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Maslow on Management by Abraham H. Maslow

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Additional Notes on Self-Actualization, Work, Duty, Mission

To do some idiotic job very well is certainly not real achievement. I like my phrasing, “what is not worth doing is not worth doing well."

After talking recently with various students and professors who “wanted to work with me” on self-actualization, I discovered that I was very suspicious of most of them and rather discouraging, tending to expect little from them. This is a consequence of long experience with multitudes of starry-eyed dilettantes—big talkers, great planners, tremendously enthusiastic—who come to nothing as soon as a little hard work is required. So I have been speaking to these individuals in a pretty blunt and tough and nonencouraging way. I have spoken about dilettantes, for instance (as contrasted with workers and doers), and indicated my contempt for them. I have mentioned how often I have tested people with these fancy aspirations simply by giving them a rather dull but important and worthwhile job to do. Nineteen out of twenty fail the test. I have learned not only to give this test but to brush them aside completely if they don’t pass it. I have preached to them about joining the “League of Responsible Citizens” and down with the free-loaders, hangers-on, mere talkers, the permanent passive students who study forever with no results. The test for any person is-that is you want to find out whether ...

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