From Human Nature to Human Resources

From Harvard Magazine:

Darwin After years of study, Lawrence published Driven to Lead: Good, Bad, and Misguided Leadership (2010), which lays out what he calls Renewed Darwinian (RD) Theory of Human Behavior. In short, RD theory posits that all human beings are motivated by four independent, innate drives: the drive to acquire (the instinctive push to obtain things necessary to ensure continuity and reproductive success); the drive to defend (the desire to ensure that what is acquired is not lost); the drive to comprehend (humans’ need to understand the world around them); and the drive to bond (the push to connect and relate to our fellow human beings). Our behavior, according to Lawrence, is a result of our brain’s attempt to maintain a balance among these four drives.

It’s a grand unifying theory that Lawrence says manifests itself in just about every aspect of human behavior, and even explicates the drafting of the Constitution. The Founding Fathers’ motivations weren’t born with the Revolutionary War, according to Lawrence, but were instead formed tens of thousands or even millions of years earlier. His “four-drive” translation of the formative conversations that led to the drafting of that foundational document is straightforward: “We need to use our creative capacities (drive to comprehend) to design a government that can strike a reasonable balance between private individual property rights (drive to acquire) and the common good (drive to bond), while guarding us against internal and external enemies (drive to defend).” At the opposite end of the ethical spectrum is the current economic crisis, which he says stems from a few bad apples with an outsized drive to acquire and no moral conscience, due to a lack of the drive to bond.

More here.