The Company We Keep

On this episode of THE COMPANY WE KEEP podcast, host Jason Pearl examines how Abraham Maslow's "Hierarchy of Needs" fits into today's leadership mindset, and how it relates to his core guiding principle: Head, Heart, House.

Show Notes

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Show Highlights: 
(00:00) Introduction
(01:47) Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
(07:33) Head, Heart, House
(08:00) Head
(10:25) Heart
(12:35) House
(15:01) How It All Fits Together
(17:32) Recap

Here’s a little advice: When you talk about growth and then you talk about trying to pair this pyramid of basic human needs with the people that you surround yourself with, it starts to become very clear of how we need to understand how these basic needs play out in our own personal lives, as well as how it plays out with the people that are in our circle or those that we are influencing.

Mentioned On The Episode: 
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

What is The Company We Keep?

Jason Pearl is a second generation entrepreneur, bootstrapping business owner, loving husband, devoted dad, and raging Bills fan. He tosses aside the idea that you can't have it all and devotes his life to proving it wrong. Grab a cup of coffee and join Jason every Tuesday morning as he dives into topics to help everyday business owners and entrepreneurs think differently about growth and success, and how to achieve a better balance in both business and in life. He’s also shining a giant spotlight on some very smart people in his inner-circle that have helped ignite his success along the way.

All right. All right.

Welcome to another episode of The Company We Keep podcast.

I am your host, Jason Pearl, excited for you to join us on another podcast.

So, what is The Company We Keep podcast? This is a podcast for everyday business owners, entrepreneurs, and high performers who want to think differently about growth, want to think differently about success, and how to achieve better balance in both business and in life.

And today in this episode, we're going to be talking about a psychological framework.

That I think may help you have a better understanding of the framework that I use, which I call Head, Heart, and House.

We discussed Head, Heart, and House in episode two, and it's been sprinkled in some of the other episodes but want to introduce you to a framework that I think has a decent amount of overlay to what I talk about and to what I teach.

As I get deeper into this podcast, I'm spending more time, obviously researching things and spending time reading articles and trying to find really good data and interesting topics that I think you'll find interesting and will help you in your journey, whether it's becoming a better leader in your own personal life or whether it's business or both.

Obviously, we're here to get more out of each other, more out of ourselves, and then growth out of the people that we surround ourselves with and that are in our circle.

I am not expert in all of these areas, this framework that I'm going to introduce is fairly new to me, but I found it really interesting and just thought that it would be a great episode to record.

And we could have some potential discussions afterwards and some takeaways to help us as we all become better leaders, and as we all try to get growth out of ourselves and those that we surround ourselves with.


So, this is a framework that is about 80 years old.

Abraham Maslow was a first-generation Jewish immigrant from Russia.

He was born in 1908, as I said in Brooklyn, New York.

So, at that time he lived in New York City.

There was a significant amount of people that were moving into and immigrating to the United States.

New York City was one of the main places that people landed, and Abraham Maslow's family settled in Brooklyn, New York.

During his childhood, he was faced with a significant amount of racism and had struggles growing up because his family was extremely poor.

He was at a young age, very interested in learning.

Spend a significant amount of time in libraries and things of that nature and went on to get a number of different degrees from a number of different institutions.

Brooklyn College, Columbia, University of Wisconsin, just to name a few.

But in 1943, the framework we're going to talk about is what he authored.

And it was called "The Hierarchy of Basic Needs," and we're going to dive into it and I'm going to explain essentially what Maslow was explaining, but what he did is he built a framework on what he thought were the five basic needs of a human being.

A lot of you would ask what the heck does this have to do with leadership? Or what does this have to do with growth?

And it's an interesting question.

The deeper I get into leadership and leading people and trying to lead my family and just trying to be a better human being as a whole.

What you find is that a lot of things come down to the basic needs, right?

We talked about my framework, Head, Heart, and House.

And then what we're going to do is we're going to take these five basic human needs, and we're going to mold them into my framework as well. That's why I thought this would be a fun conversation have.

