December 012

Everyone is flying through the San Joaquin Valley for Christmas! Photo taken Christmas morning from Bakersfield backyard.

If I had known I was such a textbook example of what is going on with corporations these days, I might not have left the company! From the book Maslow on Management, an interview with the former director of Apple Corporation University, Sherri Rose:

Maslow told us years ago that there would come a time when people pursured higher level needs rather than money. You spent ten years at Apple Computer in the midst of Silicon Valley where companies struggle to keep talented people. When you talk about helping people grow in the direction of their interests, isn’t this similar to what Maslow was speaking of?

Yes. However, it is difficult to generalize because you have people just entering the workforce who have different needs from people who have been in the workforce for a while. You also have people who have finanical burdens of one kind or another during various stages of their lives where money is important. As one’s career moves up the corporate ladder, the sense of financial security takes a back seat to other needs. In this scenario, I think Maslow was right. In fact, he was so right it makes me think he was much more of a prophet or futurist than a psychologist!

Once people have a sense of security, once they are no longer hungry, all they want to do, no matter what job or level, is to learn and grow. Perhaps my judgment is clouded because I’ve spent most of my career in this Valley surrounded by people like this. However, when people come here to work, they take on very high levels of risk. For example, some of the highest mortgages in the United States are right here. The pace of change and work is frantic and a common denominator which I’ve found with employees in this Valley is their inherent need to be challenged and to grow. I refer to it as a culture of challenge junkies looking to change the world with a piece of technology or an idea. When the core financial step has been taken care of, the biggest challenge is to continually keep employees’ personal interests, their need for growth, aligned with the needs of the company.”