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“To the degree that our emotions get in the way of or enhance our ability to think and plan, to pursue training for a different goal, to solve problems and the like, they define the limits of our capacity to use our innate mental abilities, and so determine how we do in life. And to the degree to which we are motivated by feelings of enthusiasm and pleasure in what we do—even by an optimal degree of anxiety—they propel us to accomplishment. It is in this sense that emotional intelligence is a master aptitude, a capacity that profoundly affects all other abilities, either facilitating or interfering with them.”

–Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence

Chapter Goals

  • Describe the three essential elements of a Culture of Ownership: emotionally positive, self-empowered, and fully engaged.

  • Explain why toxic emotional negativity—and in particular chronic complaining—is caustic to culture. Describe The Pickle Pledge and The Pickle Challenge for Charity, which are both tools for promoting a more emotionally positive workplace climate.

  • Describe the three causal factors of burnout and explain how the serenity prayer applies to each.

  • Describe the seven promises of The Self-Empowerment Pledge for promoting individual initiative.

  • Describe the Midland Health Leadership Pledge as a tool for fostering full engagement through leadership example.

We have put much thought and study into the question of what constitutes a Culture of Ownership, including the personal characteristics that contribute to such a culture. In Chapter 4, we shared the concept of creating a six-word culture story. Our six-word “story” that describes a Culture of Ownership is this: Emotionally Positive, Self-Empowered, Fully Engaged. In a culture of ownership, these six words encapsulate what people are expected to be, and expect themselves to be. We call these six words The Florence Challenge because these are qualities Florence Nightingale reflected in her own life and work and that she demanded from those who worked for and around her. At the Resources page of The Florence Challenge website (, you can download a full-color copy of the Florence Challenge Certificate of Commitment. Ask everyone in your organization, or your part of the organization, to sign one, and then post them in a place that is visible not only to employees but also to patients and visitors.




EMOTIONALLY POSITIVE by taking to heart The Pickle Pledge and turning every complaint into either a blessing or a constructive suggestion.

SELF EMPOWERED by taking to heart the 7 promises of The Self-Empowerment Pledge: Responsibility, Accountability, Determination, Contribution, Resilience, Perspective, and Faith.

FULLY ENGAGED by being committed, engaged, and passionate in my work; taking initiative and being an effective steward of resources; fostering a spirit of belonging and fellowship; and ...

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