Davos leaders on the books that inspired them

From Erna Solberg to Sundar Pichai, leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos shared insights on impactful books that influenced them. Covering topics as varied as economic paradigms to mental health and identity. Here is a selected list: Shikasta by Doris Lessing, The Gene by Siddhartha Mukherjee, Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch, Thich Nhat Hanh’s Love Letter to the Earth, Robert Reich’s Saving Capitalism, and Being Mortal by Atul Gawande. 

Dealing with your passive aggressive boss

Mental Health America’s study of over 17,000 employees across 19 industries, reported that nearly 64% feel that their boss doesn't provide them with the required support, and 44% left their jobs after being mistreated or ignored by supervisors. A leader’s overly critical, credit-taking, passive-aggressive, and manipulative behavior can lead to extreme job dissatisfaction which can have serious side-effects including depression and psychological distress. This study identified three key strategies to deal with a terrible boss.

A conflict can actually help your idea

Conflicts in the workplace can be stimulating. Addressing differences in opinion and thinking via effective communication is key to survival in the corporate domain. If your employees show no emotions, no objections, and share no opinions, it means they don’t care much. Healthy conflict makes people pay more attention, which can make it easier to present ideas and demonstrate their value. Learn why encouraging healthy conflicts can be great for your team and your business.

How to handle stress?

Here’s a question that everyone contemplates at some point – how do you deal with stress? Industry experts suggest that you try and come up with a story. They believe that a story that illustrates how you managed to come out of stressful situations is more powerful than just a clinical description of the steps taken to address the stress.

Women in management from 1980 – 2010: What the data represents

Women’s representation in management is at its peak. Women have held the majority share of the 4.5 million new jobs created in management since the 1980s. While some occupations remain male-dominated, women are slowly but surely, catching up. Female managers are mostly concentrated in occupations that require people-centred skills, while men deal with production-centred skills. The data suggest that female managers have obtained powerful management posts and are active agents of innovation and change.

Driving a cultural change

Workplace diversity is critical to shaping a successful organization. Progressive CEOs need to encourage managers to look beyond traditional diversity categories and recognize and adapt to divergent work styles, individual qualities, and different age groups. By being more granular in their sensitivity to diverse needs and groups, leaders will be able to not only empower their company’s culture but also get better performances from of their teams.

Automation will require workers to be adaptable and agile

McKinsey reports that 50 % of current work activities will be automated in the near future, and by 2030, 9% of all future jobs are yet to be invented. However, AI is expected to create “more human jobs”, as older jobs fade. AI enabled work will eliminate routine tasks, and change the nature of competition, which will no longer be about experience or training; rather it will favor workers who are adaptable and agile to learning.

Younger workers will require human interaction more than technology

With ubiquitous technological connectivity, it is easy to neglect the value of interpersonal interactions. Organizations are beginning to recognize that humans crave interactions. The cliché is true - millennials prefer texting, but recent surveys find that when it comes to important matter, they prefer face-to-face interactions. For the workers of tomorrow, technological gadgets are no longer going to be an attraction, and the best way to connect and build networks will be the use of soft skills in accomplishing team goals and furthering career objectives.

Overcoming the "inner critic"

Executive coach Susan Peppercorn’s new book Ditch Your Inner Critic at Work: Evidence-Based Strategies to Thrive in Your Career does an exceptional job of addressing the issue of the inner-critic. By exploring strategies that turn flawed perfectionism to excellence, doubt to confidence, and fear to accountability, she is able to present cases that are a useful guidepost for younger workers still unsure about themselves in their careers.

Learn to take risks, intelligently

Careers inevitably come to crossroads - critical moments when decisions are subjective and there are no clearly marked right answers. In such moments, the ability to take risks and make leaps of judgment can be the difference between spectacular success and immeasurable regret. Professionals need to learn how to take risks in their career path by changing how they assess and prepare for such situations, and taking action at the decisive moments.