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Stanford professor Jeffrey Pfeffer on why flattery changes minds

Also: how his views on leadership have changed and why advising people to be authentic is misguided.

The Depolarization Project
8 August 2019
Jeffrey Pfeffer.
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Stanford University.

It’s long been known that workplace stress is detrimental to your health – but it could be fatal?

Stanford professor Jeffrey Pfeffer's latest book, 'Dying for a Paycheck', argues that it is, attributing more than 120,000 deaths a year to workplace health conditions.

Pfeffer argues that employee perks, such as yoga classes or wellness programmes, have done little to mitigate the epidemic of workplace stress. Instead, he calls for an end to toxic management practices – from job insecurity to overtime – that exacerbate health issues.

He speaks to Ali Goldsworthy about how his views on leadership have changed and why advising people to be authentic is misguided.

Changed My Mind is produced by openDemocracy in conjunction with The Depolarization Project as part of our commitment to educate citizens, challenge power and encourage democratic debate. Hosted by Ali Goldsworthy, Laura Osborne and Alex Chesterfield. 

Further reading

‘Unless You’re Oprah, ‘Be Yourself’ Is Terrible Advice’

‘It’s time to boycott Saudi money (aka Masa’s Vision Fund)’

‘Evidence-Based Management’

‘New Study: Being a Bit of a Psychopath Helps You Get Ahead at Work (If You're a Man)’

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This edition of Changed My Mind is sponsored by Stanford University.

Who's getting rich from COVID-19?

Boris Johnson's government stands accused of 'COVID cronyism', after handing out staggering sums of money to controversial private firms to fight COVID-19. Often the terms of these deals are kept secret, with no value-for-money checks or penalties for repeated failures which cost lives. And many major contracts have gone directly to key Tory donors and allies – without competition.

As COVID rates across the country surge, how can we hold our leaders accountable? Meet the lawyers, journalists and politicians leading the charge in our free live discussion on Thursday 1 October at 5pm UK time.

Hear from:

Dawn Butler Labour MP for Brent Central and member of the House of Commons Committee on Science and Technology

Peter Geoghegan Investigations editor, openDemocracy, and author of 'Democracy for Sale: Dark Money and Dirty Politics'

Jolyon Maugham Barrister and founder of the Good Law Project.

Peter Smith Procurement expert and author of 'Bad Buying: How Organisations Waste Billions through Failures, Frauds and F*ck-ups'

Chair: Mary Fitzgerald Editor-in-chief of openDemocracy

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