Hierarchy of Needs Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is often displayed as a pyramid. The lowest levels of the pyramid are made up of the most basic needs, while the more complex needs are located at the top of the pyramid. Needs at the bottom of the pyramid are basic physical needs. Once these lower-level needs have been met, people can move on to the next level of needs, which are for safety and security.
Hierarchy of Needs As people progress up the pyramid, needs become increasingly psychological and social. Soon, the need for love, friendship and intimacy become important. Further up the pyramid, the need for personal esteem and feelings of accomplishment take priority. Maslow emphasized the importance of self- actualization, which is a process of growing and developing as a person to achieve individuality.
Safety Needs These include needs for safety and security. When survival needs are met, we worry next about security, in other words survival over time. Examples: desire for steady employment, health insurance, safe neighborhoods, and shelter from the environment
Belonging Needs These needs are sometimes called social needs, or relationship needs. If our survival and security needs are met, our attention turns automatically to our need for relationships.
Esteem Needs After individuals fulfill the need to fit in and belong in a social group, they normally feel a need to stand out from the group and achieve a sense of individual integrity, autonomy, and excellence. Internal: Self-esteem External: Acceptance by the group For healthy development, the internal self-image and the external reputation should be reasonably similar. Leadership roles are important
Self-actualizing Needs This is the highest level of Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs. Self-actualizing people are: Self-aware Concerned with personal growth Less concerned with the opinions of others Interested in fulfilling their potential
Characteristics of Self-actualizing People Have better perceptions of reality and are comfortable with it. Accept themselves and their own individuality. Honest and sincere They focus on problems outside themselves and are concerned with basic issues and eternal questions. They like privacy and tend to be detached. Rely on their own development and continued growth. Appreciate the basic pleasures of life (e.g. do not take blessings for granted). Have a deep feeling of kinship with others. Are deeply democratic and are not really aware of differences. Have strong ethical and moral standards. Are original and inventive.
Leadership Leaders are inclined to be higher on the hierarchy of need than followers. This is because people who have satisfied a need can help others satisfy it as well. The natural tendency to move up the hierarchy means that we will seek to avoid moving downward; thus we are not likely to follow leaders at lower levels than we are.
Effective Leaders Effective leaders must be flexible and responsive to new realities. Leaders must recognize that their success in helping group members solve any given problem or fulfill any given need will result in a new set of circumstances and a new set of needs. Leaders who can’t move up the levels will be left behind as followers cease to be motivated by the needs they have already fulfilled. Effective leaders are flexible, not stubborn or unwilling to address new realities. Sometimes leaders are really good at addressing needs at lower levels because of their own passion about those needs, but that very passion might interfere with their ability to grow and adapt to changing circumstances.
Self-Actualization Needs. This level of need is the only one which does not arise out of a deficit or an absence of anything. The need for self-actualization is not about missing anything or needing anything tangible, but is related to a need for growth, understanding, and fulfillment. It arises when one wishes to become “all I can become.” The need for meaning and purpose at this level also means that one becomes more sensitive to large social issues and the welfare of the community, including the whole human community. This is the motivation of saints and the great figures of history. One example of self-actualizing behavior that is becoming more and more common is the widespread tendency of people who have spent years accumulating wealth to turn around and give it away.
References leadership Skills and Values. (2010). Retrieved August 30, 2010, from http://www.leadershipskillsandvalues.com/lesso ns-and-readings/maslow-s-hierarchy-of-needs http://www.leadershipskillsandvalues.com/lesso ns-and-readings/maslow-s-hierarchy-of-needs Cherry, K. (n.d.). Hierarchy of Needs. Retrieved September 1, 2010, from About.com: Psychology: http://psychology.about.com/od/theoriesofperso nality/a/hierarchyneeds_2.htm http://psychology.about.com/od/theoriesofperso nality/a/hierarchyneeds_2.htm