“This unified effort demands the practice of transformational leadership. Mr Hoque elaborates on its overriding essential — emotional intelligence, the key element of which is a willingness to accept uncertainty.”
“Mr Hoque’s expertise is spread across a wide spectrum and this adds to the clarity with which he blends his insights. He is a thought leader, serial entrepreneur, technology innovator, and also the author of many books, including Everything Connects, Survive to Thrive, and The Power of Convergence. When it comes to disruption, he observes that it is not just the Fourth Industrial Revolution that has been a phenomenal force.
There is a “perfect storm” of other factors too —Covid-19, climate change, and misinformation. These change drivers are the focus of “Where we are now”, the first section of the book. The next section explores the opportunities we have as consumers, workers, educators, and individuals of an increasingly connected society. “In such a world of seismic shifts, transformational leadership at all levels—from heads of state to individuals—offers the best opportunity to leverage change to transform all our lives for the better,” Mr Hoque says. This is also the theme the book’s title is woven around— Lift —the opportunity all of us have to contribute to the betterment of everyone though transformational leadership.
He talks at length about the opportunities that have opened up and the perks they offer at an individual level as well as in education, healthcare, and so on. In the business sphere, the opportunity is both financial and ethical. The primary opportunity is driven by an explosive change triggered by the pandemic — expansion of the customer and marketplace appeal beyond issues such as price. Although price is still an issue, it does not hold the single dominance it once commanded. What consumers look for is not just the least expensive choices; they are keen on being associated with businesses that “do good”.
This demands that businesses align their priorities with the shift in consumer thinking, and establish strategies and systems with which to better understand others, Mr Hoque adds. Empathy has to be an imperative internally too, in order to ensure that employees feel valued and understood. Those that practise an active form of empathy are also identifying social responsibility, environmental practices, and employee relations as factors that can influence consumer decision-making. Businesses can also play a seminal role in the war against misinformation—through planned partnerships with governments. Such social commitments would serve as a powerful marketing tool. As for the public sector, Mr Hoque says that the future lies in “a decidedly less tech, more human form of operation”.Business-Standard_Nov-03-2022_Book-Review_LIFT