To dive into what Maslow said are the five basic human needs they are as follows: physiological needs, safety needs, love and belonging, esteem, and then self-actualization.

And the way he built this, as he built it in a pyramid and the pyramid was built with physiological needs on the bottom, safety needs above that, love and belonging above that, esteem, and then self-actualization at the top of the pyramid.

And he did this based on explaining what he thought was most important to people and how they grow.

When he built this framework, the physiological needs are what he considered the really core needs to be alive.

So, the most basic human needs, food, water, shelter, air, clothing, and physical health.

And then as he went on to the second portion of this pyramid safety needs.

So, safety needs were really focused on security, so security of body, and then it's security around employment, and resources, family, health and property -security, around all of those areas.

The third was love and belonging.

And love and belonging are where, friendship, and intimacy, and a sense of connection with others comes in.

And then the fourth was esteem.

So, esteem, he talks a lot about really, we, we call it self-esteem, but it was feeling good about yourself.

Self-esteem, confidence, achievement, being respected by others being welcomed by others. And things of that nature.

And then finally was self-actualization. And self-actualization is, as I said, the tip of the pyramid, and this is where he talks about the human need and this strive to want to learn things, and know things, and essentially be the best version of yourself as possible.

This one gets deep because this talks about morality, and faith, and spirituality, creativity, spontaneity, problem-solving, lack of prejudice, and then acceptance of facts.

Maslow was a student of psychology and spent a lot of time studying people like Sigmund Freud and others.

And what's really interesting about this is how he builds this pyramid of these basic needs and how he actually decided to build those.

Now, this does not mean that I fully subscribe to, or believe that these are all in the right order, but I think it's a really interesting conversation to have when it comes to how he laid out these needs.

As you guys know, we talk about, for me the spirituality or the faith side of things is a super important part.

In a framework that I would build that would fall into every category because that is the most important thing, through a point of view of mine.

And that's how I live my life.

But when you talk about growth and then you talk about trying to pair this this pyramid of basic human needs with the people that you surround yourself with, it starts to become very clear of how we need to understand how these basic needs play out in our own personal lives, as well as how it plays out with the people that are in our circle or those that we are influencing.

All of us as individuals are uniquely created by God.

So that means that there are variances in all aspects of our life, right?

Who we are, what our makeup is, and things of that nature.

Obviously, there are very common, basic needs that we all have.

But this is something that, because we are all individually made, this is a framework that needs to be applied individually, either to yourselves, as well as to the people that you surround yourself with or that you're trying to use this framework with.


My growth framework both personally and professionally is Head, Heart, and House, and what's going on in your Head, what's going on in your heart, and what's going on in your Household.

So, I thought it'd be interesting to look at this as an overlay standpoint.

So, when you look at the framework that I built, and you combine it with Maslow I think his five basic human needs and the hierarchy of needs is able to be slotted in fairly easily to this framework that we have.

And when you look at it, when you start with Head, you can see where the basic needs and the hierarchy that he discusses falls into that.

So, for example, esteem, when you think about Head and you think about esteem, how you feel about yourself.

What are the stories and what are the things you tell yourself?

Either non-verbally or verbally. Are you happy with yourself?

Do you feel good about yourself?

Do you feel confident? As he talks about before.

Do you have respect for yourself? Do you have respect for others?

What are you looking to achieve?

These are all the things that fall into the esteem category.

These are all the things that, that float around in our Head.

We often talk about how we're worried about what people think about us, or are we going to be accepted, and things of that nature – and that all falls into this esteem category, which in my framework falls into the Head side of things.

But also, in, in Maslow's framework the security side of things and the safety needs side of things also falls into the Head framework.

In the reason that is, is because if you think about it, mentally, you have to feel safe to be able to really operate at a high level.

You have to, to really grow and extend yourself.

You either have to have extreme confidence, which falls into the esteem side of things, to just be able to know that you're confidently doing things and moving forward in one way, shape or form.

But also, you need to feel like you're in a safe environment.

