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Work and Life with Stew Friedman

Welcome to the Work and Life Podcast with Stew Friedman -- bestselling author, celebrated professor at The Wharton School, and founder of Wharton's Work/Life Integration Project. Stew is widely recognized as the world's ... More
Latest Episode
2019-11-13

Ep 148. Megan McNealy: Be Well and Do Well

Megan McNealy is the author of Reinvent the Wheel: How Top Leaders Leverage Well-Being for Success. Megan is an award-winning, 20+ year First Vice President and Wealth Management Advisor at one of the largest financial firms in the world. She aims to serve those who strive for exceptional wellness and success and to change the pervasive workplace belief that it's challenging to be well and do well


Stew and Megan talk about her hard-won realization, following a serious illness, that she needed to care for herself in order to survive and how she discovered, along the way, that well-being is a driver of business success.  She describes the path she took and how she came to conceptualize the essential practices for caring for mind, body, and spirit. Megan provides enlightening examples of these practices drawn from her research on the real lives of fascinating, successful executives. 

2019-11-13

Ep 148. Megan McNealy: Be Well and Do Well

Megan McNealy is the author of Reinvent the Wheel: How Top Leaders Leverage Well-Being for Success. Megan is an award-winning, 20+ year First Vice President and Wealth Management Advisor at one of the largest financial firms in the world. She aims to serve those who strive for exceptional wellness and success and to change the pervasive workplace belief that it's challenging to be well and do well


Stew and Megan talk about her hard-won realization, following a serious illness, that she needed to care for herself in order to survive and how she discovered, along the way, that well-being is a driver of business success.  She describes the path she took and how she came to conceptualize the essential practices for caring for mind, body, and spirit. Megan provides enlightening examples of these practices drawn from her research on the real lives of fascinating, successful executives. 

2019-10-30

Ep 146. Amy Westervelt: How American Messed Up Motherhood

Amy Westervelt is the author of Forget Having it All: How America Messed up Motherhood and How to Fix It; the founder of the Critical Frequency podcast network, the host of the podcast, Drilled; and an award-winning print and audio journalist. She contributes often to The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post, and many other outlets.  For her pioneering and fearless journalism on environmental and gender issues, she’s won an Edward R. Murrow Award, a Folio Award, a Rachel Carson Award. As the head of Critical Frequency, she has executive produced more than a dozen podcasts, including her own show Drilled -- the first ever true-crime style podcast to examine the creation of climate denial. 


In this episode Stew and Amy talk about the historical roots of the conditions that have made life difficult for mothers in America, particularly how the nuclear family evolved and the impact that social structure has on mothers and fathers today.   Amy describes the central challenges we face in aiming to change our culture and create a more just world for mothers and we talk about what she has done in her own life to gain greater control over her own family’s destiny by adopting, at her husband’s insistence, the Japanese management principle of kaizen, or continual improvement.  They also address how the dread realities of climate change are affecting the current generation of people at child-bearing age and the choices they are making about whether or not it is morally sound to have children at all.   

2019-10-23

Ep 145. Jeff Sonnenfeld: The Social Imperative of Business

Jeff Sonnenfeld is the senior associate dean of leadership programs, the Lester Crown Professor in the Practice of Management for the Yale School of Management, and founder and president of the Chief Executive Leadership Institute, a nonprofit educational and research institute focused on CEO leadership and corporate governance. Previously he was on the faculty at Emory’s Guizueta Business School and Harvard Business School. Sonnenfeld's research has been published in 100 scholarly articles which appeared in the leading academic journals in management, and his work is regularly cited by the general media in outlets including BusinessWeek, Fortune, Forbes, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, as well as PBS, where he is a regular commentator for FORTUNE and CNBC. He has also authored eight books, including The Hero's Farewell, an award-winning study of CEO succession, and another best seller, Firing Back, a study on leadership resilience in the face of adversity. BusinessWeek listed him as one of the world’s 10 most influential business school professors, and Directorship magazine has listed him among the 100 most influential figures in corporate governance. He is the first academician to have rung the opening bells of both the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Stock Exchange.


