Total Leadership News 
December 2012

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I never cease to be amazed by human resilience, individual and collective, in the face of horror -- mass shootings, natural disasters, wars, devastating illnesses, and on and on.  I am inspired by those who help to heal our broken world, and I strive to do my small part in cultivating their strength.


This is the essence of what TL students and clients are pursuing: creative means of making things better in all parts of life -- at work, at home, in the community, and for the private self -- by finding mutual value among them. 


Having just completed the tenth annual offering of the Total Leadership course for the world-class students in Wharton's MBA for Executives program, I am once again encouraged by the prospects for positive sustainable change despite the pain and suffering that surrounds us.  I hope you'll find this newsletter's research update, alumni stories, and book recommendations useful. 


Wishing you and your loved ones a peaceful and fruitful 2013, Stew



Stay informed: Follow @stewfriedman on Twitter.  

Research on Having It All

In September I had the honor of being on a two-person panel 

WICT 2 with Anne-Marie Slaughter, discussing Can Women Have it All? We were interviewed by Ellen East, EVP and Chief Communications Officer at Time  Warner Cable, as part of the WICT Leadership Conference. Professor Slaughter and I will be recording an interview for Knowledge@Wharton in February. Please stay tuned.


wrote in October about the debate over what's possible for working men and women.  This article -- New Research on Working Parenthood: Men Are More Egalitarian, Women Are More Realistic -- refers to findings from The Work/Life Integration Project's 20-year study of Wharton students. We surveyed nearly all of the Wharton Class of '92 when they graduated and 150+ of those same people today, 20 years later.  We also asked the same questions of 300+ members of the Class of '12.  More on this research soon.


Creating Positive Sustainable Change -- How People Use TL


Satish Menon, WG '06 

Satish wrote to let me know that "Total Leadership ideas have come Satish Menon in very handy over the years as the start-up activities have been all-consuming. I have tried to apply some of the principles so that the other life domains have not been shortchanged in the process. Concrete examples include (a) emphasizing quality over quantity, (b) setting aside specific times for the other domains, (c) proactively integrating domains where possible, (d) constant sharing of information that captures my thinking behind various choices, and (e) allowing my kids to share in the entrepreneurship process, which I find has been remarkably helpful for them." 


joan lau Joan Lau, ENG '92, WG '08         

Joan wrote to say, "I have had many incredible career experiences because of Wharton, but my life is much more rewarding and satisfying because my four circles have begun to coalesce. The volunteering I do is highly tuned to our family's interests, or my career interests, and I am doing work that I love (and pinch myself because of my good fortune)." 




Chad Trexler, WG '07 

Chad Trexler

A global strategic sourcing and procurement executive at Accellent in the Boston area, Chad wrote recently: "I use TL a lot and teach it to all of my teams.  I've found it really goes a long way toward helping employees to understand that you care about them as a complete person rather than as an organic widget, and it helps me to keep my priorities straight.  TL was a great class, and one with lessons I use every day."



Erica Dhawan, W '07  EricaDhawan

Erica  is an expert on Gen Y who wrote recently: "I've been on quite a journey since our course over five years ago -- worked on Wall St, studied at Harvard and MIT, spoke at Davos, and started my own company geared to unlocking the power of generations to drive better business results for Fortune 500 companies. Your course was such a sparker to help me step up in my own leadership in the world."




Jimmy Hickey, WG '07 

Jimmy Hickey

An investment professional in Houston, Hickey  wrote that Total Leadership "made a significant impact on my life. I still keep the 10 leadership principles on my desk, and the perspective on small experiments leading to big changes was incredibly insightful."



Matt Tanzer, W '02, WG '12   Matt Tanzer

Matt wrote:  As I consider making a fairly dramatic career change (leaving the comfort and warmth of my corporate job in Pharma for the unknown abyss of a healthcare IT entrepreneur),  I want to ensure that the pursuit of this goal is aligned with my values and priorities and to avoid simply chasing a bigger title and more money (on the equity-upside), which are not inherently worthy goals.  I feel fortunate though that I have the Total Leadership grounding to be able to articulate these questions, and to make an informed decision that supports myself, my wife and family, my career objectives, and my sense of belonging in the community."


