Work and Life with Stew Friedman


Ep 173. Stefanie Johnson: Inclusify -- The Power of Uniqueness and Belonging

Stefanie Johnson is an associate professor at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Leeds School of Business and her new book is Inclusify: The Power of Uniqueness and Belonging to Build Innovative Teams. Professor Johnson studies the intersection of leadership and diversity, focusing on how unconscious bias affects the evaluation of leaders and on strategies that leaders can use to mitigate bias.  She draws on her own experience as a Latina who grew up poor to inform her research. She is a member of the MG 100 Coaches, was selected for the 2020 Thinkers50 Radar List, and has presented her work at over 170 meetings around the world, including at the White House for a 2016 summit on diversity in corporate America on National Equal Pay Day.

In this episode, Stew and Stefanie talk about how she has evolved in her thoughts and feelings about what it takes to create cultures that both celebrate individual differences and build a sense of belonging among members.  Stefanie draws an important distinction between “diversity” and “inclusion” and she describes the various styles of leadership as they relate to the challenge of leading diverse, inclusive organizations.  Based on her extensive research, Stefanie offers suggestions for what leaders at all levels can do to overcome the hurdles that stand in the way of inclusifying work organizations. 

Here then is an invitation, a challenge, for you, once you’ve listened to the conversation.  Take the inclusify quiz here and find out which one of the leadership types suits you best.  Then, try one of the recommended actions.  What do you discover?  Write to Stew Friedman to let him know, at, or connect with him on LinkedIn.  While you’re at it, share your thoughts with Stew on this episode and your ideas for people you’d like to hear on future shows.  

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Ep 215. Ulcca Joshi Hansen: The Future of Smart

Ulcca Joshi Hansen, a researcher and education advocate, is the author of The Future of Smart: How Our Education System Needs to Change to Help All Young People Thrive. Ulcca believes each young person deserves the chance to discover their unique potential, and to explore what that means for how they contribute to the world. She explores the disconnect between what we want for our children, what we value, and what our education system is actually providing. She’s a mother of two and a former elementary teacher who has worked in education for two decades. She is herself an English as a second language learner and a first generation college graduate. Ulcca is the Chief Program Officer at Grantmakers for Education, the nation's largest and most diverse network of education grant makers dedicated to improving educational outcomes and increasing opportunities for all learners. She has a BA in philosophy, a PhD from the University of Oxford, and a JD from Harvard Law School. She is a two-time TEDx speaker and has been recognized nationally for her leadership as a Harry S. Truman Scholar, a British Marshall Scholar, and a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow.In this episode, Stew talks with Ulcca about what we want our children to learn and what they are actually being taught in our schools. We discuss what it means to be “smart” in today’s in today’s complex world -- and in tomorrow’s -- and how the educational system we have had for centuries has to change. Ulcca describes what we can do to make the necessary changes, as parents, business leaders, policy makers, and citizens.Here then is an invitation for you, a challenge, after you’ve had a chance to listen to this episode. Have a conversation with anyone you know about how a more holistic approach to education would make our nation stronger, better prepared to meet the challenges the next generation will face. Share your reactions to this episode and your suggestions for future shows with Stew by writing to him at or via LinkedIn.