Work and Life with Stew Friedman


Ep 100. Dan Schawbel: Back to Human

Dan Schawbel is a partner and research director at Future Workplace, an HR advisory and research firm, and the Founder of both Millennial Branding and  His third business book is Back to Human: How Great Leaders Create Connection in the Age of Isolation. Dan is bestselling author of two previous books: Promote Yourself and Me 2.0.    He’s conducted dozens of research studies and interviewed over 2,000 of the world’s most successful people, including Warren Buffett, Anthony Bourdain, Jessica Alba,, and Michael Bloomberg. He has been recognized on lists of fascinating, high-impact thought leaders, like Inc.’s and Forbes’ “30 Under 30” and many others .

Dan and Stew talk about the use and abuse of technology. They explore how technology’s promise as a vehicle for connectivity hasn’t been fully realized because it paradoxically produces loneliness.  For instance, remote workers are harder to retain; they tend to be less committed to their organizations because they lack sufficient in-person human contact. They also discuss technology’s upside; how it can be used to increase efficiency and to help people build communities online so they don’t feel so isolated. This has been an especially effective tool for people who reach out for help by making themselves vulnerable and sharing their struggles, including with mental health problems.  Dan describes some of the practical ideas and tools from his research, including The Work Connectivity Index, a diagnostic companies use to assess whether and how people do indeed feel isolated and alone.

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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.

Ep 155. Wayne Baker: All You Have to Do Is Ask

Wayne Baker is the Robert P. Thome Professor of Business Administration and Professor of Management & Organizations at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, and Faculty Director of the Center for Positive Organizations. His latest book is All You Have to Do Is Ask: How to Master the Most Important Skill for Success. He is the author of five other books and many scholarly articles. His work has focused on social capital, social networks, generosity, and positive organizations, and values. Wayne is a cofounder and board member of Give and Take Inc., developers of the Givitas collaborative technology platform based on principles in All You Have to Do Is Ask.In this episode, Stew and Wayne talk about the science and art of both asking for and giving help, and we need to be able to do both. Getting the support we need to achieve our goals, at work and in all the rest of life, is too often inhibited by difficulties we face in asking for it. In this conversation, Wayne describes and illustrates what the barriers are that hold people back from asking for help and what can be done to overcome them. He explains the essential elements of an effective request -- that it’s specific, meaningful, action-oriented, realistic, and time-bound -- and how to assess your style of giving and receiving help, as a useful starting point for becoming smarter about how to cultivate generosity in all the relationships that matter to you.