Over a decade after his death, Edwin Friedman’s bestselling A Failure of Nerve continues to offer insights into leadership that are more urgently needed than ever.
This revised, anniversary edition is essential reading for all leaders, be they parents or presidents, corporate executives or educators, religious superiors or coaches, healers or generals, managers or clergy. Friedman was the first to tell us that all organizations have personalities, like families, and to apply the insights of family therapy to churches and synagogues, rectors and rabbis, and politicians and teachers. His understandings about our regressed, “seatbelt society,” oriented toward safety rather than adventure, help explain the sabotage that leaders constantly face today. Suspicious of the “quick fixes” and instant solutions that sweep through our culture only to give way to the next fad, he argued for strength and self-differentiation as the marks of true leadership. His formula for success is more maturity, not more data; stamina, not technique; and personal responsibility, not empathy.
A Failure of Nerve was unfinished at the time of Friedman’s death and originally published in a limited edition. This edition cleans up some oversights in the original and brings his life-changing insights and challenges to a new generation of readers.