Back to Human

How Great Leaders Create Connection in the Age of Isolation


By Dan Schawbel

Formats and Prices




$15.99 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around November 13, 2018. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.


A Financial Times Book of the Month

Back to Human
explains how a more socially connected workforce creates greater fulfillment, productivity, and engagement while preventing burnout and turnover.

The next generation of leaders must create a workplace where teammates feel genuinely connected, engaged, and empowered — without relying on technology. Based on Dan Schawbel’s exclusive research studies — featuring the perspectives of over 2,000 managers and employees across different age groups — Back to Human reveals why virtual communication, though vital and useful, actually contributes to a stronger sense of isolation at work than ever before. How can we change this culture?

Schawbel offers a self-assessment called the “Work Connectivity Index” that measures the strength of team relationships. He also shares exercises, examples, and activities that readers can work on individually or as a team, which will help them increase personal productivity, be more collaborative, and become more fulfilled at work.

Back to Human
ultimately helps you decide when and how to use technology to build better connections in your work life. It is a call to action to leaders across the world to make the workplace a better experience for all of us.


  • "A practical guide for leaders to stop using technology as a crutch and start building genuine connections with their teams."
    Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Give and Take, Originals, and Option B with Sheryl Sandberg
  • "Dan Schawbel offers a searching examination of the role technology plays in our lives and how our overreliance on gadgets is deepening our sense of isolation. But Back to Human is also a hopeful book, one that provides a prescription for change for leaders and anyone else interested in doing better."
    Daniel H. Pink, author of When and To Sell is Human
  • "Elevating humanity through business is the purpose of Conscious Capitalism. Back to Human is a welcomed reminder of the interdependencies that exist across all human stakeholders, and that workplace cultures must be trusting, authentic, innovative and caring so that working there is a source of both personal growth and professional fulfillment."
    John Mackey, co-founder and CEO, Whole Foods Market; co-author of Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business
  • "Our brain grew in size in order to process our complex social needs, yet we are evolving into a society that devalues human interaction. Dan's insights will ensure you use all your neurons offered by evolution."
    Mehmet Oz, MD, Professor of Surgery, Columbia University, Host, The Dr. Oz Show
  • "A fun, thoughtful read, but more important, a truly useful book. Back to Human provides concrete solutions for many of the 21st century challenges that shape how we work and live."
    General (Ret.) Stanley McChrystal, New York Times bestselling author of Team of Teams
  • "Dan will help you put your damn phone in your pocket, look people in the eye, and build actual human relationships at work. You'll be stunned at the difference this makes in your career--and in your life."
    Kim Scott, New York Times bestselling author of Radical Candor
  • "In Back to Human, Dan Schawbel reminds us that our humanity must never take a backseat to new technology-- driverless or otherwise. And that progress is found in the connection of humans working together creatively in pursuit of better."
    Beth Comstock, Former Vice Chair, GE
  • "At a time of increasing technological and virtual interaction, Schawbel's practical book provides a thoughtful model of connected human leadership."
  • "[Back to Human] aims to help leaders build stronger team relationships amid our dependency on technology."
  • "Recommended to business professionals seeking to manage a corporate culture that provides a work-life balance to its staff."
    Library Journal
  • "Back to Human is the definitive guide to connecting in an era where doing so is increasingly difficult. It is one of the best collections of voices and research that will help leaders to create a more cohesive and compelling workplace."
    Tom Rath, #1 New York Times bestselling author of StrengthFinder 2.0
  • "In Back to Human, Dan Schawbel challenges us to put down our phones and start investing in deeper relationships. That's a message we all need to hear."
    Dan Heath, co-author of the New York Times bestsellers, The Power of Moments, Made to Stick, Switch, and Decisive
  • "I recommend Back to Human to any leader who wants to create a higher quality of life for their team. Schawbel explains how to build the human connections that are critical to personal and organizational success. Regardless of advancements in technology, the human touch will remain and this book will help you create stronger relationships that lead to higher performance and happiness."