And if you're not in a safe environment and you're scared, or you're nervous, or there's things that are affecting what is a basic feeling of a need, right?

That becomes problematic.

If you think about it this way if we're actually going to compare this to a framework of maybe in the professional world, if you're trying to.

Get growth out of someone, and you're trying to get them to achieve more than maybe they're currently achieving, if they feel, or if they're afraid to do things because they are afraid of the consequences that's going to happen if they fail at what they're trying to do or what they're being paid to do, that creates issues.

That means that they're held back, and I'm sure we can all think of that about someone that maybe was a colleague of ours or that we worked with, or that we manage where there's something that seems to be holding them back.

And we use the word "unlock" a lot. Like how can I unlock this person and unlock them for just be who they should be or be who they are true to their self so they can actually achieve the things that they want to achieve.

A lot of times that comes into the security aspect of things.


Then the second part of my framework being the Heart aspect of things it's very obvious that the love and belonging side of Maslow's framework fits right into the Heart side of things.

And because of that, because of what's going on in your Heart.

It's the family, it's the love.

It's the intimacy that you feel with yourself and with others that, that comes into play here in the Heart. Obviously, there is a spirituality that comes into that as well.

What is actually in your heart?

Is your heart open?

Is your heart open to new things?

Do you feel loved? You feel like you belong?

Do you feel like you belong to something or someone?

And those are all things that affect the way we act.

And on the positive side, if you have very positive feelings about love and belonging, you're likely, as we say, unlocked in that way to be able to perform or to be able to achieve.

The second part of the Heart framework that Maslow's needs comes into is this self-actualization.

So again, this is the top of the pyramid.

This is the very deep side of things, but for me, this is where obviously faith comes in, but in this framework, it also talks about morality.

And then also lack of prejudice, and acceptance of yourself, and acceptance of others and acceptance of facts, the creativity side of things.

Because when you look at things and you're trying to get growth out of people, there needs to be that lack of barrier that holds people back.

I know when I think about previously in my career, and even in my personal life, there were a lot of things that held me back and one of those things was self-actualization.

Self-actualization that I actually understood everything and that there really weren't barriers in front of me that they were just barriers that I was building myself in my mind and in my heart that I wasn't able to get over.

And in the self-actualization side of things is as Maslow kind of states your highest level of being in your highest level of purpose.

So, in the Heart, I know what my purpose is.

And I know how I define success in both of those start for me with faith and family.

So, when you know what your purpose is, that it is able to fill your Heart and you're able to be unlocked.

So, you're able to grow.

And that's how this self-actualization falls into the Heart category in my framework.

Finally, in the House side of things there's one main one that I think falls under the Household side, but I think there's another kind of neighboring need that Maslow talks about that falls into that the House or Household side of things as well.

So, the physiological needs that he talks about.

So, the basic human needs, food, air, water, shelter, things of that nature.

Those definitely fall into the Household side of things.

Because if you are being deprived of some of the basic human needs or some basic human needs are in question with the people that you are trying to lead or with yourself that changes everything.

So, in episode two, I talked about how the Household framework of mine is where the most erratic behavior comes in.

Because if there are basic needs that are not being met, or there are things that are upsetting your life at home, that causes significant stress.

So, if there are massive issues that are going on in the Household, those are things that will affect getting growth out of people, he even talks about in this framework, one of the things he even mentions is like reproduction.

And think about people that you lead that are, potentially, young parents, they want to start a family and they want to do things like that.

And maybe they're struggling to do things like that.

That is a very significant need that's going to affect everything else that they do.

If that's something that they're focused on and is obviously very important to them, it's going to change the way everything else works in their lifestyle, because some of their basic needs, or some of the basic things that they're looking to achieve is being either deprived or is being challenged.

And that's when you're looking at trying to lead people in the right way, you have to understand what's going on in their Household.

And if there are some physiological needs that are being deprived, that's going to affect the way that they perform or, affect the way that they act and all of the above.

We also talk about the security side of things, and the safety side of things that Maslow talks about.

