This section has over 100 articles on Total Leadership, new choices for men and women, producing sustainable change, social and private sector policy, and more about creating harmony among the different parts of life. And there are cases we have done on creating cultural change in organizations.
We hope you find them helpful and welcome your ideas and questions about how you can use these resources to meet your goals.
Friedman’s three high-impact HBR magazine articles have been re-published in various collections of “must-reads” from the magazine. The two most recent articles capture the essence of his two HBR Press books, respectively. The 1998 piece (with Perry Christensen and Jessica DeGroot) was one of the first in HBR on the subject of work and life and it describes the key ideas underlying the Total Leadership approach.
2014. Work + Home + Community + Self
2008. Be a Better Leader, Have a Richer Life — included in both HBR Ten Must Reads for Managing Yourself and the Essential Guide to Leadership.
1998. Work and Life: The End of The Zero-Sum Game
Since 2008, Friedman has published 50+ articles on at HBR.org on leadership, the relationship between work and the rest of life, policy and advocacy for social change, careers, and more.
2020. How Working Parents Can Regain Control Over Their Lives with Alyssa Westring
2018. How Our Careers Affect Our Children.
2018. How Peer Coaching Can Make Work Less Lonely.
2016. Great Performers Make Their Personal Lives a Priority
2016. What to Do If Your Parents Are Causing Career Angst?
2016. 3 Productivity Tips You Can Start Using Today
2016. Most Resolutions Fail Because They’re Not Important Enough
2015. Why Paid Leave Matters for the Future of Business
2015. How to Manage Your Team’s Vacation
2015. When You Realize You’ll Never Get Your Dream Job
2015. How to Get Your Team to Coach Each Other
2015. Keep Your Home Life Same When Work Gets Crazy
2015. Get More Done by Focusing Less on Work
2014. What Successful Work and Life Looks Like
2014. Does Corporate America Finally Get What Working Parents Need?
2014. Working Dads Need “Me Time” Too with Alyssa Westring
2014. Reduce Stress by Pursuing Four-Way Wins
2013. 7 Policy Changes America Needs So People Can Work and Have Kids
2013. Successfully Integrate Your Work, Home, Community, and Self
2013. Men: Win at Work by Leaning In at Home
2013. We Are All Part of the Work/Life Revolution
2013. Real Leaders Have Real Lives
2013. Remembering Richard Hackman
2012. New Research on Working Parenthood: Men Are More Egalitarian, Women are More Realistic
2012. “Having It All” Is Not a Women’s Issue
2010. How Are You Developing Future Leaders?
2010. The First Couple and a New Era of Workplace Flexibility
2010. Tweet or Meet? How to Choose Your Medium Wisely
2010. Honing Your Skills as a Peer Coach
2010. How to Cultivate a Peer Coaching Network
2009. The Hidden Business Cost of Mental Illness
2009. Three Reasons Why Bruce is the Best Boss
2009. Why The Hurt Locker Hurts
2009. How a 2-Minute Story Helps You Lead
2009. Become a More Creative Leader — Think Small
2009. The Power of Preventive Assessment
2009. The Most Compelling Leadership Vision
2009. The Soloist: Creating a Sound Distinctly Yours
2009. Will the Next MBA Grads Take More Risks?
2009. Grownups Need Recess, Too
2009. You Are a Leader (Really!)
2008. 3 Steps Toward Being a Better Leader in 2009
2008. What Teach For America Can Teach You
2008. Leadership Lessons From an Astronaut
2008. Do Not Waste This Crisis
2008. Leading Change? These 5 Obama-Approved Tactics Get Buy-In
2008. Obama’s Authentic Leadership — And Yours
2008. Mental or Physical Illness–Which is the Bigger Workforce Problem?
2008. Resilience: What Neil Young Can Teach Microsoft, And Us
2008. Public Service, Anyone? After a Crisis, Rediscover Do-Gooding
2008. Why It’s Not Selfish To Take Care of Yourself
2008. Focus on What Matters the Most to You
2008. Tough Economy? Smart Managers Dial the Stress Level Down, Not Up — included in the HBR Collection: Unconventional Wisdom in a Downturn
2008. Remembering a Master of Leadership
2008. Define Your Personal Leadership Vision
2008. How Do Your Work and Community Affect Each Other?
2008. Do You Hide Your Inner Bruce Wayne?
2008. Master the Art of Interruptibility
2008. What Google Taught Me About Personal Communication
2008. Sports: The Language of Connection
2008. Overcome Your Fear of Trying Something New
2008. Leadership on The Wire
2008. A More Holistic Approach to Problem Solving
2008. The First Step to a Richer Life
2008. Don’t Leave Your Personal Life at Home
Since 1999, Friedman’s contributions to practice, teaching, and research at the Wharton Work/Life Integration Project have been featured in 30+ articles published in Knowledge@Wharton on leadership, work and life, social policy, culture change, and careers.