    Michel Landel, CEO of Sodexo
  • "Technology may have accelerated the pace of change, but it hasn't erased the need for business basics. In Back to Human, Dan Schawbel offers expert advice on overcoming technology's shortcomings and refocusing on the true building blocks for business success: relationships, collaboration and getting the job done. A must-read for all leaders."
    Ron Shaich, Founder and Chairman of Panera Bread
  • "Back to Human shows how modern technologies have made our work lives unfulfilled. In this provocative and insightful book, Dan Schawbel demands our interactions to be more human and less machine and provides a practical guide on how to achieve this. This book is a must-read for anyone who wants to become a more effective leader in today's workplace."
    W. Chan Kim, The BCG Professor of Strategy at INSEAD and New York Times bestselling author of Blue Ocean Shift
  • "In his brilliantly researched new book, Back to Human, Dan Schawbel provides the deepest, most insightful analysis of how we can restore humanity and authentic connections to the workplace in this technology age: with leaders who build highly motivated, collaborative teams that create healthy, productive workplaces. It is a must read for all who care about making work fulfilling."
    Bill George, Senior Fellow, Harvard Business School, former Chair & CEO of Medtronic, and author of Discover Your True North
  • "Communication is Leadership. That's what leadership is: Communication. Back to Human brilliantly coaches us in successfully making technology and our devices cause us to be better leaders and communicators rather than worse ones."
    Kip Tindell, co-founder, Chairman and former CEO, The Container Store
  • "Back to Human is a valuable read for any leader desirous of a more collaborative and productive workforce. By following Dan's advice, we can enjoy stronger team relationships that lead to stronger business results."
    Bert Jacobs, co-founder and Chief Executive Optimist, Life is Good
  • "There are books on productivity that ignore practical lessons, and books with checklists that ignore the 'why'. But what if there was a research-based book chock full of highly relevant exercises that can help anyone become more effective at work? Look no further: Back to Human is loaded with practical insights that won't only help you get better on the job, but will also give you pause to think about how to live the life you really want to."
    Sydney Finkelstein, Dartmouth professor and bestselling author of Superbosses and Why Smart Executives Fail
  • "Back to Human provides practical back to basics on how to become a better leader. Good insights coupled with good advice. Well done!"
    David Novak, Former Chairman and CEO of YUM! Brands
  • "In Colonial times, Samuel Adams and his fellow revolutionaries met in taverns and planned the American Revolution over a beer or two. Back to Human leads us to recapture those essential human interactions--conversation, communication, collaboration, and common passion. If you want to brew up your own Revolution, this book by Dan Schawbel is an excellent guide. Cheers!"
    Jim Koch, founder & brewer of Samuel Adams and author of Quench Your Own Thirst: Business Lessons Learned Over a Beer or Two
  • "Dan has written a meaningful neo classic. He reinforces the human need for fulfillment and shows that most technology limits this important connection. When applied, his ideas will help people find meaningful connections that increase both personal well-being and work productivity."
    Dave Ulrich, coauthor of the New York Times bestseller The Why of Work, Rensis Likert Professor, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan
  • "If leaders want to create stronger connections with their teams, they must read Back to Human. Schawbel's message of encouraging more human connection, instead of relying on technology, will become more relevant over time."
    Howard Behar, former president of Starbucks

On Sale
Nov 13, 2018
Page Count
288 pages

Da Capo_9780738235035_Dan Schawbel_author courtesy

Dan Schawbel

About the Author

Dan Schawbel is a Partner and Research Director at Future Workplace and the Managing Partner of Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and consulting firm. He is also the founder of the Personal Branding Blog, a Forbes “Top Website for Your Career.” He is a founding member of the Young Entrepreneur Council, on the advisory board of the Kronos Workforce Institute and is an advisor to Branded.Me, a website generator, and, a freelance marketplace for students. He’s also a Mentor at Talent Tech Labs and volunteers for the UJA-Federation of New York and is currently a Global Leadership Society fellow.

Learn more about this author