Leadership & Human Behavior 1

Leadership & Human Behavior 1:

Good leaders are made, not born. If you have the desire and willpower, you can become an effective leader. Good leaders develop through a never-ending process of self-study, education, training, and experience (Jago, 1982).

Abraham Maslow based his theory of human needs on creative people who used all their talents, potential, and capabilities (Bootzin, Loftus, Zajonc, Hall, 1983). His methodology differed from other psychological researchers in that these researchers mainly observed mentally unhealthy people. Maslow (1970) felt that human needs were arranged in a hierarchical order that could be divided into two major groups: basic needs and meta needs (higher order needs):

(1)  Basic Needs: 

These are physiological, such as food, water, and sleep, and psychological, such as affection, security, and self-esteem. These basic needs are also called “deficiency needs” because if an individual does not meet them, that person will strive to make up for them.

(2)  Meta needs or Being needs (growth needs):

These include justice, goodness, beauty, order, unity, etc. Basic needs typically take priority over meta needs. For example, a person who lacks food or water will not usually attend to justice or beauty needs.

These needs are usually listed in a hierarchical order in the form of a pyramid to show that the basic needs (bottom ones) must be met before the higher-order needs:

Maslow described the five hierarchy of Needs as follows:

  1. Self-actualization — knowing exactly who you are, where you are going, and what you want to accomplish—a state of well-being.
  2. Esteem — the feeling of moving up in the world, recognition, and few doubts about self.
  3. Belongingness and love — belong to a group, close friends with whom to confide.
  4. Safety — feel free from immediate danger.
  5. Physiological — food, water, shelter, sex.

Maslow also posited that people want and are forever striving to meet various goals. Because the lower-level needs are more immediate and urgent, they come into play as the source and direction of a person’s goal if they are not satisfied. A need higher in the hierarchy will become a motive of behavior so long as the needs below it have been satisfied. Unsatisfied lower needs will dominate unsatisfied higher needs and must be satisfied before the person can climb up the hierarchy. They know where a person is located on the pyramid aids in determining effective motivators. For example, motivating a middle-class person (who is in range 4 of the hierarchy) with a certificate will have a far more significant impact than using the same motivator to affect a minimum-wage person from the ghetto who is desperately struggling to meet the first couple of needs. It should be noted that almost no one stays in one particular hierarchy for an extended period.

Human Beings constantly strive to move up, while at the same time, various forces outside our control try to push us down. Those on top get pushed down for short periods, while those on the bottom get pushed up. People who have their basic needs met become much better workers as they can concentrate on fulfilling the visions put forth to them rather than consistently struggling to make ends meet. Maslow’s self-transcendence level recognizes the human need for ethics, creativity, compassion, and spirituality. Without this spiritual or transgenic sense, we are simply animals or machines. This expansion of the higher-order needs is shown here:

These later years’ Needs, as explained by Maslow, are:

  • Self-transcendence — a transgenic level that emphasizes visionary intuition, altruism, and unity consciousness.
  • Self-actualization — knowing exactly who you are, where you are going, and what you want to accomplish; A state of well-being.
  • Aesthetic — to do things not simply for the outcome but because it’s the reason you are here on earth — at peace, more curious about the inner workings of all things.
  • Cognitive — to be free of the reasonable opinion of others — learning for learning alone, contributing knowledge.
  • Esteem — the feeling of moving up in the world, recognition, and few doubts about self.
  • Belongingness and love — belong to a group, close friends with whom to confide.
  • Safety — feel free from immediate danger.
  • Physiological — food, water, shelter, sex.

Characteristics of self-actualizing people are:

  • They have better perceptions of reality and are comfortable with it.
  • They accept themselves and their natures.
  • They Lack artificiality.
  • They focus on problems outside themselves and are concerned with fundamental issues and eternal questions.
  • They like privacy and tend to be detached.
  • They rely on their personal development and continued growth.
  • They appreciate the basic pleasures of life (e.g., do not take blessings for granted).
  • They have a deep feeling of kinship with others.
  • They are profoundly democratic and are not aware of differences.
  • They have strong ethical and moral standards and
  • They are original, inventive, less constricted, and fresher than others.

Herzberg’s Hygiene and Motivational Factors:

Frederick Herzberg was considered one of the most influential management consultants and professors of the modern postwar era. Herzberg was probably best known for his challenging thinking on work and motivation. He was considered an icon and legend among visionaries such as Abraham Maslow, Peter Drucker, and Douglas MacGregor.

Herzberg (1966) is best known for his list of factors that are based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, except his version is more closely related to the working environment; they include:

Hygiene or Dissatisfiers: 

  • Working conditions
  • Policies & administrative practices
  • Salary and Benefits
  • Supervision
  • Status
  • Job security
  • Co-workers
  • Personal life

Motivators or Satisfiers: 

  • Recognition 
  • Achievement 
  • Advancement 
  • Growth 
  • Responsibility 
  • Job challenge 

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