In this episode Stew and Jeff talk about the changing climate among business leaders. Mainstream industries are becoming more progressive than historically progressive companies and are not waiting for government regulation, but pushing back against government de-regulation. They also discuss how to handle career setbacks in the face of public humiliations.


2019-10-16

Ep 144. Debra Schafer: Working While Parenting a Special Needs Child

Debra Schafer is an independent educational consultant and coach with a particular expertise. She is Founder and CEO of Education Navigation, which she started after more than 20 years of management experience in human resources, work/life integration, and marketing communications and 15 years of special education consulting, coaching, and advocacy experience. Debra is an advocate for students K - college graduation who have been diagnosed with ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, other mental health issues and learning differences. She works with parents as well as within business organizations with their Human Resources departments and directly with executives to help educate them not only about regulations but also about how to develop realistic strategies and plans for managing work/life integration when you have a child with special needs or when you have an employee grappling with how to navigate these two worlds.


In this episode, Stew, who is a parent of a special needs child, and Debra discuss how, as an HR executive trying to meet her own child’s special needs, she learned first-hand the importance of flexibility at work and how both parents and organizations need education and support. They discuss the issue of stigma and how people are often uncomfortable talking about either their own mental health issues or their child’s developmental differences and mental health struggles, and how this affects their lives at work. Debra shares potential solutions for employees and employers and explains what it means to provide a safe environment at work in which employees can share some of the real stumbling blocks to meeting their job demands while caring for the special needs of their children.



2019-10-10

Ep 143. Jennifer Petriglieri: Couples That Work

ennifer Petriglieri is an Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour at INSEAD and the author of Couples That Work: How Dual-Career Couples Can Thrive In Love and Work. Jennifer’s award-winning research and teaching focus on identity, leadership, and career development. She is particularly interested in how people’s close relationships shape who they become professionally and personally, and how moments of uncertainty and crisis make us who we are.


Jennifer was shortlisted for the Thinkers50 New Thinker and Talent awards and named one of the world’s best 40 business school professors under 40 by Poets & Quants. Jennifer earned a PhD in Organisational Behaviour from INSEAD. She also holds an MBA from IMD, Switzerland, and a BSc in genetics from Nottingham University, UK. Prior to joining INSEAD, she was a Post-Doctoral Fellow of Organisational Behaviour at the Harvard Business School.


In this episode, Stew and Jennifer discuss the three key choice points that couples face, moments that challenge them to combine their parallel lives and form a joint life. The first, early in the relationship, often relates to external events, such as the birth of a child or a career opportunity involving relocation, and to whose career takes precedence. The second, at midlife and midcareer, is less about external events and more about internal questioning of whether one’s life is going in the direction one wants. Both partners may be outside their comfort zones, for different reasons. In the third critical juncture, the joint projects of childrearing  and career building are past and couples confront the question of what remains. There’s either something like a “gray divorce” or there’s a renewal. Jennifer shares insights from her investigation of over 100 couples and offers advice on what works and the vital importance of having conversations about what really matters.



2019-10-2

Ep 142. Michael Kimmel: Men's Changing Roles

Michael Kimmel is a Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies at Stony Brook University, where he is also the Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities.  Kimmel is a leading authority on masculinity and gender, and author of numerous books on manhood including Angry White Men as well as Manhood in America: A Cultural History, and his bestseller, Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men. Kimmel served as an expert witness for the U.S. Department of Justice in the VMI and Citadel cases. He has consulted with all the Ministries for Gender Equality in the Nordic countries, and was the first man to deliver the International Women’s Day lecture at the European Parliament, the Council of Europe, the European Commission, and the European Space Agency.


Stew and Michael have a conversation about the history of feminism, the changing social and economic forces that shape gender roles, the way boys are raised in our culture, and what it means to be a man. They also discuss how the movement toward a more egalitarian world affects our organizations and our families.