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Total Leadership: Be a Better Leader, Have a Richer Life 1st Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1422103289
ISBN-10: 1422103285
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Editorial Reviews

Review

In the future, being a leader will require ways to integrate work with rest of one's life, resulting in more effective leadership and a more fulfilling life. Total Leadership points the way.
--Robert Reich, Professor, University of California at Berkeley, former US Secretary of Labor, and author, Supercapitalism


Destined to be a classic, this is a remarkable book.  I have studied leadership and led organizations for over twenty years.  No other book has reshaped my thinking about leadership development as much as Total Leadership.
-- David A. Thomas, Dean, Georgetown University MdDonough School of Business, and author, Breaking Through: The Making of Minority Professionals in Corporate America


With a refreshingly simple approach to winning the daily struggle between family bliss and career satisfaction, Stew Friedman outlines clear and innovative solutions for better managing the competing demands of our lives.  Engaging and inspiring.
--Anne Erni, Head of Leadership, Learning and Diversity at Bloomberg


It is difficult to translate the dynamic process of learning into the pages of a book, but Stew Friedman has done it! When we become more intentional leaders, it benefits every facet of our lives: our work, our families, our community connections, and, at the deepest level, ourselves.
--Ellen Galinksy President, Families and Work Institute 


Total Leadership is so aligned with my thinking as an HR executive and medical director of a global business. With practical tools and compelling stories, Friedman demonstrates how to achieve four-way wins a distinctive, important new concept for today s leaders. 
--Dr. Robert W. Carr, Vice President and Corporate Medical Director, GlaxoSmithKline

About the Author

Stewart D. Friedman is the founding director of the Wharton School's Leadership Program and Wharton's Work/Life Integration Project. He is the former head of Ford's Leadership Development Center
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press; 1 edition (May 6, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1422103285
  • ISBN-13: 978-1422103289
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #430,956 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. Henderson on July 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I took two intercontinental flights recently and took the time to go through the "Total Leadership" program. And, before I begin my review, I want to say that over the past ten years or so I've seen an absolute avalanche of "leadership" books come out - most of them gimmicky and useless. This is not one of them and in fact I believe the title may deter people from purchasing this; do not be one of them.

"Total Leadership" is about finding your way when you have multiple responsibilities tugging you in different directions. Until now, I've often felt family pulling me one way, only to find the more time I spend with them the more I resent the time it takes away from work. Similarly, on business trips for example, I fight with feelings of guilt for being away from my family. And that's not to mention the the toll all of this takes on my health, when I'm too busy to exercise or just watch the game with friends. I'm here to say this book can help, like finding the long lost manual and finally figuring our how to do new things with a product, this book acts as a guide to finding a semblance of control in your life. It's not about sacrifice, and it's definitely not found in the idea of "balance", this book advocates a powerful third way: overlapping your domains and drawing boundaries.

What makes this book especially effective are the exercises the author puts the reader through. The reader is asked to define the issue, starting with the multiple responsibilities and challenges s/he faces, then it moves on to defining your domains, where is it that you spend your time? Most of the readers (including myself) would find four areas: self, family, work and community.
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Format: Hardcover
Stew Friedman has hit the ball out of the park by writing a book about his real-world experience helping people combine and optimize their home life with their work life. I took a class from Stew at Wharton a few years ago as the ideas and techniques in this book were evolving. The basic idea is to use Stew's rating methodology to rank how much effort you put into different parts of your life and to measure it against the returns you get. It's surprisingly easy to do and very insightful. Then, the book shows you how to optimize where you focus your energy so you can get better results in all the parts of your life that matter. Very few business and leadership books admit that the link between your home life and your work life is an integral part of how you function in both. Total Leadership not only understands this idea, it teaches you how to strengthen the link, enriching your life at work and at home. Try it, it works!
-a happy VP somewhere in Silicon Valley
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Format: Hardcover
I wish this book had been available 20 years ago when I was a senior-level corporate executive, struggling without much success to balance everything in my life. At that time, I had a large corporate staff to supervise and was married and the father of four teenagers, three sons and a daughter. Moreover, I was actively involved in several non-profit organizations. Finally, whenever possible, I tried to "squeeze" into my already busy life a occasional round of golf, a visit to one of the local art museums, "going out" to see a film. What I should have done -- but failed to do -- is what Stewart Friedman recommends in this book: to reflect on and then explore (through a four-step process of discovery) the relative importance of four domains in my life (i.e. work, home, community, and self) and determine (a) whether or not the goals I was pursuing in each were in synch, (b) in synch with the other goals, and (c) and how satisfied I was with what was happening in each and all domains. That was then...

Now, here's my take on a few of Friedman's key points.

1. Most people (including business leaders) function in the aforementioned domains. Once each has been measured, he challenge is to make whatever modifications are necessary to establish and then sustain harmony between and among them. "The whole fits together elegantly."

2. According to Friedman, "total" leaders possess great strength because they do what they love, drawing upon the resources of their entire (four-domain) life. By acting with authenticity, they are creating value for themselves, their families, their businesses, and their world.
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Format: Hardcover
I read about this book in a newspaper article, and was impressed by the favorable reviews here on amazon.com. After receiving my copy and browsing through it, I honestly don't see what all the fuss is about. Maybe I am not the B-school type. OK, I know I'm not the B-school type. But I have a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, where the good Dr. Friedman is on faculty at the Wharton School. I am an analytical person and aware of my shortcomings and my long-term goals. If you are a self-aware person, you do not need this book unless you are specifically interested in Dr. Friedman's techniques for achieving total leadership. The concepts of work/family/community/self and approaching stakeholders are important ones, but after a while, all the sample writeups (names changed for anonymity) read the same.

I fully support Dr. Friedman's intent and I like his idea that achieving total leadership is not the same as finding a work-life balance, as the latter implies compromise and finite resources to be split into one of two realms.

I purchased my copy as an amazon.com used book, and it was inscribed To Jayne, From Stew. Apparently Jayne didn't find it a keeper either.
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