Saturday, 24 January 2009

Leaders in Tough Times - Remember Maslow?


‘Basic human needs are arranged in a hierarchical order’


“Individuals constantly move up and down the pyramid depending on how the perceive their current and potential situation”

According to Maslow ‘there are two major groups of human needs: basic including physiological, such as food, water, and sleep and psychological, such as affection, security, and self-esteem. These basic needs are also called deficiency needs because if an individual does not meet them, then that person will strive to make up the deficiency.’

‘The higher needs are called growth needs. These include such things as justice, ‘goodness’, order, unity, glamour, status, beauty and self-fulfillment. Deficiency needs Maslow argued take priority over growth needs. People who lack food or water cannot attend to justice or beauty.’

So in the current climate leaders will need to concentrate on making their followers feel ‘secure’. I would be searching for articles on “motivation”  (Google) and be keeping this issue at the top of my (your) mind over the next 12 - 24 months. Now is the time to be carefully listening to the concerns of your followers and perhaps taking on the “leader as servant” advice.

This is the third time I have been through this situation and it reminds me of how everyone feels during a merger or takeover. During stressful times all questions about work or the company are really just one question in many disguises. What is that question… “What’s going to happen to me”?

This worldwide situation is a paradigm shift and ‘when there is a paradigm shift everyone goes back to zero’ - Joel Barker

It is s also time to update your resume (blank resume) (resume form)

Maslow’s Needs Hierarchy


Growth, Achieving one’s potential, Self-fulfillment

Self Esteem

Self Respect, Status, Recognition, Autonomy, Achievement


Belonging, Social Activities, Love and Affection, Acceptance and Friendship


Security, Protection from danger both physical and emotional


Hunger, Thirst, Sleep, Shelter, Sex and other bodily needs


Richard Townsend

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