If you are familiar with Dr. Abraham Maslow, then it’s likely because of his work in human motivation. The “hierarchy” starts, as it should, with the physiological. Air to breathe, food to eat, water to drink. We naturally satisfy that stuff first. From there we work to ascend up to what he calls self-actualization. The achievement of one’s full potential. I believe we are in a time where more of us are looking to self-actualize through our work (yes, I know, first world stuff). Meaning, they are looking for their work to advance their higher purpose. Some work does that better than other work, but the takeaway is that work is not just work anymore. Now, it’s easy to be the armchair cynic and say stuff like, “they should just be lucky to have a job!” But, you and I both know we are in different times now. The astute leader will be able to see how Maslow’s motivations are overlaying our modern life, and she will do something about it. The question becomes, “how I can help my team members in their own self-actualization process?” Self-actualization can only be done by the individual, but it can be accommodated, in part, by the leader. If we care enough about it.
Future leader speaker and author of the book Future Leader: Rebooting Leadership to Win the Millennial and Tech Future. Free stuff! Get the first five chapters of my new book, an executive summary, and the Future Leader Companion Workbook here.