Humility is the New Smart: Rethinking Human Excellence in the Smart Machine Age, by Edward D. Hess & Katherine Ludwig ISBN 9781626568754
Five out of five stars
This book is another powerful demonstration that in many endeavors the old ways of the wise are still the best ways. The authors reference Socrates and Confucius in their discussions of how a dose of humility is one of the most effective ingredients in managing modern companies. Both of these ancient sages emphasized the value of understanding the lack of knowledge and the need to constantly question and learn. Clearly, in the modern world where things change so much faster than they did millennia ago when these two men lived, being able to learn fast and adapt quickly is even more important.
The authors emphasize the pace of change in the emergent Smart Machine Age (SMA), where advances in machine intelligence is going to lead to the rapid vaporization of millions of jobs. For example, there are currently 3.5 million long haul truckers in the United States, with many others employed as support people, such as in Human Resources. The advent of self-driving trucks will likely put over a million of these people out of work in a matter of months.
Their solutions are those that Socrates and Confucius would recognize. Understand your limitations, learn what you don’t know and then acquire that knowledge. People need to engage in personal retooling in order to remain employed and the first step in that is to recognize the need to do so.
Managers at all levels will benefit from reading this book and moving away from the old-style command hierarchy to that of true teamwork. Shared credit, working together and always realizing the dependence on others to get the current jobs done now and the new and unexpected ones in the future.