5 Core Human Drives

Another excerpt from my favorite business book ever, The Personal MBA:

There are five Core Human Drives that influence human behavior:

  • Drive to Acquire: the desire to collect material and immaterial things, like a car, or influence.
  • Drive to Bond: the desire to be loved and feel valued in our relationships with others.
  • Drive to Learn: the desire to satisfy our curiosity.
  • Drive to Defend: the desire to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our property.
  • Drive to Feel: the desire for emotional experiences like pleasure or excitement.

Whenever a group of people have an unmet drive, a market will form to satisfy it.

The more drives your offer connects with, and the better you communicate those connections, the more attractive your offer will become.


What makes a successful business can be fairly simple. Whatever your product or service you need to be fulfill an unmet need. And humans have just a few “needs” that can be met.  I see many businesses fail because they are internally focused. The product company that is so focused on making the product perfect in their view that they don’t realize how the end user actually uses the product. Or the service company that tries to build a company that allows them to make delivering their service easier and more profitable (for them) instead of starting with what clients/customers want and need and building towards that.

This is also true when looking at the operations instead of just the product or service. The success of your company lies in the success of your people. And your employees, just like customers, are motivated by these things as well. If you find a way to tap into it, you’ll see amazing things happen!