spring day, a work of art, a human personality, a voice,
    a glance — but this is not all.  For there is another kind of gratitude. . .
    the feeling that makes us thankful for suffering, for the hard and heavy things of
    life, for the deepening of our natures which perhaps only suffering can bring.”

Carrying the idea even further — and into the paradoxical domain — some believe we should even be grateful for things that have NOT happened to us. Storm Jameson put it this way in “Journey From the North” (1970):

   “For what I have received may the Lord make me truly thankful.
    And more truly for what I have not received.”

This week, take some to be thankful for EVERYTHING that has made you the person you are today. To assist you in your reflections, here are a dozen of my favorite quotations:

   “My wish for you
    Is that you continue
    To let gratitude be the pillow
    Upon which you kneel to
    Say your nightly prayer.”
          Maya Angelou

    “Gratitude is one of the least articulate of the emotions,
    especially when it is deep.”
          Felix Frankfurter

“One single grateful thought raised to heaven is the most perfect prayer.”
          G. E. Lessing

“Gratitude is the most exquisite form of courtesy.”
          Jacques Maritain

“If the only prayer you say in your entire life
    is ‘Thank You,’ that would suffice.”
          Meister Eckhart

   “When something does not insist on being noticed, when we aren’t
    grabbed by the collar or struck on the skull by a presence or an event,
    we take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.”
          Cynthia Ozick

   “Gratitude is indeed a duty which we are bound to pay,
    but which benefactors cannot exact.”
          Jean-Jacques Rousseau

   “In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out.
    It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being.
    We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.”
          Albert Schweitzer

   “Silent gratitude isn’t very much use to anyone who has done a lot for you.”
          Gladys Bronwyn Stern

   “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it
    is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”
          William Arthur Ward