I read the Arbinger Institute’s “Leadership and self-deception” this week because it is about a man starting a new job. Like me. The messages were deeper than I had anticipated. Through the fictional story of this man, the book highlights the challenges people face when they focus on their emotions and insecurities rather than on the results they are trying to achieve. It shows how self-awareness leads to happier times at work and at home. The tone is somehow patronizing but it is a quick read that I found helpful at a time I am confronted with a new culture, new politics and new expectations.
I enjoyed Noah Kulwin’s conversation with Jaron Lanier in “One has this feeling of having contributed to something that’s gone very wrong”. Lanier, a virtual reality guru, who works at Microsoft Research reflects on what went wrong with the internet and social media platforms. He describes a very centralized Silicon Valley culture where “this very open collective process [is] actually in the service of this very domineering global brain, destroyer of local interpretation, destroyer of individual voice process.” Lanier is publishing a new book entitled “Ten arguments for deleting your social media accounts right now” in which he unpacks the political, economic and spiritual arguments behind his call to action. Politically, social media is “empowering the most obnoxious people to be the most powerful”; economically, it is “centralizing wealth”; and spiritually, it is “lacking in empathy or any kind of personal acknowledgment”. An important perspective, I think.
My graph this week is from the Global Findex Database 2017 collecting data from 150,000 people through representative surveys in 140 countries and showing that two third of unbanked adults have a mobile phone. These are big numbers, illustrating the potential of mobile for financial inclusion. But the report also shows that these numbers are much lower for women, the poor, and the less educated.
My quote this week is from Elon Musk in “Progress, Precision, Profit”, an email to his Tesla employees: “Walk out of a meeting or drop off a call as soon as it is obvious you aren’t adding value. It is not rude to leave, it is rude to make someone stay and waste their time.”