And I think this falls into Household as well.

There could be dysfunctional relationships outside of the workplace or that you're not aware of it.

So, if there are dysfunctional relationships or maybe people are struggling with their spouse or going through a divorce, or something like that, when there is stress involved, that's affecting your overall security and some of your basic needs, it's going to affect the way that people react.

It's gonna affect the way that people act and perform, because when you have those types of concerns going on in your life, being focused on achievement, at your job or at something else, it's going to be really difficult.


So, when you actually overlay Maslow's The Hierarchy of the Five Basic Human Needs with Head, Heart, and House you can start to understand and see how this can all fit together.

And again, I am not a pro at this framework that Maslow created.

And I'm certainly not even a pro at the Head, Heart, and House framework that I created myself because I think it's ever evolving, but what I really wanted to do by bringing this information to you and really introducing you to this framework, and then comparing it with mine is help you potentially think differently about the way you lead or think differently about how you maybe assess the people in your life or in your circle.

Because if there are basic human needs, we laid out earlier that are being deprived or being complicated or being threatened, it's going to change the way that people react and change the way that people act.

And what you need to do as a leader to get growth out of those people is you need to understand, right?

We talked last week about, the seven traits of highly effective people.

And you can combine all of this together and think about, how this kind of falls into place. But I just thought this would be a really interesting opportunity and kind of a reflection point for everyone to, to think about and to digest and to see if it potentially even changes the way you look at yourself, or you look at others and how you want to get growth out of yourself and others.

So, if you're leading people on a daily basis, I'd love to hear from you and hear what you think about this framework.

Again, the framework from Maslow is super new to me but I've spent some time diving into what he talked about and in how it would potentially play out in modern day with leading people outside of work and inside of work.

Remember in my opinion, if you're a leader, you first have to understand all of these things about yourself.

And you need to identify where there are maybe issues or threats of these basic needs in your life.

And then you need to be able to flip that over and think about how the other people that you are either in charge of, or you're leading, or you're influencing, how these frameworks affect them as well.

Because again, we're people helping other people.

We're not robots.

We all have needs.

We all have goals.

We're all uniquely made.

There's no one size fits all way to get the most out of people.

There's not an easy button when it comes to getting growth out of others or yourself.

You have to dig deep, you have to understand what you're all about, what's going on in your Head, what's going on in your Heart, what's going on in your Household.


I know we got a little deep today on some psychology stuff.

Again, I'm not a psychologist whatsoever.

But just found this really interesting and thought that a podcast on this may be able to help you guys learn something about yourselves and others, and you may be able to take something away from it.

So, we are going to link to all this information in the show notes that can be found on my website,

So, if there's something that you missed, feel free to, relisten to the episode, or take a peek at the website and the show notes, everything's going to be linked in there.

That being said absolutely love and spending time with you all.

I know we got a bit deep today, but I think it's really important information.

If we want true growth in ourselves and in others, we need to get deep, right.

Surface conversations and surface relationships are only going to take us so far.

So that's why.

Here at The Company We Keep podcast there may be sometimes we get deep.

There may be some questions that are maybe a little uncomfortable that we need to think about ourselves, but I think it's just going to help us all be better leaders.

It's going to help us grow. Ultimately, it's gonna help us all be better human beings.

If you want to connect with me and you want to engage more in regards to this podcast or some others that we've had you can again, visit my website, for a lot of different ways to connect with me.

I'd love to have you connect with me on social media as well.

I have a pretty active Instagram page. You can find me at @jasonmpearl on Instagram and on LinkedIn as well would love to have you, follow me and, keep the conversations going there.

I know a number of you have already done that. And if you want to connect, I'm open to those conversations.

So really appreciate the time you've been spending with me.

I'm honored that you had some time to listen to this podcast. And if you wouldn't mind, I'd love you hit the subscribe button on however you get your podcasts.

And if you feel inclined drop a review and I'd really appreciate that.

So again, this is The Company We Keep podcast. I am your host Jason Pearl signing off until next time.

Have a great day.