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 also founding director of Wharton’s Work/Life Integration Project.
An award-winning teacher, he appears regularly in business media (The New York Times cited the “rock star adoration” he inspires in his students). He has been recognized twice as one of HR's Most Influential International Thinkers and as one of the "world's top 50 business thinkers" three times by Thinkers50. In 2015 he won Thinkers50's Distinguished Achievement Award in the talent management field. He's published 50+ articles for HBR.org, including one listed first among Harvard Business Review's Ideas that Shaped Management in 2013. He was chosen by Working Mother as one of America’s 25 most influential men to have made things better for working parents, and was recently honored by the Families and Work Institute with the Work Life Legacy Award.
Stew’s most recent book is Leading the Life You Want: Skills for Integrating Work and Life (Harvard Business, 2014), a Wall Street Journal best-seller. It builds on his award-winning best-seller, Total Leadership: Be a Better Leader, Have a Richer Life (Harvard Business, 2008), which has been translated into seven languages. The program it describes is his challenging Wharton course, in which participants complete an intensive series of real-world exercises designed to increase their leadership capacity and performance in all parts of their lives by better integrating them, while working in high-involvement peer-to-peer coaching relationships and completing much of the activity online in a cutting-edge 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 and by 135,000+ students enrolled in Stew’s highly-rated Coursera MOOC.
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); “Be a better leader, have a richer life” (2008); and "Work+Home+Community+Self (2014); and “The Happy Workaholic: a role model for employees” (in Academy of Management Executive, 2003). In 2013 Wharton Digital Press published his landmark study of two generations of Wharton students, Baby Bust: New Choices for Men and Women in Work and Family. Work and Family – Allies or Enemies? (Oxford, 2000) was recognized by the Wall Street Journal as one of the field's best books. In 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. (Here is the master class he gave for Wharton's Lifelong Learning Tour in San Francisco.)