The common assumption about success is that it requires choosing between one’s career and personal life or sacrificing one for the other. Stew Friedman, Wharton professor and global authority on leadership and performance, has found in over three decades of working with senior executives and leaders that achieving work/life balance is a myth. The key to success and personal fulfillment, says Friedman, is work/life integration: treating work, home, community and personal well-being holistically, and determining how to achieve “four-way wins” that positively impact performance in all of them.
Through his proven Total Leadership program – as exhibited by several executives in his recent article for People + Strategy, “Total Leadership: Improving Performance in All Part of Life” – Friedman helps leaders not only improve their own lives but demonstrably enhance company productivity and value.
A prolific writer, Friedman clearly outlines in People + Strategy the framework leaders can follow to achieve a company culture that values harmony between all domains of employees’ lives. “Total Leadership is not an abstract idea; it is a structured method that produces measurable change,” writes Friedman. “You become more focused on the things that matter and so you feel more grounded, more like the person you want to be.”
Friedman uses the example of a Target executive whose performance at work and relationship with his wife were both deteriorating. Rather than focusing on one important aspect of his life at the expense of the other, the executive turned to the Total Leadership framework to achieve integration. He began discussing work more often with his wife at home, while also cutting back on the hours he spent at the office. Consequently, his marriage improved in line with his clarity and competence on the job. This change in behavior also empowered his employees to take the same approach, which yielded happier, more productive, innovative workers.
Friedman’s framework, which was “designed to work for anyone at any organizational level and in any career stage,” has been employed by leaders at many of the world’s top corporations, producing concrete positive results for individuals and the companies where they lead and work. Total Leadership is a powerful guide for improving one’s organization through the betterment of oneself, reaching not just career goals or personal happiness – but both.