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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

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  3,663 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
National Bestseller

“Students talk about Stewart D. Friedman, a management professor at the Wharton School, with a mixture of earnest admiration, gratitude and rock star adoration.” —New York Times

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,
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published May 6th 2008 by Harvard Business Review Press
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Aug 15, 2011 Ben rated it liked it
Shelves: business
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.
Alaa  A
Aug 06, 2014 Alaa A rated it really liked it
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
Bob Selden
Nov 17, 2008 Bob Selden rated it liked it
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
Jan 09, 2016 Emily rated it liked it
Shelves: leadership
Friedman urges you to think about your life in four areas--home, work, community, and self. You are asked to assess how satisfied you are in each of those domains and think about how much they overlap. Self-reflection is called upon to identify your leadership vision and clarify your core values. Identify the stakeholders for each of the four areas and have an open and honest discussion with those stakeholders to understand their expectations of you. With all this information in mind, you are th ...more
Rob Cantrall
May 12, 2011 Rob Cantrall rated it really liked it
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
Nov 03, 2010 E rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 04, 2008 Nick rated it liked it
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
Sujata Sahni
Jan 25, 2016 Sujata Sahni marked it as to-read
Leadership is a performing art and your intrument is you. Total Leadership in the 21st century requires an understanding of Social Change, demans of the new workforce, Technological Shifts and Chnages in Organizations and Markets. Are you authentic, genuine and grounded? Do you feel connected, supported and resilient? Are you curious, engaged and optimistic? Leaders invent themselves by continually learning. Remember Trust is a fragile commodity, so be Real, clarify what's important to you keepi ...more
Dan Graham
Jan 03, 2011 Dan Graham rated it liked it
Shelves: business
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
Vanaja Shankar
Dec 23, 2014 Vanaja Shankar rated it it was amazing
Prof. Stew Friedman has written this book based on his total leadership course offered at Wharton.
Prof. Stew shows that life is not a zero sum game. We don't have to sacrifice one domain in our life to succeed in another. We can learn to integrate all the four domains - work, family, self and community, achieve four way wins, and become better leaders with richer lives.

It is different from other leadership books because this books helps us reflect about ourselves and find the leader within us.

Keith Edwards
Nov 25, 2014 Keith Edwards rated it it was amazing
Great book. Encourages examining your lives 4 different components; self, home, community, and career and trying to develop strategies that don't "balance" these but bring them more into alignment or "Create four way wins." This is a a great book for those looking to move their lives forward - either because they are stuck, overwhelmed, or ready for a new challenge. Full of very practical exercises to encourage reflection. A great book for coaches to use with clients or for reflections for leade ...more
May 27, 2012 Sara rated it liked it
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.
Dec 11, 2009 Dana rated it it was ok
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. . .
Amal Shoeib
Jul 27, 2014 Amal Shoeib rated it really liked it
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!
Mar 31, 2015 Amanda rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Finished Audible version. So very glad I decided to get the book to go with the Coursera ( class "Better Leader, Richer Life". Dr. Friedman reads his own book and his work is compelling. My only regret is that I didn't get the hard-copy. The work needed to get the most out of the book requires writing...the book would be a great "workbook". Very applicable and actionable steps to being an effective leader in all aspects ("domains") of life.
Robin Woodcock
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.
Jeff Scott
Feb 12, 2009 Jeff Scott rated it it was ok
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.
Mar 01, 2009 Denise rated it it was ok
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.
Mar 16, 2015 Jen rated it it was ok
hard to get through. i was hoping this book would provide its readers with lessons and practical "knowledge" on leadership versus instructions on experiments to figure out a path. disappointed with this book purchase.
Christina Boyle
Sep 19, 2015 Christina Boyle rated it liked it
Truth be told I have now lost my patience to read too many business books. I love what Professor Friedman has to say but slogging through the actual prose is a challenge. Far better to see if you can find a YouTube lecture.
Abhijeet Lele
Nov 01, 2015 Abhijeet Lele rated it really liked it
Total leadership is a leader development program developed by founding director of Wharton Leadership Program. Book provides a step by step practical approach towards formation of a leader. Nice book. Can be used to develop management programs.
Dec 09, 2014 Sonja rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Ich habe den dazugehörigen Kurs auf gemacht und bin begeistert! Da der Kurs bald endet, aber meine Reise noch lang nicht, werde ich dieses Buch immer und immer wieder zur Hand nehmen!
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.
Ryan Maclean
Feb 10, 2014 Ryan Maclean rated it really liked it
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.
Robin Puchala
Jun 27, 2015 Robin Puchala rated it it was amazing
This book will change your life...if you let it! Take a little time out to evaluate & create success & balance in your life. ***There is a free Courses course on this too!***
Ju-hyun Kim
Sep 02, 2014 Ju-hyun Kim rated it really liked it
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.
Lori Grant
Mar 29, 2013 Lori Grant rated it it was amazing
A must-read biograpy on leadership for knowledge workers, managers, directors, C-levels, and entrepreneurs.
Ra'ed Harb
Ra'ed Harb rated it liked it
Apr 07, 2014
Denis Adweya
Denis Adweya rated it it was amazing
Jun 21, 2013
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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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“New media require that we—as leaders of our lives—choose where, when, and how to get things done, to manage the boundaries between different parts of life.” 0 likes
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