Work and Life with Stew Friedman

8/27/2021

Ep 214. Gorick Ng: The Unspoken Rules for Early Career Success

Gorick Ng is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School and is now a career adviser at Harvard College, specializing in coaching first-generation, low-income students. He’s also a researcher with the Managing the Future of Work project at Harvard. His new book, The Unspoken Rules: Secrets to Starting Your Career Off Right, is now offered to employees at companies such as IBM, Houlihan Lokey, Invesco, Cigna, Qualcomm, GE, and others. Harvard Business School has also given The Unspoken Rules to every 2021 MBA student to give them an edge in their internships and full-time jobs.In this episode, Stew talks with Gorick about specific guidance for how young people can navigate school and their first jobs for early career success, with particular emphasis on first-generation and low-income students. Gorick’s research and practice reveals there are three critical questions one must answer well: Are you competent? Are you committed? Are you compatible? After Gorick describes how his personal history led him to devoting himself to this field, he gets into some practical tips with examples for how to go about demonstrating competence, commitment, and compatibility.Here then is an invitation for you, a challenge, after you’ve had a chance to listen to this episode. For yourself, or for a young person you know, ask the three critical questions and come up with an action implied by whatever the answer might be. Share your reactions to this episode and your suggestions for future shows with Stew by writing to him at friedman@wharton.upenn.edu or via LinkedIn.
8/13/2021

Ep 213. Richard Culatta: Raising Children to Thrive in an Online World

Richard Culatta is author of Digital for Good: Raising Kids to Thrive in an Online World. Richard serves as CEO of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), a nonprofit serving education leaders in 127 countries. A teacher by training and innovator by inclination, Culatta works to leverage technology to reinvent learning and was appointed by President Obama as the Director of the Office of Educational Technology for the US Department of Education. Currently, he serves as a senior fellow at NYU’s GovLab and as a design resident for the San Francisco-based innovation and design firm IDEO.In this episode, Stew talks with Richard about practical ideas for how we can cultivate good digital citizenship in our children by developing five essential qualities: focusing on the quality and value of specific content and not on the amount of time spent online; staying informed as a discerning consumer of online content; learning to take in alternative perspectives; engaging in the community; and staying alert and creating safe spaces for others.Here then is an invitation for you, a challenge, after you’ve had a chance to listen to this episode. What small step can you now take to help a child in your life become a stronger citizen of the digital world? Share your reactions to this episode and your suggestions for future shows with Stew by writing to him at friedman@wharton.upenn.edu or via LinkedIn.
7/23/2021

Ep 212. Jessica Bacal: Learning from Rejection

Jessica Bacal is director of Reflective and Integrative Practices and of the Narratives Project at Smith College. Her latest book is The Rejection That Changed My Life: 25+ Powerful Women on Being Let Down, Turning It Around, and Burning It Up at Work. It’s is a sequel of sorts to Jessica’s first bestseller, Mistakes I Made at Work: 25 Influential Women on What They Got Out of Getting It Wrong. The Narratives Project at Smith encourages students to explore their passions and articulate their values and goals through personal storytelling. Before her career in higher education, Jessica was an elementary school teacher in New York City, and then a curriculum developer and consultant. She received a bachelor’s degree from Carleton College, an MFA in writing from Hunter College, and an EdD from the University of Pennsylvania.In this episode, Stew talks with Jessica about how to learn and grow from rejection, a kind of experience everyone has. She describes how to glean useful data from rejections, especially about your values; cultivate creativity on the other side of the awful feelings that follow rejection; build the “rejection muscle” by exposing yourself to small rejections regularly; and take a new path in a rejection’s wake. All this comes to light through stories of fascinating women and from exercises derived from their wisdom.Here then is an invitation for you, a challenge, after you’ve had a chance to listen to this episode. What small rejections -- at work, at home, in your community, or in your private sphere -- can you induce in order to build your rejection muscle? Share your reactions to this episode and your suggestions for future shows with Stew by writing to him at friedman@wharton.upenn.edu or via LinkedIn.
7/16/2021

Ep 211. Latha Poonamallee: Mindfulness and Leadership in a Changing World

Latha Poonamallee is an Associate Professor, Chair of Faculty of Management, and University Fellow at the New School in New York City. In her book, Expansive Leadership: Cultivating Mindfulness to Lead Self and Others in a Changing World, she explains that meditation and mindfulness are tools that can change how we do business and are part of a new way to lead us to a better, more equitable world. Latha created the Management and Social Justice Conversation Series that she hosts at the New School, and serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the Society of Advancement of Management’s Advanced Management Journal. She is also a tech entrepreneur; she co-founded In-Med Prognostics, a neuroscience AI venture that brings affordable and accessible brain health tools to underserved markets.In this episode, Stew talks with Latha about her optimistic view of how the pandemic can change for the better the way we do business. They discuss how mindfulness can increase the resilience of individuals and organizations alike and even help us build community and be more connected to each other. They also discuss how technology can be harnessed for good.Here then is an invitation for you, a challenge, after you’ve had a chance to listen to this episode. Take a deep breath or two, close your eyes, and imagine an interconnected world and your place in it then write a note to yourself in response to this question: What kind of leadership can you develop to support that world? Share your reactions to this episode and your suggestions for future shows with Stew by writing to him at friedman@wharton.upenn.edu or via LinkedIn.
5/28/2021

