Stew Friedman is an organizational psychologist at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he has been on the faculty since 1984.  He earned PhD from the University of Michigan.  As founding director of The Wharton Leadership Program, in 1991 he initiated the required MBA and Undergraduate leadership courses. Friedman has been recognized by Thinkers50 global ranking of management thinkers every cycle since 2011 and was honored with its 2015 Distinguished Achievement Award as the world’s foremost expert in the field of talent. He was listed among HR Magazine’s most influential thought leaders, chosen by Working Mother as one of America’s most influential men who have made life better for working parents, and presented with the Families and Work Institute’s Work Life Legacy Award. While on leave from Wharton for two-and-a-half years, Friedman ran a 50-person department as the senior executive for leadership development at Ford Motor Company. In partnership with the CEO, he launched a corporate-wide portfolio of initiatives designed to transform Ford’s culture; 2500+ managers per year participated.

FORBES recently called, WELCOME TO MANAGEMENT, “the best leadership book of 2020.”

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  • Sustaining excellence = “they take seriously the idea that it’s not just about work. It’s about life.” –> Know what you care about… “It takes courage to look inside yourself.”
    • Ask yourself, “What am I here to do?”  For Stew, “I’m here to help people grow as leaders and make an impact on the world.”
  • What Stew learned from his time as a cab driver: Patience… Everyone is unique. You see how people treat others.  “It created a love of geography.”
  • There is a lot of perspective to be gained from working in the service industry.
  • Stew was hired to run the leadership development program at Ford
    • It was important to connect with everyone around him
      • “Be respectful of all people you interact.”
      • Humbled — “I realized I knew nothing when I went to Ford.”
        • “I get up there and devise what the next 10 years will look like… And talked about myself the whole time. A key leader pulled me aside and said, ‘What the F are you doing?'”
  • Be WHOLE – It’s about you as a whole person both at work and at home.
  • “Firms that fully embrace the needs and interests of the whole person will win today’s competition for the best talent.”
  • “Leading is about mobilizing people toward valued goals.”
  • Learn how to talk with others and show them that you truly value you… LISTEN
    • “Ryan, you’re one of the most important people to me in my life…”
  • What does the team need from the leader?
    • values, vision, an understanding of the stakeholders
  • The leadership leap:
    • You must care about people
    • Understand the specific priorities
    • Ask, “What am I missing?”
  • Total Leadership:
    • Projection – “If you had control, what would you be doing?”
    • “What’s distinctive about you?”
      • Get clarity on what you care about right now
    • Identify the most important people in your life
  • Be innovative — Constantly experimenting
  • Create 4 way wins:
    • Business
    • Family
    • Community
    • Personal
  • Take initiative – “What’s a win for your company? Your boss?”
  • “At the individual level, you need to examine what you truly value, share this with key stakeholders in various life domains both to get feedback and support, and then to experiment with new ways of doing things so that – over the arc of a life – you can achieve harmony and have more of what it is that you uniquely want out of life.”
  • Work life integration is a more useful term than work life balance. “Balance is the wrong metaphor.”
  • The four elements, where do you devote your attention?
    • Do an assessment – Take 100 points… Divy up how important each of the following are based on your actions:
      • Work
      • Home
      • Community
      • Self
  • Do you find yourself saying, “I’m not paying enough attention to the things that matter to me.”
    • “It’s like a jazz quartet. Four people paying attention to each other, improvise, respond, make something beautiful over time.”
  • “The only failure is the failure to learn from conscious and deliberate efforts to make things better, even if those attempts fall short of the mark.”
  • Writing Parents Who Lead –  Crafting a collective vision. “What does our life look like?”
  • The question to ask: “How do you be you?”
    • “The courageous ones are able to bring that question forward…”
  • Here is WHY joining a Learning Leader Circle is a good idea…


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