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Karin’s Leadership Articles

Thanksgiving Grace and Grappling: Growing Beyond Easy

by | Nov 20, 2012 | Authenticity & Transparency, By Karin Hurt |

Today I offer my grace of thanksgiving for all that I have been given. I also whisper a humble grace for the messy work that is helping me to become.

May you too be blessed in your grappling this Thanksgiving.

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thanksgiving Grace

Today I am deeply grateful for…

  • My caring husband who believes in possibilities
  • My children who amaze me with their insights, caring hearts and contributions
  • My extended family and pit crew who make my work possible
  • My creative and tenacious team who accomplished what most believed could not be done
  • An opening heart leading to deepening relationships
  • A social media infrastructure that makes it possible for me to collaborate with leaders from around the world
  • Amazing new connections now growing into friends, mentors and supporters
  • Saying yes

Thanksgiving Grappling

But also surprisingly grateful for..

  • Time stuck in airports
    … giving me time to think
  • Realizing my strengths have downsides
    … which is forcing me to fine-tune
  • Feeling a bit stuck
    … which is causing me to consider
  • Choices that ticked me off
    ….which reaffirmed my values
  • Being too busy
    … which is forcing me to prioritize
  • Friends and colleagues who are grappling too
    … so we can work on this junk together

Gratitude is tricky.

It’s easy to feel full of thanksgiving for the good parts. It’s a bit harder to feel grateful for the messy and uncomfortable aspects of our lives.

Perhaps that’s exactly the work for which we should be most grateful.

May you find a strange peace and joy in your grappling this Thanksgiving.


Karin Hurt

Karin Hurt helps human-centered leaders find clarity in uncertainty, drive innovation, and achieve breakthrough results.  She’s the founder and CEO of Let’s Grow Leaders, an international leadership development and training firm known for practical tools and leadership development programs that stick. She’s the award-winning author of four books including Courageous Cultures: How to Build Teams of Micro-Innovators, Problem Solvers, and Customer Advocates and Winning Well: A Manager’s Guide to Getting Results-Without Losing Your Soul and a hosts the popular Asking For a Friend Vlog on LinkedIn. A former Verizon Wireless executive, Karin was named to Inc. Magazine’s list of great leadership speakers. Karin and her husband and business partner, David Dye, are committed to their philanthropic initiative, Winning Wells – building clean water wells for the people of Cambodia.


  1. Jonathan

    A great perspective to share! The age old phrase “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” applies to much of the challenges we face through our life adventures. I ran into someone I had lost touch with last night. It was a moment filled with contradictions as we were attending a wake for a friend that had passed away after losing her battle with cancer. In the middle of a Church filled with sadness and tears, I had a moment of joy as we reconnected. It was a strange feeling; the loss of a dear friend caused the reunion of two other people. From something uncomfortable came something wonderful.

    I can also admit that after many delays sitting in an airport, when I finally arrive at home, the hugs I give my wife and kids are bigger and longer than they used to be. Thank you United for being the lousy airline that you are…..as I focus on the quality of time with my family more than I used to!

    Nice post Karin! An important perspective to be thankful for! Thanks for the gift of your writing!

  2. letsgrowleaders

    Jonathan, thank you so much. Did you really just thank United? Yikes… It is so much fun to read your reflections as well. Thank you for your leadership and gift of writing.


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