Download a free chapter from Leading the Life You Want
You’re busy trying to lead a “full” life. But does it really feel full—or are you stretched too thin?
Enter Stew Friedman, Wharton professor, adviser to leaders across the globe, and passionate advocate of replacing the misguided metaphor of “work/life balance” with something more realistic, sustainable, and enriching. According to Friedman, the idea that “work” competes with “life” ignores the more nuanced reality of our humanity—the intersection and interaction of four central domains: work, home, community, and the private self. The goal is to integrate these areas harmoniously instead of thinking only in terms of trade-offs. It can be done.
“For nearly thirty years, my life’s work has been to help people like you find ways to bring the often warring aspects of life into greater harmony.”
– Stew Friedman, from Leading the Life You Want
Building on his national bestseller, Total Leadership, and on over three decades of research, teaching, and practice as both consultant and senior executive, in this Wall Street Journal bestseller Stew Friedman identifies the critical skills for creating harmony between work and the rest of life. He illustrates them through the compelling stories of six remarkable people:
Each of these admirable, though surely imperfect, people exemplifies a specific set of skills—for being real, being whole, and being innovative—they learned through trial-and-error that reduce conflict and produce a sense of purpose, coherence, and optimism in their lives.
Based on in-depth interviews and original research, their stories paint a vivid picture of the ways these very different leaders use specific skills to act with authenticity, integrity, and creativity—and they prove that significant professional or public success is accomplished not at the expense of the rest of life, but as the result of meaningful attachments to all its parts.
With dozens of engaging easy-to-do exercises for practicing these skills, curated from research in organizational psychology and related fields, this book will inspire you, inform you, and instruct you on how to take realistic steps now toward leading the life you truly want; to find both greater freedom and more harmony among the different parts of your life by using your unique gifts to be of service to others.
Leading the Life You Want illustrates through compelling biographies the skills you need to…lead a life that truly blends meaning and happiness.Melinda Gates, Co-Chair, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
“Your work has inspired mine. I continue to use Leading the Life You Want with first generation college students from underserved communities. Adopting your model, they are engaged in peer-mentoring using the questions at the back of the book.”Susan Bach, Exec. Dir., Rollins College Center for Leadership Development
[Friedman] explores the idea that truly winning people over starts with knowing what you care about, and then being able to express that in ways other people can relate to.Fast Company
Friedman’s book is a good starting point for dealing with the dilemmas of the modern workplace and beyond…Leading the Life You Want gives you tools to help you craft your own approach.CEO-Read
In Leading the Life You Want, Friedman masterfully weaves together six life narratives to show exactly how any of us can live a more richly integrated, meaningful and satisfying life with others.Huffington Post
In this fascinating and timely book, Professor Friedman draws on insights from the inspiring stories of six people to provide a deep analysis of the skills needed to lead the life you want and what it takes to develop these skills. This is a must-read for anyone seeking to create that elusive goal of modern lives—the purposeful integration of work and life.Lynda Gratton, Professor of Management Practice, London Business School
By linking the personal and professional success of six very different and highly successful individuals, Stew Friedman has given us new insight into the mechanics of living a productive and satisfying life of service. Well done!Dick Couch, Captain, USNR (Retired), author, Always Faithful, Always Forward and Act of Revenge
This is a great manifesto for getting it done. Bravo!David Allen Author, Getting Things Done
I love this book! Friedman’s inspiring and refreshing Leading the Life You Want, through its personal and interesting stories, is a compelling case for why business leaders should embrace all aspects of life and how they can do so. This is exactly what talent in today’s market is looking for.Laura E. Kohler, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Kohler Co.
Great stuff! Teddy Roosevelt famously said, ‘The best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.’ In this engaging, instructive, and insatiably useful book, Stew Friedman shows all of us how to win big at work that matters, without losing ourselves in the process.William C. Taylor Co-founder and founding editor, Fast Company
18 questions that could change your life. Take the Skills Assessment and learn how good you are at being real, being whole, and being innovative. Discover which of these six great leaders has strengths most like yours.