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Motivate people based on their needs

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Psychologist Abraham Maslow organized human needs onto a pyramid, with the most basic needs on the bottom and the most highly evolved on the top.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, from bottom to top:
  • Food, water, warmth and life’s other basics.

  • Safe surroundings.

  • The desire to be accepted by a group and work as a team.

  • Self-esteem. The confidence that comes from mastering work and being rewarded.

  • Self-actualization. Creativity, high-level thinking, spiritual beliefs.
Lesson: People are most creative only after they’re recognized and rewarded for their work and after they’ve been accepted as part of the team.

— Adapted from Maslow on Management, Abraham Maslow, Wiley.

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