Parents Who Lead in Pandemic Times

As April, the cruelest month, comes to a close in this terribly disruptive pandemic time, I want to express my heartfelt appreciation for all the support given to me and my co-author Alyssa Westring in last month’s launch of our book, Parents Who Lead.  

We are deeply gratified to see how this book has been of use to so many working families at a time when they urgently need the help it offers. We never imagined the book would arrive at a moment when the physical boundaries that used to separate work and family life have been obliterated, when working parents are struggling to guide their children’s schooling at home, and when everyone is anxious about the profound uncertainties of our new world order. 

Parents Who Lead has relevance these days in ways we could not foresee. Our evidence-based guidance – for how to take practical steps to focus on what matters most, on who matters most, and on experimenting with new ways to live and work that are sustainable because they serve both personal and collective interests – is resonating with working parents and their employers in this strange episode of our history.

There are lots of practical articles, fascinating podcasts, and media coverage about the book here. One of my favorites is this special edition of my SiriusXM Wharton Business Radio show, featuring the Wharton alumni who were subjects for the book. Below are a few of the pieces that draw on Parents Who Lead and directly address our newly-upended world:


  • Harvard Business Review– How Working Parents Can Support One Another.
  • Bloomberg – Be the Coronavirus Boss Working Parents Need.
  • Business Insider – To Raise Children Who Are Resilient and Optimistic, Parents Can Use Discussing Coronavirus as an Opportunity. Here’s How to Get Started.


More Free Resources

Our book helps people gain a greater sense of purpose, control, and connection. Here’s the first chapter, a study guide to ignite conversation about the big ideas, and a 1-pager composed in response to inquiries about how to use the book for teams and organizations.

Since the pandemic, my Wharton classes, book talks, and speaking engagements have migrated to the virtual realm, making it in some ways easier for people to be part of the conversation. My online courses on Coursera and LinkedIn Learning (free for premium subscribers) are more popular now because of a newly-urgent interest in leading with values. While our SiriusXM studio on the Penn campus has been shuttered, my weekly show, Work and Life, on air since 2014, had been on hiatus, but we’re back now, recording from home, with fresh episodes that bring expertise to help us face the work and life challenges of a changed world. Free podcast versions are here.

Question Everything

I’m exploring potential research avenues on creating harmony between work and the rest of life as we move toward recovery from the pandemic and want to know what’s on your mind. So, what’s the most important question you would want me to address? Write to me with your ideas:

Let’s stay socially connected, while we ache for the end of physical separation, 

Written By:
Stew Friedman

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