Harnessing the Four Drives

Human beings are very deeply motivated by four primary drives.  The drive to acquire, which is insatiable and therefore people always want more.  But equally, the drive to bond, people like to form relationships with each other.

Human beings also have a deep desire to create meaning and to understand the world around them.  This is what leads both to things like science and religion, which are ways of organizing and thinking about the world.  And finally, human beings have a deep motivation to defend.  They defend anything that they value.

So, one of the organizations that I think does a great job of balancing all four of these drives, is Harvard Business School.   This is an organization in which you can do remarkably well if you’re very, very successful.  We have faculty members who are entrepreneurial in the best sense of the word and there is no limit to what they can accomplish in terms of their drive to achieve at Harvard Business School.  

At the same time, we have always been a remarkably collegial place.  This is a culture that makes you feel like you’re a part of a community, where you can truly belong.  We have many institutions that support that, all the way from teaching groups that early on create a culture in which faculty members learn that  they can share with each other the ways in which they teach, the ideas of how to teach best are not their own and that they share with each other they will in fact become better teachers themselves.  So we create a great culture in which people learn how to bond with the organization and to team with each other.  

We’re certainly a place that has always has a distinctive mission and a purpose.  We have a mission statement about educating leaders who make a difference in the world.  And we are an organization that has always been very thoughtful about allowing people to feel that if they ever feel aggrieved, that they will be heard, that they will be listened to, that there’s enough psychological safety that people can in fact express any grievance that they have so that their drive to defend is well taken care of as well. 

 

Human beings are very deeply motivated by four primary drives: to acquire, to bond, to create meaning and defend. One of the organizations that does a great job of balancing all four of these drives is Harvard Business School.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

How KGB founder Iron Felix justified terror and mass executions

The legacy of Felix Dzerzhinsky, who led Soviet secret police in the "Red Terror," still confounds Russia.

Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Felix Dzerzhinsky led the Cheka, Soviet Union's first secret police.
  • The Cheka was infamous for executing thousands during the Red Terror of 1918.
  • The Cheka later became the KGB, the spy organization where Russia's President Putin served for years.
Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

Brain study finds circuits that may help you keep your cool

Research by neuroscientists at MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory helps explain how the brain regulates arousal.

Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP/ Getty Images
Mind & Brain

MIT News

The big day has come: You are taking your road test to get your driver's license. As you start your mom's car with a stern-faced evaluator in the passenger seat, you know you'll need to be alert but not so excited that you make mistakes. Even if you are simultaneously sleep-deprived and full of nervous energy, you need your brain to moderate your level of arousal so that you do your best.

Keep reading Show less