I ended a very busy and productive day yesterday with an automotive industry “Happy Hour” spent with colleagues and friends.
In all honesty, it isn’t something I normally pursue. But I was invited, and like so many things that produce better than expected results, it was a great experience. Great for a number of reasons, not the least of which was a combination of both the folks on the call and the subjects we managed to tackle in the two hours we were together.
One of those subjects was our association.
I’m a big proponent of professional affiliation. I always have been. It is a source of great strength and a powerful reservoir of knowledge. Associational involvement can also serve as an accelerant. An efficient and effective shortcut to accomplishing professional goals and objectives. Unfortunately, there are too many people struggling within most industries to recognize or appreciate the benefit. Too many unable or unwilling to realize how much the benefit can mitigate the cost.
Participation is far from limited to associational or organizational involvement, however. It transcends both. There are examples everywhere. The question has to be how and why the organizations that developed over time to help support us are dying. The answer — to at least some degree — can be found in Bowling Alone. Robert Putnam’s definitive work on the decline of social capital in America.
But there is another component at work here. One that is too often overlooked in my opinion. It has to do with where we find ourselves on Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs. Whether or not we’ve managed to meet or exceed our physiological needs. Our needs for security and esteem. And, finally, our need to belong.
Happy Hour, or not, learning where we are on that ladder is an important factor in our development as are the organizations we choose to support.bowling alonehappy hourhierarchy of human needsMaslowpersonal developmentpivotreinventionrobert putnam