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Source: (Mitchell, The 2,000 Percent Solution, Authors Choice Press of iUniverse, 1999, 2003, p 221)

Theoretical-Best-Practice Team Members --
When it comes to selecting team members, take a cue from Maslow and his concept of self-actualization; or what a person can be, he or she must be. (See his Motivation and Personality [Harper 1954]). Maslow included Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, Einstein, Eleanor Roosevelt, Beethoven, Thoreau, Walt Whitman, and Albert Schweitzer among the more famous self-actualized persons. He ranked these persons, along with self-actualized friends, for shared characteristics less common among ordinary-performing people.

Maslow characterized the highly self-actualized as showing, among other things,

  • more efficient perceptions of reality and more comfortable relations with it;
  • greater acceptance of self, others, and nature;
  • more spontaneity, simplicity, and naturalness;
  • stronger focus on problems outside themselves;
  • a quality of detachment and need for privacy;
  • greater autonomy and independence of culture and environment;
  • continued freshness of appreciation and richness of feeling;
  • more frequent mystical or transcendent experience;
  • a deep feeling of identification with mankind;
  • deeper and more profound interpersonal relations;
  • a more democratic character structure;
  • greater ability to discriminate between means and ends;
  • a philosophical, whimsical, nonhostile sense of humor; and, without exception, creativity, originality, or inventiveness.

Maslow also said these people were not paragons of virtue. They were strong folk and could be vain, irritating, cold, uncritical, and overgenerous. Nor were they free from guilt, anxiety, and conflict. They were more completely individual, and yet also more completely socialized than conventional folk. We know them in our world today among the famous and the friends we have cherished and whom we often seek to emulate. Wise and lucky indeed is the organization that can recruit self-actualized individuals to a change-making team.