Mallik Sundaram, WG '06 

Mallik, a scientist/entrepreneur who co-founded the start-up Momenta in 2001 and later co-founded Mitra Biotech in 2008, wrote: "There was tremendous action at work, but my family life was taking a beating. My wife, who is also a Ph.D scientist and had worked at MIT, was taking some time off with our new baby. I was not spending enough time at home and did not spend time to watch my son grow.

  Mallik Sundaram

"Soon after earning my MBA, I made a pact with my company and another with my family. I told Momenta that I could work with them for a year in a full-time capacity and later only as a consultant. I spend lot of time with my wife and explained that while I feel terribly guilty about not spending time at home with her and the baby, my life also would feel very empty if I could not go after my dreams. She asked me, what are those dreams?  I explained in greater granularity what the dreams are - revolutionizing the cancer research field in such a way that there will be a big impact not only in patient care but also in the efficiency of the drug development process. She started sharing some of her own thoughts on this, and it struck us that we could work together. We met a few more faculty members from MIT and Harvard and soon started Mitra Biotech in 2008.


"Mitra is doing fine, still in the early stages, but is funded by some of the top blue-chip VCs and we have collaboration with some of the leading hospitals of the world.  Bottom line: I realized the importance of family life and was able to manage the relationship between my work and my family in such a way that I did not have to give up my dream and instead could help my wife give shape to her dreams too."


TLO and Our Amazing Alumni Coaches


I'm thrilled to report that our social learning site, Total Leadership Online (TLO), continues to grow.  Over 2100 students and members of client organizations have now used it to complete the basic TL program, publishing over 20,000 exercises.  With new features we built this year, we're again able to include Alumni Coaches (ACs), who provide guidance to people now in our program. 


Here's the AC roster for Spring 2013:


Vikram Bakhru  / Wagish Bhartiya /  Rich Cisek / Kip Compton / Rupesh Doshi / Shane Duan / Natali Franzblau / Courtney Graybill / Wendy Guthrie / Yoshi Hashimoto Amanda Hill / Cori Johnson / Eugene Lebedev / Rachel Lyubovitzky / Michael Maszy Rich Meene / Chandan Mishra / Marc Montserrat / Natalie Moreno / Jennifer Paradis / Yi Shi / Bradford Sodowick / Kat van Zutphen / Tim Withers


They've signed up to give back, keep the concepts and tools fresh, and develop new connections in our growing community.  Contact me to learn more.


Where in the World is Total Leadership?


Here are some of the organizations with which we've had the pleasure of sharing Total Leadership ideas, tools, and research since our last newsletter:


  • Citi 
  • Federal Reserve Bank of New York  
  • Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce
  • Prudential 
  • Target Corporation
  • United Way
  • University of Pennsylvania Health System

Books We Like  


Adam Grant 

Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success 


My esteemed Wharton colleague has written a once-in-a-generation must-read about why some rise and others fall.  Are you a taker, matcher, or giver?  Find out in this brilliant, evidence-based guide for winning through generosity, which you can pre-order now.


Familes and Work Institute 

This comprehensive, clearly composed, and incredibly useful guide of best practices and policies will serve as the primary resource for the field of workplace flexibility for years to come.


Marci Alboher

Encore Career Handbook


Wondering what's next in your career? This nuts-and-bolts guide to finding passion, purpose, and a paycheck in the second half of life is a great read. Includes the Encore Hot List of 35 viable careers.


Erin Owen 

Recharge, Refuel, and Re-energize: The Conscious Entrepreneur's Guide to Taking Back Control of Your Time and Energy


This book is loaded with Eastern-inspired practices that you can use to simplify life and work, feel more whole, and boost your performance in all areas of life -- home, work, community and self.




Total Leadership -- in Polish, Russian, English, and Portuguese   

Polish edition TL Portuguese2    



Causes We Support


Total Leadership is devoted to helping those who suffer from mental illness and their familes. We support and NAMI. The National Alliance on Mental Illness "is the country's leading nonprofit dedicated to helping ALL people live mentally healthier lives."  


Please consider supporting them too.  


Stay in Touch!

Are you sharing Total Leadership with people in your world?  I'd love to hear their reactions. And please send ideas for what you'd like to see in this newsletter and on

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