Award-winning author Paolo Gallo roamed the hallways of TOP CEO 2019 in Bahrain answering not one but many questions on his intriguing book which he launched at the event titled “The Compass & The Radar: The Art of building a rewarding career while remaining true to yourself”.
Winning the Axiom Book Award 2019 in the Career Development Category, the book focuses on coaching, self-improvement, organizational behaviour and business ethics.
Gallo has over the past 30 years been Chief Human Resources Officer at the World Economic Forum in Geneva, Chief Learning Officer at The World Bank in Washington DC and Director of HR at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in London, with prior experiences at the IFC in Washington DC and at Citigroup in London, New York and Milan.
Ameinfo was there, shadowing Gallo’s every move, aiming for insights on his unique take on career building, a book receiving praise and accolades from far and near.
“With wisdom and heart, Paolo Gallo offers practical tools to help readers develop and navigate a meaningful career…a must read.” Said Dorie Clark, Adjunct Professor at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business, and author of 'Entrepreneurial You' and 'Stand Out'.
“Eloquent, mesmerising and refreshingly honest. …this is a book that will keep you awake, that will prompt you to consider the most profound of questions, and will remain deep within your psyche for a long time to come.” Sid Vicki Culpin, Professor of Organisational Behaviour, Ashridge Executive Education at Hult International Business School; author of 'The Business of Sleep'
“This book is in 10 languages already, and Arabic is one of them, and it required speaking to more than 30,000 people in the last 18 months in small and large groups,” said Gallo in a one on one with AMEinfo.
“I've been active with so many organizations over the last few years and I was always trying to understand why so many people succeed. What do you need to succeed? Why do so many people fail? And how do you define success in our corporate life?”
Compass and Radar
The title says it all. In a fulfilling career, you first need a compass, or what Gallo calls a set of moral values.
“It fundamentally boils down to a very simple point, which is what do you stand for? What are the values you believe are right and guide you through your career? What is your compass?” he asks.
“The Radar part means the capacity to see the big picture shaping around you such as globalization, artificial intelligence, disruptive technologies, digital transformation and others.”
Gallo adds: “These are the two main ingredients to be successful in your career.”
Gallo continues that another question needed to be asked and that is, what does it mean to be successful? Gallo is quick to answer that money and titles are not it.
“To me, it’s about three things, the most important of which is learning, and no, it's not about accumulating diplomas. ‘Are you constantly learning and becoming a better human being and adapting to what's happening around you, remaining constantly vigilant and curious’,” asks Gallo.
“The second one is ‘Are you helping other people, and most crucially, establishing relationships of trust with individuals, while the third is ‘Do you love what you do?’ ”
Future of jobs
What does Gallo believe is the future of jobs?
He said this debate of what the future holds for people and employment is mostly part of two schools of thoughts. One is optimistic that the future will create prosperity and jobs. And then pessimistic saying lots of jobs are to be destroyed.
“Both scenarios are right. So to me, the real question is, ‘What are the set of skills that you need to acquire in order to do the jobs of the future.’” Gallo asks.
“To me, the real revolution is not a technical one, but related to one’s skills set. You cannot simply say, oh, I need an artificial intelligence specialist, and forgetting that tons of people and many skills sets needed to get there.”
Along with AI and machine learning comes the need to create higher order jobs taken by human touch points such as for millennials and Generation Y who are constantly adapting to the rules that are coming out.
“Which brings the issue of education which traditionally means studying, working, and then retiring, but that has changed and new models might mean more vocational training, for example,” he said.
Gallo explained that the game has changed for a few reasons among which is demographics, meaning life expectancies are higher and so careers will last 60 to 70 years for the coming generations.
“Also millennials and Generation Y will be doing the gig economy, whereby they are not tied up to contracts and typical work packages,” Gallo said.
what's the next step in the GCC?
“Well, that's the million dollar question, isn’t it?” jokes Gallo.
“An important observation in the region is that thinking you can drive innovation exclusively by recruiting highly paid expat rates doesn't work. You still need to get some of them, but it doesn't work like a soccer team where owners buy the best players in the world without giving thought how are to grow your young soccer team.”
The key is to invest more in learning.
“There is a strong correlation between investment in education and economic development of a country. So equally in this region, getting some good players is great, but the team has to be composed by people that are growing organically, internally.”
Anup Oommen, business editor at Mediaquest, contributed to this story.