Instead of giving individual gifts this year, the Bolton & Company team decided to deliver an experience designed to thank, inspire and support our change-making community.
This isn’t exactly a cut-and-dry process, however, as throwing an event in California—especially around the holidays—is tricky.
Most executives have a stacked calendar from Thanksgiving through Christmas. There’s also an assumed 20 percent dropout rate due to travel, traffic and all of life’s unexpected.
Regardless of these obstacles, we pushed on and through with the help of an amazing team, company and all those who joined us for a truly incredible night.
Never have I experienced an event where more people showed up than RSVP’d—let alone arrive early and stay late.
Welcome to The Power of Gratitude
The medicinal and psychological effects of having a grateful attitude are well-documented and personally compelling. But when gratitude is applied at the corporate and community level, it’s world changing.
Every element of this event had to work to achieve the end goal successfully.
So in securing the location, I reached out to the most gracious woman I know: Injoy Global CEO Linda LoRe. And she welcomed Bolton and guests to her home—the former Roy Disney estate.
Bolton’s own Scott Lane—a former Broadway/off-Broadway costume and set designer—worked for weeks to implement a vision of lights, white Chinese lanterns, delicious foods, vintage serving ware and succulent center pieces that was ethereal. Singer/songwriter Katherine Terrien’s performance was the perfect soundtrack to ground the hundred-plus gatherers in gratefulness. And the rest of the CX team made sure every detail was covered including sound, video and photography (Greg Toumassian, Scott Moe and Cerissa Linday), name tags and check in (Teri Ryan) and the logistics of food pick up, set up and event clean up (Aline Mirzabeigi).
And that created the feeling of gratitude. But the challenge of the event is to make gratitude into a verb.
LoRe and SSCA’s Tom Shenk helped guests recognize and deploy the power of gratitude through exercises, self reflection and wise words.
Here’s a summary of the lessons:
- Gratitude is only limited by your ability to receive it.
- Many don’t experience the full power of gratitude because they are not living in the present—they are caught up in a past hurt or worried about the future.
- People are either experiencing stress or distress. Stress you can use to move yourself forward; distress paralyzes you and holds you back.
- If you are fearful, anxious or depressed, you get one night with the pillow to work through it. Next day, you need to get up and deal with it.
- Number one cause of distress is conflict with others. It’s your choice if the relationship is worth working through the conflict.
- Best results are achieved if you interpret conflict as an opportunity to learn more about yourself and the other person—working through it is necessary to make positive change and self-growth.
Want to join the journey? Set yourself up for a grateful new year by having an accountability partner—#BelongingatBolton style.
Write me with your answers to these questions:
- What is the one thing you’d like to accomplish personally or professionally for which you’d be profoundly grateful?
- What is one thing that needs to happen to help you in that journey?
- Who would be one person that you’d like to connect with in order to make that happen?