Stew Friedman: become a more creative leader – think small

Stew Friedman has compiled a pretty impressive résumé through the years: Practice Professor of Management at the Wharton School, founding director of Wharton’s Leadership Program and of its Work/Life Integration Project, former head of Ford Motor’s Leadership Development Center and author of the bestselling Total Leadership: Be a Better Leader, Have a Richer Life. So when he says that the key to effective leadership in times of turmoil is to be adaptive, flexible, and innovative, it makes sense to pay attention.

It all boils down to “playful creativity”:

Now, more than ever in my experience, people are feeling a need for greater control. When you believe in your own power to generate new ways of getting things done — that is, when you have the confidence and competence to produce meaningful change — then you are less likely to succumb to the stomach-churning anxieties that come from not knowing how you’ll deal with whatever obstacle that’s next to be thrown in your path.

What’s most essential for us in the Global Leadership 2.0 universe, then, is the capacity to be creative as leaders. The really good news is that you can learn to become more creative as a leader, at work — no matter what your formal position — and in the other parts of your life, and thereby gain a greater sense of control over the turbulence.


Leadership is the capacity to mobilize people toward valued goals; that is, to produce sustainable change — sustainable because it’s good for you and for the people who matter most to you.

Food for thought…


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