Slo Mo: A Podcast with Mo Gawdat

David Bodanis - The Art of Fairness and the Power of Decency in a World Turned Mean

January 16, 2022 Mo Gawdat and David Bodanis Episode 176
Slo Mo: A Podcast with Mo Gawdat
David Bodanis - The Art of Fairness and the Power of Decency in a World Turned Mean
Show Notes

If you've interacted with society in the last few few years, you'll probably agree that the world has become a meaner place. Is it still worth it to be kind and fair, or should we all succumb to fighting this invisible war?

Today's guest is the NY Times bestselling author David Bodanis, who explores this question in his new leadership book titled The Art of Fairness: The Power of Decency in a World Turned Mean.

The Financial Times writes that  David's book "is a primer for anyone fed up of the prevailing meanness of society and looking for inspiration on how to be better," and that's exactly what we aimed to discuss to today.

I spent 25 years in the corporate world dealing with backstabbers, politicians, executives, and the like. It is a tough life, and I believe work politics are the main reason people come from their jobs miserable. It's time to turn the tides on the toxic idea that bullying your way to the top should be considered success.

David Bodanis was born in Chicago, lived in France for a decade, and now makes his home in London. He studied math, physics, and history at the University of Chicago and for many years taught the “Intellectual Toolkit” course at Oxford. His books include the New York  Times bestseller, The Secret House, the bestselling E=mc², which was adapted into the PBS documentary Einstein’s Big Idea, and the Royal Society Science Book of the Year Prize winner Electric Universe.

Listen as we discuss:

  • My time at Google and trying to succeed without making any enemies.
  • Why honest conversations and answers are absolutely crucial.
  • The malicious and the fake in corporate culture, and how to navigate it.
  • How David stumbled into writing about Einstein, electricity, fairness, and other topics.
  • Coming-of-age in a time far less defined by fear.
  • The Golden Rule, as always, is number one.
  • Sub-optimal peaks, and why billionaire's seem to ignore the suffering of the world.
  • The Art of Fairness, and why the bully loses in the end.
  • Everyone is a leader in their own domain, and empowering others is a win-win.

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Connect with David Bodanis on Twitter @davidbodanis and his website,

My latest book Scary Smart is now available and has been voted one of the top 12 business books of 2021 by The Times and Sunday Times. Thanks for all of your support!

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