You Don’t Need a Kilt to Have a Cause

Alex Pollock

During my recent sojourn into Scottish history I reflected upon the way William Wallace appeared from nowhere in 13th century Scotland to liberate his people and shape history.  It was his rallying call to action that stirred people’s pride and motivated them to leave their homes and follow.

Can you recall the number of bagpipe-blaring, kilt-swirling experiences like this you’ve had?

There can be few things more exciting and exhilarating than giving ourselves fully to a cause that we deem as noble. It’s not by accident that “the mission and purpose of my company makes me feel my job is important” is one of the 12 conditions that the Gallup organization uses to assess the degree of employee engagement in their workplaces.

In the 1990’s, researcher and author Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi termed engagement like this as “the flow.” Moments in “the flow” are characterized by:

  • Complete involvement, focus, and concentration
  • Sense of ecstasy
  • Great inner clarity
  • Knowing the activity is doable
  • Sense of serenity
  • No sense of time passing
  • Motivated and rewarded by the experience

How many times have you had this experience in the workplace? What was unique about the workplace environment that made these such memorable experiences for you?

Come my fellow EHS colleagues, let’s find a cause, get engaged and make a compelling case for others to join you. We can make a world of difference. History tells us so.

About Alex Pollock

Alex Pollock has been studying leadership effectiveness for more than 30 years. A former leader in environment, health and safety, and public affairs at The Dow Chemical Co., he learned that we all have leadership roles to play. He enjoys discussing new ideas and sharing practical ways we can all become better leaders.

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2 Comments
  1. Jim-Bob Williams

    May 23, 2011

    Great post, Alex. It helped chase the Monday blahs away.

    Curiously, I have found that wastewater treatment gives me flow!

  2. Alex Pollock

    May 23, 2011

    Thanks for the note Jim-Bob. Hope all is well and “flowing” where you are. Please keep sharing your thoughts with us. We can learn and be stimulated from your perspectives on things.

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