When Do People Produce Greatness?

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Motivational Manager Charlie: "We must get them to believe in themselves! Yay! Because, when they believe in themselves, they will do anything they set their minds to! Oh Yeah! High-five!!!!!!!!!!!111one" Believing in yourself sounds great; but:

  • What if Charlie's employees hate him?
  • What if they lack the resources to do their jobs?
  • What if they feel they're underpaid?
  • What if the company ignores their strengths and passions?
  • What if the company creates an atmosphere of fear?

The company can motivate all it wants; but employees -- worried about external thing-a-majiggaz -- will still produce crap until their basic needs are fulfilled.

What People Need

Psychologist Abraham Maslow's legendary Hierarchy of Needs Pyramid:

  • At the bottom, people's fundamental needs: breathing, food, water.
  • At the top, transcendental needs: self-actualization (i.e. doing what 'I'm born to do')

Multi-million dollar athletes, Silicon Valley billionaires, and world-renown directors still do what they do because they 'must' perfect their crafts (i.e. they must self-actualize).

  1. Pianists cannot be themselves unless they play their Moonlight Sonatas.
  2. Designers must design their Mona Lisas.
  3. Quarterbacks must write their Super Bowls.

Yet, to self-actualize and rock the jigga out their work: Peeps must first have their basic needs fulfilled.

Your People's Needs

Remember at one of your sucky-S.U.C.K. jobs:

  1. Beginning: You came into it excited you could help the company.
  2. Middle: Extrinsic things soon bothered you: the manager's distrust, politics, lack of supplies, the yaddas
  3. The Result: You produced crap work: "My basic needs weren't fulfilled! OH-NO-NO!"

What do your people need?

  • Everything that finally makes them say: "Now, I can fully focus on my work."

Fulfill 'Em Needz

Fulfill Johnny's basic needs; ask him:

  • "List 5 things that sucks about the company."
  • "What must we do so you can fully focus on your craft?"

The answers might prompt you to:

  • Position him where he feels he can produce greatness.
  • Pay him sufficiently, with sweet benefits.
  • Mandate free speech without repercussions.
  • Resolve the issues he has with company/management/etc.

Fulfill whatever people need so they're strictly concentrating on rocking the mutha-chicken out of their work. Result: Krrrazydiculous work. Booyah!

First. Needs.

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Posted on February 15

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