2016. The Case for Phased Retirement
2016. Better Pay of More Flexibility: It Doesn’t Have to Be a Trade-off
2016. The Retirement Problem: What Will You Do With All That Time?
2015. Is Now the Best Time to Have a Baby in Corporate America?
2015. Mental Health in the Workplace: How We Can Move Beyond Stigma
2015. Separation of Church and Cubicle: Religion in the Workplace
2015. Wake-Up Call: Why Everyone Needs More Sleep
2014. Stressed Out By Work? You’re Not Alone
2014. The Critical Steps to Integrating Work and Life
2013. Encore Careers: Why an Aging Population Is a Resource, Not a Problem
2013. To Close the Gender Gap, What Needs to Change — Women or the System?
2013. When Working at Home Is Productive, and When It’s Not
2013. Anne-Marie Slaughter: Forget ‘Having it All’ – Own What You Want
2013. From the Altar to IPO: HIghs and Lows of Married Business Partners
The Changing Nature of “Having It All”
2012. High-powered Women and Supportive Spouses: Who’s in Charge, and of What?
2012 The Eye-opening Impact of Sleep Deficits
2012. Taking a Long Lunch? When Doing Personal Chores on the Job is OK
2012. Flipping The Switch: Who is Responsible for Getting Employees to Take a Break?
2011. From Freelancers to Telecommuters: Succeeding in the New World of Solitary Work
2011. Daughters Rule
2011. Gross Domestic Happiness: What is the Relationship between Money and Well-being?
2011. Doing Good, with the Power of Half
2010. Adjusting to the “New Normal”: The Consequences of Long-term High Unemployment
2010. When do Exaggerations and Misstatements Cross the Line?
2010. One Ambivalent Economy + Many Cautious Employers = One Difficult Job Market
2009. Caught in the Middle: Rising Unemployment Takes its Toll on Older Managers
2009. Six Months into the Job: How Successful is the President’s Leadership Style?
2009. Integrate your Personal and Professional Life in Three Steps
2007. Toppling a Taboo: Businesses go “Faith-friendly”
2006. Plateauing: Redefining Success at Work
2002. Cultivating Total Leadership with Authenticity, Integrity, and Creativity
2002. Vacationing in a Wireless World: Relaxation vs. 4000 Emails
2002. What Happens to the Inner Circle of the Ousted CEO?
2000. Who’s Watching the Kids? The State of Child Care in America
1999. Life-friendly Managers with a Win-Win Philosophy
Here are some research articles and book chapters on the impact of the Total Leadership program, how senior executives cultivate work/life change, and how children are affected by their parents’ lives at work.
2020. Eldor, L., Westring, A. F., and Friedman, S. D. The Indirect Effect of Holistic Career Values On Work Engagement: A Longitudinal Study Spanning Two Decades. Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, Vol 12 (1): 144-165. Finds cultivating a holistic career perspective among employees is beneficial for both employee well‐being (i.e. personal life satisfaction) and the flourishing of their organizations (i.e. work engagement).
2017. Grisso, J.A., Sammel, M.D., Rubenstein, A. H., Speck, R. M., Conant, E.F., Scott, P., Tuton, L.W., Westring, A.F., Friedman, S. D., and Abbuhl, S. B. A Randomized Controlled Trial to Improve the Success of Women Assistant Professors. Journal of Women’s Health, May, 26 (5): 571-579. Reports results of the NIH-funded research initiative in which Total Leadership and other interventions were tested for their impact on the lives and careers of junior women faculty in academic medicine.
2006. Friedman, S. D. Learning to Lead in All Domains of Life. American Behavioral Scientist, Vol. 49 (9): 1270-1297. Describes the conceptual model underlying Total Leadership, its method, and the learning community needed to support participants in it.
Stew Friedman was head of leadership development at Ford Motor for a few years in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s. The story of what he and his team did to try to drive cultural change at the iconic global manufacturing company was told in a number of articles.
Changing the Culture of Ford
In a ground-breaking, multi-disciplinary study funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Total Leadership program was one of a set of interventions designed to improve the lives and careers of women in academic medicine. Click below to learn more.
Changing the Culture of Academic Medicine
Following the success of our work at the School of Medicine, the Provost’s office at the University of Pennsylvania has funded a follow-on program called Penn Pathways, a two-year learning journey offered to young faculty throughout the University, described here and here.
