Stewart Friedman, practice professor of management, The Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania


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Stewart Friedman has been on the Wharton faculty at the University of Pennsylvania since 1984. He became the management department’s first practice professor for his work on applying theory and research to the real challenges facing organisations and, 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 School of Business’s Work/Life Integration Project.

Stewart Friedman’s most recent book is Leading the Life You Want: Skills for Integrating Work and Life. It builds on his award-winning Total Leadership: Be a Better Leader, Have a Richer Life, which has been translated into six languages. The programme 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.

In 2001, he concluded a two-year assignment as a senior executive at Ford Motor Company, where he was director of the Leadership Development Center (LDC) and launched initiatives designed to transform the car maker’s culture; an independent research group (ICEDR) said the LDC was a “global benchmark” for leadership development programmes.

He worked for five years in the mental health field before earning his PhD in organisational psychology from the University of Michigan. He has published on work/life, leadership and the dynamics of change, including in Harvard Business Review, while 2000’s Work and Family – Allies or Enemies? was recognised by the Wall Street Journal as one of the field's best books. In Integrating Work and Life: The Wharton Resource Guide (1998), he edited the first collection of learning tools for building leadership skills for integrating work and life.

Friedman serves on a number of boards and has advised a wide range of companies and public sector organisations, including the US 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 HR 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 to have made things better for working parents, has twice been selected by Thinkers 50 as a top business thinkers, was recently honoured by the Families and Work Institute with the Work Life Legacy Award, was named in the top 10 of HR magazine’s Most Influential International Thinkers in 2014, and has featured in Harvard Business Review's annual The Ideas that Shaped Management listing.

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