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Total Leadership: Be a Better Leader, Have a Richer Life
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Total Leadership: Be a Better Leader, Have a Richer Life

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  2,062 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Now more than ever, your success as a leader isn't just about being a great businessperson. You've got to be a great person, performing well in all domains of your life -- your work, your home, your community, and your private self.

That's a tall order.

The good news is that, contrary to conventional wisdom about "balance," you don't have to assume that these domains compete...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published May 6th 2008 by Harvard Business Review Press
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Self reflection is the key. For those who have been too busy to stop and smell the roses, this book is important. Otherwise, for those who are secret philosophers or otherwise near the top of Maslow's heirarchy, this isn't that necessary of a volume. It's not even fuel for the fire, it's just redundant. That said, I would recommend to all of my friends, since I don't really know where on the path to enlightenment they happen to be.
Bob Selden
As the jacket cover explains Total Leadership is “adapted from author Stew Friedman’s popular Wharton School course”. I found that to be both the strength and weakness of this book. Friedman’s core concept of identifying one’s values and then using these to improve your leadership in four areas (domains as he calls them) is simple, yet brilliant.

Unlike so many other leadership books, this is not a book about what makes a great leader. This is a book about finding out what makes you a great leade...more
Stewart D. Friedman’s leadership treatise eschews the standard corporate-centered lessons and, instead, takes a holistic approach. His program focuses on helping you improve your performance in four “domains”: “work, home, community and self.” Once you identify your “core values” and align your actions with these values, you can achieve harmony in all the areas of your life and excel as a leader. Friedman provides readers with a take-home version of the Total Leadership workshop he developed and...more
Rob Cantrall
Disclaimer: I didn't do the exercises, I just read the book the way that I read all books--front to back. The main thrust of this book is to look at one's life holistically, rather than as competitive parts. You can boil this down into an advocation of what he calls the "Four-Way View" rather than the more traditional "Work-Life Balance." The problem with the latter, Friedman insists, is that it is almost by definition a zero-sum game--if you improve the tilt toward Life, then Work necessarily m...more
Total Leadership is one of those business books that puts you through a brief self-help program of lists and diagrams in order to help you become a better leader. In between the questionnaires and lists are stories from people who have changed their lives as a result of the exercises. The program is very simple -- it's basically all about finding new ways to balance home, work, community and self 'domains' -- and I imagine it could be helpful for Type A folks who are very busy, feeling stressed,...more
Dan Graham
I was a little surprised when I started reading this (it comes highly recommended by Bret Hurt – who has a testimonial in the front) that it is a self help type book — complete with exercises and essays to write. It’s basically a guide to helping stressed out people who to deal with all the various aspects in their life without losing out on what’s important. Work, Family, Community, Self are the four areas that Friedman tries to combine into an all-contributing lifestyle where ideally everythin...more
Ryan Maclean
Not bad, but not great. Very dry, and the examples are mostly C-level, which is somewhat inspiring, but the problems they face are very different from mine unfortunately.
Ju-hyun Kim
Work-life balance라는 개념이 자칫 균형과 제로섬게임을 의미하는 것으로 오해 받는다. 일,가정, 공동체, 자신의 네가지가 서로 겹칠 수록 만족스럽고, 사람에 따라 의미를 두는 정도가 다르다는 점을 네개의 원으로 표현한 점은 상당히 신선하다.
Solvent Taezo
leaders are created than born!
David Ezra
I like this talk!
This was required reading for my Emerging Leader Program at UHG. It was refreshing to hear a different perspective on the work/life balance, that it is not a dichotomy or a zero sum game. Friedman argues that to do better in one domain can improve the other domains of life. He calls these "4-way wins" (work, family, self, community being the 4 domains). He asserts that the best way to improve your career is to spend less time at it and get your life more in line with your priorities.
Read the first several chapters in preparation for this seeing this author as a speaker at a conference. My initial reaction is the book was pretty good, and was later turned off by the presentation of the same material. The author did not manage his time well, rushed through toward the end, and didn't target his approach to his all female audience. (Those sports jokes don't go that far in an auditorium of 250 women dude!)

Putting the book back on the shelf to finish at a different time. . .
Jeff Scott
This book is a step in the right direction for modern day leaders. To be a leader one must be whole and balance all aspects of your life. Work, home, community and self must all be connected as one. The exercises in the book give great example to put this philosophy into practice.

However, I feel a big flaw is the approach. To create a leader in harmony, i don't think it should be work as the primary function. The entire approach seems to come from a work perspective.
I don't think this book struck me as anything amazing. I don't really remember much from it -- which means your life will probably go on if you don't read it. That said, I do remember an article in the NY Times talking about Friedman and his emphasis on making MBAs more ethical and injecting business school with more corporate responsibility talk, which is great as far as I'm concerned. I read this before b-school and I'd love to read it again now.
Amal Shoeib
I learned that leadership is about trust, integrity and compassion!! What a novel definition of excellent leadership! I am utterly amazed by the writer's way of explaining and elaborating his points by using examples which is my favorite way of learning...This book is such an enlightening one that allows you to own a tighter and more conscious grip of your life, priorities and all different domains in your life..A must read!
Alaa  Alradi
I will go back to review it again, it differently changed a lot in my life and lead me to new paths to a 4 ways win and made me for the first time to set down and write my vision and ask my self questions i was fared to ask....

am so grateful that I took it in a course in Coursera and meet amazing people in my throe team, and a planning to read it again in the future
I'm often pretty hard on business/management-type books because, frankly, I seldom learn anything new. While this book does contain a fair amount of common sense advice, it is packaged in a way that inspired me to take it more seriously and make some changes, not just at work, but at home.
Better than average leadership book. Great discussion of viewing your life in four spheres: Personal, Family, Community, and Work. Since you can't add hours to your day, you enrich your life by having those spheres overlap.
I was expecting more.
Lori Grant
A must-read biograpy on leadership for knowledge workers, managers, directors, C-levels, and entrepreneurs.
Carrie Straka
Someday I'll go back and finish reading this.
Never finished
Léshay Tucker
Léshay Tucker marked it as to-read
Sep 30, 2014
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Stew Friedman has been on the Wharton faculty since 1984. He became the Management Department’s first Practice Professor in recognition of his work on the application of theory and research to the real challenges facing organizations. As founding director of the Wharton Leadership Program, in 1991 he initiated Wharton’s required MBA and undergraduate leadership courses. He also started and directs...more
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