miércoles, 1 de agosto de 2007

Human needs and work-life balance

Due to my responsabilities I am researching work-life-balance, motivation, keys to success and self motivation for quite a while now. In the following I am sharing some important concepts.
As economist I learned early about Maslow's hierachy of needs. His work dates back to 1943 but is today as relevant as it always was and will be.
First I have to fulfill all my physiological needs: breath, drink, eat, sex, etc.
Than I have safety needs: I want to feel save in all aspects of my life
I am well and safe so I want to be loved, love, belong to something and communicate with people
This achieved. Yes! I want to be somebody, be confident and respected
And last but not least I want to learn, overcome myself, look great and leave a legacy

These needs are basis for many economic valuations. But looking at it again, I have to provide all these things in this order to myself, to be able to achieve my goals. If I want motivated employees I have to provide the first levels for sure and than give them the liberty to work on the rest them-selves.

Today my colleagues talked about athletes and managers. At the end of the day any executive is nothing else than a corporate athlete. The only difference is that athletes are training 90% of their time and spend perhaps 10% in competition. The average guatemalan executive spends 99% of his time competing and less than 1% training... In most first world countries you are lucky to work for a company where you can train 3% of your time... That's benchmarks.

How much time do you spend to be the winner in your daily competition?
Let us know about it!

Coming back to the needs, how do you expect to be successful in your 99% time competition when you are not even fulfilling your basic needs. Let's be honest! Do you have breakfast every morning? How many times do you skip lunch or had "sandwich-on-the-desk" during the last month? When did you have real good sex the last time? (I don't need to know that answer...)
When did you tell somebody that you appreciate and respect his work? That you love somebody? What was the last thing you did for your body?
I just answered these questions to myself and right away I could explain why I am tired at work, drink 10 cups of coffee, are not motivated or hate what I am doing. Do I really hate it or is it just that I am not looking after my own needs enough?

For myself, from today on>
1. I pick and eat when I need to and this means regularly and good quality food (up to my decision)
2. Doing sports on a daily basis with some quality relaxation time
3. Make sure that I question the Maslow needs each and every day and try to mark those of as often as I can (Every BA or Master has studied Maslow and can easily remember those...hope so...and just applies it not for sales or marketing but for his own life)

I leave with 3 goals for the moment. The focus of an organisation just works like mine, I cannot handle more than 3 widely important objectives at the same time. Therefore, let's focus on these ones and achieve those first.

Thanks for reading and if there is any positive comment on this article, I will follow up with:
How to understand myself and get things done
Tipps for matching sport with your responsabilities
What to eat and when (for corporate athletes)

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