Unique Human Needs: Uncertainty

I am energized to spend this week reflecting on Tony Robbins’ list of unique human needs. Here’s the list in its entirety followed by a brief reflection on the quality of “Uncertainty.” Unique Human Needs 1. Certainty: assurance you can avoid pain and gain pleasure 2. Uncertainty/Variety: the need for the unknown, change, new stimuliContinue reading “Unique Human Needs: Uncertainty”

Unique Human Needs: Certainty

Not long after I began my career in organizational learning and development, I came across a list of “unique human needs” compiled by Tony Robbins. I remember thinking, “Well, there it is, the roadmap for my work with adult professionals.” I felt a strong sense of assurance at 29-years-old that my unfolding career would alwaysContinue reading “Unique Human Needs: Certainty”

The Human Paradox

The need for certainty. When we meet this need too well, life becomes predictable, routine and stagnant. We end up sort of dying in place. The need for variety. When we meet this need too well, life becomes chaotic, an endless chase for the next, the more interesting, the more stimulating. We end up sortContinue reading “The Human Paradox”

The Certainty / Sincerity Divide

Many people still subscribe to a mythology of leadership that speaks of singularity, certainty and strength. This is not a relevant model for how change actually happens. In fact, it’s just bogus.  If and when you are a leader of organizational change, your most valuable currency will be your sincerity. If we need to get outContinue reading “The Certainty / Sincerity Divide”


I found myself feeling particularly certain about something today. I didn’t just feel certain about it, I felt convicted. And once ‘conviction’ was in my mind I couldn’t stop thinking about being found guilty and sent away to prison. I realized that my convictions sometimes lead to self-incarceration. When I cross over from certainty to convictionContinue reading “Convicted”