Although published in 1943, psychologist Abraham Maslow’s paper, A Theory of Human Motivation, remains immensely popular, especially in the business world. It describes human needs as a pyramid consisting of five tiers of complexity, ranging from basic survival at the bottom to sophisticated self-expression at the top. It has become famously known as Maslow’s Pyramid.
However, it’s also a great model for understanding the role leadership plays in needs fulfilment and how that can help us retain, develop and motivate employees. Since people are more likely to follow leaders who allow them to scale the Pyramid faster, it’s an excellent idea to review it from that perspective.
The levels are: physiological (nutrition, shelter), safety (security, self-protection), love and belonging (family, friendship, community), esteem (achievement, recognition), and self-actualisation (living one’s highest values).
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