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Oct 05, 2022

As leaders, we are often success-driven and goal-focused. How we measure that success varies, but there is almost always a number involved.  That number may come from assessment data, family outcomes, financial records, retention stats, or maybe even a performance indicator or two. No matter how you look at it, our functioning is based on reaching levels.

The thing about levels is that in order to sustain the new level, the previous level has to be secure. 

Human psychologist Abraham Maslow identified how important it is to make sure that basic (deficit) needs are met before people can reach their fullest potential. If we want the best from team members we will need to include a measure of focus on their comprehensive human needs.  What does that look like in your organization? How would you rate on meeting the basic needs of your team?

The basic (deficit) needs are psychological, safety, love/belonging, and esteem.  Once satisfaction is reached these needs tend to dissipate, but it doesn’t mean that they can be ignored.  It’s not one and done.  Life stages, personal shifts and other things will cause us all to be unsteady at different phases and impact different needs. All of which ultimately either support or strain our ability to perform at optimal levels.

Self-actualization is the place where we want a person to perform and it is also the space where the more you get, the more you want.  The more you reach your goals, the more goals you want to reach until you have reached your personal maximum capacity.  It’s a dream space for a leader, but it must be nurtured well.

Mentoring, coaching, and development all have a way of meeting the needs of team members.  However, it is not a one-size fits all approach.  A strong leadership development program will address all of these areas and more.  Other than a performance plan, broad-based training schedule, or annual evaluation process, what do you have in place for your team members to reach their highest level so you can meet your next level as a team or organization?

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