Day in and day out, principals work hard to manage the unpredictable nature of the school site. From evaluations, to planning schedules and safety protocols, to leading instruction, to writing the school plan and monitoring the budget, the work principals do is crucial, challenging and never-ending. Principals are regularly trained on structures and systems that support these educational initiatives, but are rarely trained on the human side of leadership. This autoethnography sought to conceptualize gratitude as a principal leadership practice. Through interviews, interactive interviews and personal journal reflections, this study found that principals do and must use gratitude in their practice to help themselves, their relationship with others and the school community. Further, this study revealed a revised conceptual framework for how principals can lead with gratitude. This study calls for changes at the district and university level to administrator recruitment, training and coaching for assistant principals and principals and professional development that addresses the human side of leadership.