What does it take for business leaders to integrate the different domains of their lives and what must they do to ensure that the people in their organizations are able to do the same? In 1999, the Wharton Work/Life Integration Project convened an action research conference, The Role of Senior Business Leaders in Creating and Sustaining Work/Life Change, funded in part by the Sloan Foundation, that addressed these questions. Click below to read an overview of this research and further below for summaries of the four case studies of executives helping employees align their actions and values.
Senior Leaders Creating Work/Life Change — Overview
The International Journal of Leadership Education published these four cases in in 2005 (and they were also published by the Aspen Institute). Stew Friedman provides background and an overview of this project in this article: Four studies of executives helping employees align their actions and values.
Below are summaries of the four case studies and links to the full articles about them.
Lobel, S., 2005, Allied Signal: A case study on the role of senior business leaders in driving work/life cultural change. International Journal of Leadership Education, 1: 31 – 64.
The Allied Signal case revolves around a leader’s ability to integrate an unyielding demand for bottom-line results with a focus on the whole person. How does Sandra Beach Lin “walk the talk”? How do others reflect her style? What has she been able to achieve using this approach?
Since 1993, Allied Signal has developed a wide range of work/life programs and policies to support employees. Allied Signal recently received an award from the National Council of Women for Family Friendly program recognizing its contributions to the advancement of women in corporate America. From 1995 to 1997, employee satisfaction with benefits increased from 50 percent to 63 percent, corporate-wide.
Allied Signal’s CEO, Leo Bossidy, joined the company in 1991. He earned a reputation as a hard-driving leader who places a “stretch” on top of the goals that people set for themselves. Headlines about Bossidy in the popular press read “Larry Bossidy won’t stop pushing” and “Tough guy.” Allied Signal had 29 quarters of greater than 13 percent net income growth, which validates Bossidy’s approach.
The case site is the Specialty Wax & Additives group, one of four Strategic Business Enterprises (SBE) within the Specialty Chemical Strategic Business Unit (SBU) at Allied Signal. Sandy Lin is vice president and general manager of the Specialty Wax & Additives group, with 800 employees.
Despite her short tenure of 18 months at Allied Signal, Sandy Lin has come to be known as a leader who inspires her direct reports to accomplish stretch goals without compromising important aspects of life outside of work. Says one of her direct reports, “Sandy sees everyone in the business as more than just a business person. While demands for performance are very high, she is comfortable with formulating a personal process for meeting the various demands…When she talks to you, she is interested in what’s happening in your life, beyond your contributions to Allied Signal. Other leaders say that this is their approach, and yet when it comes down to it, there is very little sensitivity about meeting home responsibility in addition to office responsibility.”
The case presents elements from conversations with Sandy’s senior manager, her direct line and staff reports, and a focus group of employees. These conversations provide insights into how others see Sandy’s unique style and how it has affected their performance and morale. Individuals describe changes in the culture of Specialty Wax, although they acknowledge that there is still much room for improvement. Sandy’s style, at this point, is not a catalyst for change outside of Specialty Wax. If she successfully meets her challenging performance goals, others within the broader company may become curious about how she was able to do so.
Friedman, S. D., Thompson, C., Carpenter, M. and Marcel, D., 2005. Proving Leo Durocher wrong: driving work/life change at Ernst & Young. International Journal of Leadership Education, 1: 65-92.
Ernst & Young, LLP (E&Y), one of the “Big 5” accounting and consulting firms in the United States, has invested heavily over the last several years in the transformation of the organization and its culture to make it more supportive of life beyond work. The tight labor market for talented professionals in accounting and consulting has driven firms competing in these fields not only to create work environments that attract the best and the brightest, but also to ensure retention of existing employees.
Chairman and CEO Phil Laskaway led the way. He demonstrates tremendous support of life balance and other retention-related initiatives. Through his personal leadership and frequently stated position that “people issues” are the top priority for the remainder of his tenure in office, he has personally advanced the cause of retention and life balance, and engaged other senior leaders to do the same.
Laskaway created the Office for Retention (OFR) to improve opportunities for women and life balance for both men and women. The OFR’s director, Deborah Holmes, reports directly to the chairman. Since its inception, the OFR has worked with people at all levels of the firm to develop new approaches to addressing the life balance challenges. The OFR developed life balance prototypes in partnership with leaders and staff in several of the firm’s practice areas and capture their best practices.
The case describes two of the main prototypes, including the innovative work/life practices tried in them (e.g., revising the structure of the work week, openly discussing work/life considerations with clients and restructuring the nature of the consultant-client relationship, requiring explicit dialogue about work/life issues in account teams, and more). The case also discusses E&Y’s “Life Balance Matrix,” created by the OFR by leveraging the firm’s approach to knowledge management and information technology. The Life Balance Matrix is a Lotus Notes database that serves as a dynamic repository for E&Y’s life balance tools.
