What are the Six Human Needs and how do they relate to motivation?

We hear a lot these days about motivation, it seems to be the buzzword of the decade, and quite rightly so, highly motivated staff lead to engaged employees lead to a happier working environment lead to higher productivity!

However, the ‘sixty thousand dollar’ question always is ‘What actually motivates someone?’ There are many motivation theories out there but the one I want to highlight in this post is related to our basic needs as humans and what happens when they aren’t met.

In the 1950’s Maslow articulated the Hierarchy of Needs, outlining how our needs change as we evolve as a society and as an individual. A model related to this but with a somewhat different perspective is the Six Human Needs model popularized by Anthony Robbins.

“Stars don’t work for idiots.”

I love this statement, apparently made by HR guru, John Sullivan of San Francisco State University. It comes from a post about the resignation of Steve Jobs in The Harvard Business Review http://blogs.hbr.org/taylor/2011/08/why_steve_jobs_matters_to_you.html and how it encourages us to think about the legacy we ourselves will lead behind.

“Stars don’t work for idiots” a stark sentence yet full of meaning got me thinking about leadership and how many “idiots” there are, unfortunately, currently directing companies.

How many people are in positions of leadership simply because they excelled at a technical skill or because they happened to know someone who provided the famous “enchufe”? It really alarms me when I speak to reputable business people here in Spain who time after time lament that the overall standard of top directors leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to leadership and people management skills.