Stew Friedman has been on the Wharton faculty since 1984. He became the Management Department’s first Practice Professor for his work on applying theory and research to the real challenges facing organizations. As founding director of the Wharton Leadership Program, in 1991 he initiated the required MBA and Undergraduate leadership courses. He is founding director of Wharton’s Work/Life Integration Project.
Stew’s most recent book is the award-winning bestseller, Total Leadership: Be a Better Leader, Have a Richer Life (Harvard Business Press). The program it describes is his challenging Wharton course, in which participants complete an intensive series of real-world exercises that increase their leadership capacity and performance in all parts of their lives by better integrating them; participants give and receive coaching support via peer-to-peer relationships that meet both in person and in an innovative online social learning environment. Total Leadership is used by individuals and companies worldwide, including as a primary intervention in a multi-year study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, on improving the careers and lives of women in medicine. www.totalleadership.org was chosen as one of Forbes’ best web sites for women.
In 2001 Stew concluded a two-year assignment as a senior executive at Ford Motor Company, where he was director of the Leadership Development Center (LDC), running a 50-person, $25 MM operation. In partnership with the CEO, he launched a corporate-wide portfolio of initiatives designed to transform Ford’s culture; 2500+ managers per year participated. Near the end of his tenure at Ford, an independent research group (ICEDR) said the LDC was a "global benchmark" for leadership development programs.
Stew worked for five years in the mental health field before earning his PhD in organizational psychology from the University of Michigan. He has published on work/life, leadership, and the dynamics of change, including the widely-cited Harvard Business Review articles, “Work and life: the end of the zero-sum game” (1998) and “Be a better leader, have a richer life” (2008), and “The Happy Workaholic: a role model for employees” (Academy of Management Executive, 2003). Work and Family – Allies or Enemies? (Oxford, 2000) was recognized by the Wall Street Journal as one of the field’s best books. In the book Integrating Work and Life: The Wharton Resource Guide (Jossey-Bass, 1998), Stew edited the first collection of learning tools for building leadership skills for integrating work and life.
Stew serves on a number of boards and has advised a wide range of companies and public sector organizations, including the U.S. Department of Labor, the United Nations, and two White House administrations. He gives keynote addresses and conducts workshops globally on leadership and the whole person, creating change, and strategic human resources issues. The recipient of numerous teaching awards, he appears regularly in business media (The New York Times cited the “rock star adoration” he inspires in his students), was chosen by Working Mother as one of America’s 25 most influential men in having made things better for working parents, and in 2011 was selected by Thinkers50 as one of the “world’s top 50 business thinkers.”