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November 11, 20141 minute read

In his book, Leading the Life You Want: Skills for Integrating Work and Life, author and Wharton School professor Stewart Friedman offers this three part framework for finding “harmony” in combining personal and professional demands.

In AWESOME discussions, leading supply chain women have expressed similar insights – emphasizing that a particular career decision needs to take both the professional and the personal into consideration. (See Reality Check Vol 3, sections on on managing career choices and creating flexible environments.)  As people face the practical challenges of dual career families, AWESOME discussions, highlighted in the new AWESOME Report,also focused on how companies can create “a new workplace” where integration of work and life becomes more possible.

According to an article in Forbes by Stephanie Denning, author Friedman prefers work/life “harmony” to “balance” because “the image of the scale forces you to think in terms of trade-offs instead of the possibilities for harmony.”

Friedman’s book draws examples from the experiences of people he describes as “super successful,” including Michelle O’Bama, Sheryl Sandberg, Bruce Springsteen, and former Bain & Co. CEO Tom Tierney. Friedman says, “The people who are most successful in terms of having a significant impact on the world are those who embrace other parts of their lives, rather than forsake them.”