Ep 208. Jason Harris: The Soulful Art of Persuasian

Jason Harrisis is CEO of the creative agency Mekanism, which has been named to Ad Age's Agency A-list and twice to their Best Places to Work. He’s the author of a recent book called The Soulful Art of Persuasion. Jason works closely with brands using a blend of soul and science to create provocative campaigns that engage audiences. Those iconic brands include Peloton, Ben & Jerry's, MillerCoors, HBO, and the United Nations. He’s been named in the Top 10 Most Influential Social Impact Leaders, as well as the 4A's list of "100 People Who Make Advertising Great." His methods are studied in cases at Harvard Business School.In this episode, Stew talks with Jason about building a trusting workplace culture and strengthening your reputation and your market power through persuasion, though Jason’s take on persuasion is not what most people think about when they picture what it means to be persuasive. He demonstrates with enlightening examples how the ability to persuade -- which we need in all parts of our lives -- results from being original, generous, empathetic, and soulful. And he provides super-practical tips for how to cultivate these qualities.Here then is an invitation for you, a challenge, after you’ve had a chance to listen to this episode: What might you try to say or do that would reveal more of yourself to others, whether at work or in some other part of your life, and thereby build greater trust in your world? Share your reactions and your suggestions for future episodes with Stew by writing to him at friedman@wharton.upenn.edu or via LinkedIn.
5/21/2021

Ep 207. Liya Shuster-Bier: Alula is Making Cancer Less Lonely

Liya Shuster-Bier is the founder and CEO of Alula, a radically honest platform for cancer patients, caregivers, and survivors. She is a cancer survivor herself. Prior to Alula, Liya built a career in community development and impact investing, partnering with mayors and governors across the country to create innovative financing solutions that improved community outcomes. She started her career at Goldman Sachs, on the corporate currency derivatives team. In addition to receiving her MBA in Entrepreneurial Management from The Wharton School, where she was a student in Stew’s Total Leadership course, Liya is a proud Dartmouth alum, a native of Queens, NY, and an immigrant.In this episode, Stew talks with Liya about the story of her experience as a caregiver during her mother’s fight against cancer and about her own journey from the discovery of her own cancer to her current life as a survivor. With compelling examples, Liya vividly describes the trials and tribulations -- the physical, social, economic, and emotional challenges -- of living with cancer and how she realized, because she felt lost, the need for a resource that could help people with cancer and their caregivers deal with the realities of the world beyond hospitals. Liya talks about Alula’s mission, it’s fast-growing number of partnerships with product and service providers as well as investors, and how her company’s culture is focused on sustaining the real lives of all its stakeholders. Hers is an inspiring leadership story of how you can transmute an excruciating pain in your life into something of value to others.Here then in an invitation for you, if you or someone you care about is struggling with how to treat and survive cancer: Explore myalula.com and find help.Share your reactions and suggestions for future episodes with Stew by writing to him at friedman@wharton.upenn.edu or via LinkedIn.
5/16/2021

Ep 206. Erica Dhawan: Digital Body Language

Erica Dhawan is author of Digital Body Language: How to Build Trust and Connection No Matter the Distance. She is also the Founder and CEO of Cotential, a global organization that helps companies, leaders, and managers leverage 21st century collaboration skills and behaviors to improve performance. She’s also co-author of the bestselling Get Big Things Done: The Power of Connectional Intelligence. She was named by Thinkers50 as “The Oprah of Management Ideas” and featured as one of the Top 20 Management Experts around the world by GlobalGurus. She has degrees from Harvard University, MIT Sloan, and The Wharton School, where she took Stew’s Total Leadership course. (And when he wasn’t able to receive in person the Thinkers50 award for distinguished achievement in the field of talent, he asked Erica to do so on his behalf -- they’ve been friends for a long time.)In this episode, Stew talks with Erica about her latest book, written before the pandemic but even more important now that so many are working almost entirely in the virtual world. She shares lots of practical advice on such matters as when to write in all caps, with whom to use emojis, how to negotiate ambiguous time-to-respond issues, how to respond to passive aggressive emails, a method for analyzing your digital body language style, and more.Here then, is an invitation, a challenge, for you, once you’ve listened to the conversation: Pause after drafting your next email, before you send it, and think for a moment about the emotional reaction you expect from the recipient. Does this suggest a change in what you wrote? Share your reactions to this idea, this episode, and suggestions for future episodes with Stew by writing to him at friedman@wharton.upenn.edu or via LinkedIn.