Anthony “Tony” Robbins identified six fundamental human needs that everyone has in common, and states that all behavior is simply an attempt to meet those six needs.
These six human needs are Certainty, Uncertainty/Variety, Significance, Connection/Love, Growth and Contribution. I have explained how accountants can leverage each of these factors in detail in my book “Accountaneur: The Entrepreneurial Accountant.”
As an accounting services provider, if you can identify the ways to meet these six needs of your clients (and your staff), if you can recurrently and consistently do things that lead to clients (and your staff) actually experiencing the satisfaction of these needs, you are more likely to improve your firm’s performance.
The question to ask is, “What should I do to ensure that my services/products fulfill these needs of my clients?”
Before you try to understand your clients’ six fundamental human needs, it is critically important to understand if you truly, firmly believe you are in the right business.
“What in your business actually gives you the most satisfaction – rather – absolute delight?”
And to know that, you want to really know what motivates you.
There are ways to scientifically identify what motivates you at work. For example, in "What Motivates Me," the New York Times bestselling authors of “The Carrot Principle” and “All In” introduce the breakthrough online Motivators Assessment. It can help you identify your particular blend of core motivators. It can help you to figure out the disconnect that may exist between your passions and your current work situation.
The understanding of “six fundamental human needs” and “your motivators” becomes a powerful force for you to chart your business future.
And, it can help you create powerful “job-sculpting” strategies to accomplish more and avoid blind spots.
The motivators research identified 23 unique fundamental drivers that all human beings share in common. These motivators cluster into five distinct identities. For each human being, some of these five identities will be his/her “strong” identities and other will be moderate ones.
No. 1 – The Achievers
People with this strong identity are driven by Challenge, Excelling, Ownership, Pressure and Problem Solving.
No. 2 – The Builders
People with this strong identity are driven by Developing Others, Friendship, Purpose, Service, Social Responsibility and Teamwork.
No. 3 – The Caregivers
People with this strong identity are driven by Empathy, Family, and Fun.
No. 4 – The Reward-Driven
People with this strong identity are driven by Money, Prestige and Recognition.
No. 5 – The Thinkers
People with this strong identity are driven by Autonomy, Creativity, Excitement, Impact, Learning and Variety.
How it Combines to Create Context for Your Practice Development?
Taken together, the six fundamental human needs (your own, those of your clients, of your staff and of people in your community) and your own stronger identities, you will be able to figure out what you can do well yourself and what you should get done by others on your team or from someone else.
For example: Two of your clients’ fundamental human needs – Significance and Connection/Love – can be best fulfilled by you if one of your stronger identities is to be “The Caregiver.”
If one of your stronger identities is to be “The Builder”, you might be great in working with your team members to develop them into excellent resources for your firm.
Why it is Important?
No one is perfect. No one can manage everything equally well. Even if you feel “I can manage everything myself”, it is important to notice the stress, unhappiness, struggle, etc., when you try to do things that do not motivate your core passions.
The understanding of “six fundamental human needs” and “your motivators” becomes a powerful force for you to chart your business future. When you spend more time in leveraging your strengths than in doing average work that does not motivate you, it will help you produce better returns on your time.
While creating project teams or putting people in specific departments, it may be a great guide to bring together people with complementing identities. For example, two people with strong “Achiever” identities on a same project may lead to potential conflict in the team.
What if You're a Solo Practitioner?
As a solo practitioner, you would have already identified that some things are your strengths and other your weaknesses. You can and should develop strategic partnerships with people whose strong identities are actually your weak identities. You’ll make a terrific team.
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Hitendra R. Patil is COO of Pransform Inc., and author of "Accountaneur: The Entrepreneurial Accountant."