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Stewart D Friedman on Managing Troubled Times

March 2009 - By Dr. Nagendra V Chowdary

My approach is to focus on the things that matter most to people and to find creative means for organizing that enable them to pursue these things in ways that benefit the organization and the society. My research has shown that when you account for the interests of the whole person, paradoxically, you get better results in your business.
—Stewart Friedman
Effective executive interview with Stewart Friedman on Managing Troubled Times

Stewart D Friedman has been on the Wharton faculty since 1984. He became the Management Department’s first Practice Professor in recognition of his work on the application of theory and research to the real challenges facing organizations. As Founding Director of the Wharton Leadership Program in 1991, he initiated Wharton’s required MBA and undergraduate leadership courses. He also started and directs the Wharton Work/Life Integration Project; its mission is to develop leaders and enable change through action learning and applied research. 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 operation. In partnership with CEO Jacques Nasser, he launched a corporate-wide portfolio of initiatives designed to transform Ford's culture, in which over 2500 managers per year participated. He brought his concept of “total leadership” to Ford Motor, which created measurable change in both increased business results and enriched lives. While Stew was at Ford, the LDC received major media attention (including profiles in Fast Company, Training and Development, and CIO).

Near the end of his tenure at Ford, an independent research organization (ICEDR) identified the LDC as having achieved "global benchmark" status for leadership development programs.Stew worked for five years in health care before earning his PhD (1984) from the University of Michigan. He has published numerous books and articles on work/life integration, leadership, and the dynamics of change, including the widely cited Harvard Business Review article, “Work and Life: The End of The Zero-Sum Game” and, more recently, in the Academy of Management Executive, “The Happy Workaholic: a role model for employees.” Work and Family – Allies or Enemies? (co-authored with Jeff Greenhaus, Oxford University Press, 2000) was recognized by the Wall Street Journal as one of the field's best. With 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. His most recent book is, Total Leadership: Be a Better Leader, Have a Richer Life, from Harvard Business Press. Stew has consulted with a wide range of organizations and executives, including Jack Welch and former Vice President Al Gore; he serves on numerous advisory boards; and he 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, and was chosen by Working Mother as one of America’s 25 most influential men in having made things better for working parents.

Useful for Understanding of:

  • Total Leadership
  • Difference between leaders and managers or leadership and management
  • Role of leadership in setting and achieving high order goals during troubled times.
Originally Published in Effective Executive, IUP
Effective Executive Reference No. 03M-2009-03-07-06
IBSCDC Reference No. INT0092
Year and Month of Publication March 2009
Keywords Stewart Friedman, Total Leadership, Difference between leaders and managers or leadership and management, Role of leadership in setting and achieving high order goals during troubled times

1. Troubled Times Case Study
2. ICMR Case Collection
3. Case Study Volumes



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