Back to Human – Dan Schawbel

mickyates Leader, leadership Leave a Comment

This timely book from New York Times bestselling author Dan Schawbel, Back to Human,  comes at a moment when the role of digital innovations in our lives -both the good and the bad- is coming under increasing attention.

While technology has revolutionised the way that we work, instituting a culture in which collaboration is prized and employees have unprecedented freedom to work flexibly and remotely, the digitisation of office life has also pulled us away from the human interactions that we all crave.

Gone is the old fashioned water cooler and in its place we have outsourced the bulk of our engagement to emails and messaging services. Countless studies have shown that we are living with a generation of technologically adroit employees who spend a good percentage of their day lonely and unfulfilled.

But there is a backlash to this phenomenon. As Schwabel puts it, “the combination of work isolation and technology overuse and addiction has given rise to what I call the experience renaissance, in which people are deliberately seeking out ways of spending time and doing things with others.”

His hope with his latest book Back to Human, he explains, is to create a revolution in how we think about and balance advancements to maximise their professional benefits while allowing our employees, and ourselves, to enjoy a more fulfilling work environment.

Young leaders of today or anyone who aspires to become one will find Back to Human an important and instructive guide on being a manager in the age of isolation. At it’s core, “the essential qualities that you’ll need to be an effective leader, such as empathy, openness, and vision,” Schawbel writes, “can’t be outsourced to machines.”

The book has been endorsed by John Mackey (CEO of Whole Foods), Dan Pink, Adam Grant, Kim Scott, General Stanley McCrystal, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Ron Shaich (Chairman of Panera Bread) and others. Contents include:

  • Interviews with 100 leaders from companies including Facebook, Google, HBO, Starbucks, General Mills, GE, Nike, American Express, Four Seasons, Walmart, Best Buy, Unilever, TIME, LinkedIn, and The U.S. Air Force.
  • Findings from a new global research study in partnership with Virgin Pulse of over 2,000 managers and employees from 10 different countries.
  • A proprietary academic assessment called “The Work Connectivity Index” that measures that strength of team relationships.
  • Exercises, examples and activities that readers can work on individually, or as a team, which will help them improve their leadership skills.
  • Tips and strategies on how to increase personal productivity, be more collaborative and become more fulfilled at work. Advice on how to effectively hire, engage and lead without depending on technology.