This is not about new management tricks or gimmicks or superficial techniques that can be used to manipulate human beings more efficiently. Rather it is a clear confrontation of one basic set of orthodox values by another newer system of values that claims to be both more efficient, and more true. It draws on some of the truly revolutionary consequences of the discovery that human nature has been sold short.

—Abraham Maslow


What can a set of journal entries that are nearly 37 years old teach us about managing today? We asked ourselves that question when Ann Kaplan, Abe’s daughter, approached us with the idea of republishing them. Our answer is that Maslow’s ideas about work, self-actualization, and the influence of business in developing “the good society” are some of the most profound thinking we have discovered in nearly 20 years of studying leaders.

We immersed ourselves in Maslow’s work: his published books, articles, and personal papers. Although we had always equated Maslow with his hierarchy of needs theory, we discovered in his work a collection of research and wisdom and insights that were decades ahead of its time. His pioneering work in the field of management, creativity, and innovation speaks to us today in a voice that makes current work and thinking appear almost obsolete. Maslow’s theories regarding self-actualization and work, customer loyalty, leadership, and the role of uncertainty as a source of creativity, paint a picture of ...

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