Leadership and motivation are intertwining subjects. A combination of the two always yields to positive results in an organization.       Leadership is the process where an individual has social influence that enables him or her solicits support and assists others in pursuit of a common task. Motivation is either the external or the internal forces within an individual that arouses persistence and enthusiasm in pursuit of a particular action. In leadership, the management is partly responsible for motivating their employees in order to actualize profits. Motivation area of study helps leaders to understand what actions intrigue people to pursue certain actions, external factors that influence their decisions and the reasons why they stick to certain plans over a longer time. However, the needing factor is the most important aspect in leadership. It creates the thirst to acquire and fulfill certain objectives or material desires such as recognition, money and friendship. This approach yielded motivational theories, commonly termed as needs-based theories. Analyses of the needs-based theories display the relationship between leadership and motivation.

Hierarchy of Needs Theory

The needs based-theories accentuate the needs that drive that fluxes an individual’s desire to acquire something to will. According to theory, the need to acquire something is directly proportional to the driving force they have towards a particular action. Leaders have to understand these needs because it helps them in designing reward strategies, which will motivate the employees to achieve a certain goals that are both beneficial to the workforce and management.  According to Maslow’s, hierarchy of needs theory, individuals multiple factors motivate individuals to pursue certain actions and these needs subsist in a hierarchical order. Acquiring lower needs enables one to acquire the others (Northouse 110). The lowest on the hierarchy is the physiological needs. In an organizational setting, this refers to the presence necessities including enough air and salary that is enough for survival purposes. The presence of this need motivates the workforce to do work. After acquiring psychological needs, employees need an assurance regarding their safety. Safety encompasses factors such as the job security and an assured salary as well as other benefiting factors.

Moreover, every employee desires to acquire a sense of belonging within an organization. This is essential in developing good working relations among workers and the leaders. Acquiring a sense of belonging facilitates the forth factor, esteem.  In an organization, the employee’s ability to acquire recognition from their leaders boosts their self-esteem. Finally, self-actualization is the highest in Maslow’s hierarchy of motivation (Northouse 101). It is this stage that workers are able to advance in their respective works. Within an organization, leaders have to understand the needs of their employees. For instance, leaders should employ strategies that meet and make their workers feel comfortable within the working environment. This involves creating an environment that assures their security, enhances their esteem, sense of belonging and facilitates their self-actualization. Shaping the strategies to fit the employer needs facilitates both parties to achieve similar goals, which benefits them both.

Two-Factor Theory

Another scholar, Herzberg Frederick came up with the two-factor theory. According to his theory, an individual’s motivation comes from analyzing both the areas of satisfaction and dissatisfaction (Adair 45). Factor such as personal growth, achievement as well as recognition at the work place always motivate an individual to progress with their endeavors. This means that it falls in the area of satisfaction. However, less hygienic factors such as poor interpersonal relationships, lower wages and poor company policies discourages the employees, hence, termed as areas of dissatisfaction. Employees’ motivation depends on analysis of these two factors. This theory presents an essential view for leaders regarding their respective aims. It helps them have a better understanding regarding the motivating factors in management and therefore makes leadership tasks easier while achieving desired goals at the same time.

Acquired Needs Theory

Also known as the three needs theory, McClelland’s theory bases on the fact that some of individual’s needs develop during their lifetime endures. In this theory, emphasis is on three needs, the need for affiliation, power and achievement. The need for affiliation involves desires for close personal relationships and reduced conflicts (Adair and Thomas 54). The need for power encompasses desires for responsibility, authority and control over others in an organization. Finally, the need for achievement involves desires to attain success, complete tasks and outdo others. These needs evolve over a given period while working within an organization. These needs have an implication on the organizational success since the company depends on its employees. Analysis of these needs help leaders understand what their workers require in order to actualize its goals.

Leaders in every organization have to understand the needs of their employees. There are different approaches posed by different scholars on how to understand the needs of workers. Based on these three theories, one is able to analyze the overall needs of the workers. Additionally, these needs determine the motivation of an individual. Since the motivation levels of the workforce determine the potential benefit of an organization, leaders have to analyze and understand their needs. Therefore, leadership and motivation correlate and understanding one benefit both parties to achieve desired goals.


Works Cited:

Adair, John E, and Neil Thomas. The John Adair Handbook of Management and Leadership. London: Thorogood, 2004. Print.

Adair, John E. Leadership and Motivation: The Fifty-Fifty Rule and the Eight Key Principles of Motivating Others. London: Kogan Page, 2006. Print.

Northouse, Peter G. Leadership: Theory and Practice. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications, 2007. Print.

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