Work and Life with Stew Friedman

Welcome to the Work and Life Podcast with Stew Friedman -- bestselling author, celebrated professor at The Wharton School, and founder of Wharton's Work/Life Integration Project. Stew is widely recognized as the world's
Latest Episode3/18/2020

Ep 162. Special Edition: Parents Who Lead

This is a special edition of the Work and Life show. Stew Friedman’s new book, Parents Who Lead: The Leadership Approach You Need to Parent with Purpose, Fuel Your Career, and Create a Richer Life, co-authored with Alyssa Westring, has just been published, it reached Amazon’s #1 Bestseller in Work Life, and is a nominee for Dan Pink, Adam Grant, Susan Cain, and Malcolm Gladwell’s Next Big Idea Club. This episode features four working parents who were in the Parents Who Lead lab as subjects in the research for the book. They talk about their experience in the workshop and what they took away from it. If you’re a working parent, or know of and care about mothers or fathers who work, you’ll find this evidence-based guide for action to be not only practical, but fun.Stew’s guests in the first half of the show are Daniel Chen who was Head of Business Development at Quicken, and now leads Business Development at a tech startup called Brightside in San Francisco, and Adrienne Demory, who has spent the last five years working for Cultural Care Au Pair as an Area Coordinator supporting au pairs and families as well as managing a group of Local Childcare Consultants in Southern California. The second half features Jason Collier and his wife, Heidi Hess von Ludewig. Jason is a product manager in Raleigh, NC with a background in software development and design thinking. Heidi is a strategic business consultant and change manager for internal programs at Red Hat software.In this episode, Stew explores the challenges faced by today’s working fathers and mothers and the ways in which the science of leadership, based on a large body of research, can be fruitfully applied to the art of parenting. His four guests, all working parents, talk candidly about the obstacles they faced in our Parents Who Lead lab and what it takes to lead as a parent and to improve their family and personal lives and their performance at work. They tell compelling stories that illustrate the power of having a collective leadership vision with your partner in parenting; the value of small, smart, and intentional experiments in how you work and live ; and the way that bringing others along by engaging in fresh, meaningful ways, especially with your children, can help make sustainable change that works, for all parts of a working parent’s life.

Ep 161. Tom Rath: Life's Great Question

Bestselling author Tom Rath has a new book, Life’s Great Question: Discover How You Contribute to the World. He is a researcher who has spent the past two decades studying how work can improve human health and well-being. His 10 books have sold more than 10 million copies, making him the #1 bestselling author of non-fiction books in history. Tom’s first book, How Full Is Your Bucket?, was an instant #1 New York Times bestseller and led to a series of books and activities for kids that are used in classrooms around the world. His StrengthsFinder 2.0 is Amazon’s top selling non-fiction book of all time. Tom’s other bestsellers include Strengths Based Leadership, Wellbeing, Eat Move Sleep, and Are You Fully Charged? Each copy of Life’s Great Question has a unique access code to, and after taking the online inventory, readers discover the top three areas where they have the most potential for contribution.In this episode, Stew and Tom discuss the importance for one’s own health and well-being on being focused on how you can help others and contribute to the greater good, which is, perhaps, a more effective way to think about career choices than single-mindedly pursuing your passion. They talk, in practical terms, about the distinction between “eulogy values” and “resume values” and the many benefits that obtain from prioritizing the former. Tom describes a simple method for how to assess your own particular inclinations as a contributor. The non-linear form of successful careers -- a crucial piece of advice, especially for those just starting out -- is illustrated with snippets of their personal histories.

Ep 160. Cali Yost: How to Make Flexible Work a Win for All

Cali Williams Yost is Founder and CEO of the Flex+Strategy Group, an organization of experts in flexible workplace strategy, change management, leadership, instructional design and communications. Cali is an internationally-recognized workplace strategist and futurist. For more than two decades, she has predicted many early work transformation trends and used those insights to develop innovative strategies that help organizations build dynamic, future-ready work cultures that attract and retain an engaged, diverse workforce; increase productivity and innovation; and enhance employee well-being. A former commercial banker, Cali is an honors graduate of Columbia Business School and noted as an alumnus “Changing the World.” In 2018 she was named one of the global management thinkers “on the radar” by Thinkers50, and she has been cited as one of Forbes’s 40 Women to Watch Over 40.In this episode, Stew and Cali talk about what it takes to make flexible work arrangements a reality in organizations of all kinds. She translates her wealth of experience into practical advice for identifying the benefits of change in work culture for both employees and their organizations and how to find and take meaningful steps forward without massive disruption. It’s not that hard, as Cali describes it, because in almost all organizations there are outcroppings of innovation from which lessons can be readily learned. The key is to look for them and build on the successes they embody.

Ep 158. Maggie Jackson: Productive Uncertainty

Maggie Jackson is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, fellowships, and prizes as an author and journalist whose essays, commentary, and books have been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, New Philosopher, on National Public Radio, and elsewhere. A graduate of Yale and the London School of Economics, her book Distracted: Reclaiming Our Focus in a World of Lost Attention has been described as “groundbreaking” and “essential” and a new, updated edition has just been released that continues to warn that the fragmentation of attention in today’s world is eroding our abilities to problem-solve, innovate, and care for one another. She’s the author of another book, What’s Happening to Home? Balancing Work, Life and Refuge in the Information Age, which was the first to explore the fate of home in the digital age, a time when private life is permeable and portable.In this episode, Stew and Maggie talk about distraction in the digital age and a new project she’s working on, what she calls “productive uncertainty.” They explore the benefits of fallow time, which permits restoration and rejuvenation; the dangers of snap judgements and how we are biased toward making them without really thinking; how to nourish the “slow mind” and much more. Maggie explains some of the cognitive science underpinning her incisive insights on how to cultivate a greater acceptance of openness to uncertainty and non-linear ways of appreciating our world.

Ep 157. David Fajgenbaum: Turning Hope Into Action

David Fajgenbaum is Assistant Professor of Medicine, Translational Medicine & Human Genetics at the University of Pennsylvania and the author of a memoir called Chasing My Cure: A Doctor’s Race to Turn Hope Into Action. David is the co-founder and executive director of the Castleman Disease Collaborative Network (CDCN) and an NIH-funded physician-scientist. Diagnosed with Castleman’s disease while in medical school, David has dedicated his life to discovering new treatments and cures for deadly disorders like Castleman disease. For this inspirational work he’s been recognized on the Forbes 30 Under 30 healthcare list, as a top healthcare leader by Becker's Hospital Review, and one of the youngest people ever elected as a Fellow of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, the nation's oldest medical society. He was one of three recipients—including Vice President Joe Biden—of a 2016 Atlas Award from the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia. David earned a BS from Georgetown University magna cum laude with honors and distinction, MSc from the University of Oxford, MD from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, and MBA from The Wharton School. He is also a former Division I college quarterback, state-champion weight-lifter, and co-founder of a national grief support network.In this episode, Stew and David discuss the harrowing and inspiring story of him as a young doctor who decided to find his own cure for the rare disease that nearly killed him. They talk about how David used crowdsourcing to investigate the most promising treatment options — something the medical community is starting to adopt -- and how, years after first being diagnosed, he’s in remission, married to his college sweetheart, and a new father. They explore what it takes to successfully confront the trials we each face in life with hope, perseverance, and the critical importance of social support.