The case discusses the OFR’s partnering with E&Y’s Consulting Services practice to implement the Life Balance Matrix on various accounts through the Account-Centric Retention Initiative (ACRI). The ACRI is an effort to bring to the account level a dedicated focus on continually retaining the best talent in the field.
Bankert, E., Lee, M. E., and Lange, C., 2005. SAS Institute: A case study on the role of senior business leaders in driving work/life cultural change. International Journal of Leadership Education, 1: 93 – 114.
SAS Institute is the world’s largest privately held software company, with sales in 1998 of $870 million – double its revenue only six years earlier. In 1999, they exceeded $1 billion. Founded in 1976, the company makes statistical analysis software that it leases to a widely diverse group of customers. The company’s customer base has grown from 100 customers in 1976 to more than 30,000 in twelve countries, including all but two of the largest U.S. public companies. SAS Institute has 5,400 employees; 3,400 are at the company’s campus headquarters in Cary, North Carolina. John Goodnight, SAS Institute’s founders and CEO, owns two-thirds of the company, while John Sall, a senior vice president, owns the other third.
In recent years, SAS Institute has received considerable media attention for the “utopian” environment for which it has become known. The company’s physical surroundings are country club-like, and include two childcare centers, a fully staffed health center, private offices for all, a pianist in the company-subsidized cafeteria, state-of-the-art athletic facilities, and many other perks.
In terms of noteworthy non-tangibles, the company offers unlimited employee sick days and a 35-hour workweek. What’s not available is perhaps even more telling: there is no executive dining room, no reserved parking spaces (except for company vans), and no coveted offices for executives.
The compelling case story behind SAS Institute is not tied to a specific change initiative or the many perks, but is about the work environment created at the company’s outset and sustained over time. The case focuses on capturing the essential elements that define the SAS Institute culture: employee-centered values, employee interdependence, a spirit of risk-taking, freedom, challenging work, richness of resources, and the company’s physical surrounding.
In describing the background and motivation for creating this type of environment, the case explores issues related to Goodnight’s own value system and philosophy of work. In the section on maintaining the work environment, the case describes four strategies that have been initiated to support the company culture. These include a “hire hard” recruitment strategy, the 35-hour workweek, employee and manager surveys, and the compensation system. The case also presents the results from the company’s internal surveys, as well as specific employee data from the business press.
Siegel, P. 2005. Seagate Technology: A case study on the role of senior business leaders in driving work/life cultural change. International Journal of Leadership Education, 1:115 – 158.
Seagate Technology, Inc. designs, manufactures, and markets products for storage, retrieval, and management of data computer and data communications systems. The company has 85,000 employees located around the world. The case is centered on the Enterprise Storage Group (ESG), a business segment that comprises roughly 40 percent of Seagate’s total annual sales and specializes in the design, manufacturing, and the marketing of ultra high performance disc drives.
Beginning in early 1998, Seagate shifted to a team-based work environment that involved redesigning the organization into core teams. CEO Steve Luczo and CTO Tom Porter characterized the core team restructuring as necessary to ensure the company’s time-to-market (TTM) leadership, continued product performance, competitive advantage, and profitability. As of January 1999, there were a total of 17 core teams in operation at Seagate sites in Minnesota, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Singapore.
With major changes underway at Seagate, John Weyandt, the senior vice president in charge of ESG, articulated his business objectives as a faster time to market, and employee work/life balance.
The case looks at the core team change initiative in the context of achieving employee work/life balance. In particular, the case examines: the role of key individuals in mananging the change process; initial outcomes with respect to the TTM objective: initial outcomes with respect to the work/life balance objective; and remaining challenges as Seagate continues to manage the change process.
Several players are part of the case. Key change agents are Esther Williams (manager, Corporate Benefits) and Sue Eklund (in charge of Training, Organizational Learning, and Development for Seagate’s Twin Cities Operations (TCO)), who have been indispensable in their roles as champions of change. They have been the energy force that has focused TCO and the ESG on the importance of work/life issues. Their success in getting both senior leaders and grassroots employees to embrace work/life balance as an important business objective is, in part, a function of their dogged persistence in dialoguing with individuals to the point that “when they start thinking differently, they act differently.”
Key players from Seagate’s senior leadership include Tom Porter, who champions work/life by providing financial resources for various work/life initiatives and related programs, making himself available to speak with Esther and Sue on work/life issues, and being supportive and accommodating of his employees’ needs. While an “enabler” and motivator, he views work/life balance as a byproduct of TTM rather than a means to an end. Another key senior leader, John Weyandt, has made a visible commitment to work/life balance by stating this up-front at a meeting with the CEO and other corporate executives. As a leader of change, he demonstrates the importance of work/life balance by walking the talk.