Save Big On Open-Box & Pre-owned: Buy "A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Q...” from Amazon Warehouse Deals and save 47% off the $28.00 list price. Product is eligible for Amazon's 30-day returns policy and Prime or FREE Shipping. See all Open-Box & Pre-owned offers from Amazon Warehouse Deals.
Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix Paperback – February 1, 2007
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Special Offers and Product Promotions
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Friedman's thesis: there is a "failure of nerve" in American civilization today. "There exists," he says, "throughout America today a rampant sabotaging of leaders who try to stand tall amidst the raging anxiety-storms of our time. It is a highly reactive atmosphere pervading all the institutions of our society -- a regressive mood that contaminates the decision-making processes of government and corporations at the highest level, and, on the local level, seeps down into the deliberations of neighborhood church, synagogue, hospital, library, and school boards." This reactivity leads to what he calls a "leadership-toxic climate" that makes it exceptionally difficult for clear, decisive, well-defined leadership to function effectively. The book, he says, "is about leadership in the land of the quick fix, about leadership in a society so reactive that it cannot choose leaders who might calm its anxiety.Read more ›
In 20 years of coaching executives, I've read scores of books on leadership. I continue to return to Edwin Friedman as the most insightful, realistic analyst of the dynamics that occur in the emotional soup we call the workplace.
This book is not for the faint of heart. As the title implies, the antidote to a failure of nerve is courage. Courage becomes necessary once a leader begins to shift his/her own participation in the brokenness of the organization - e.g., to finally address a performance issue with a key employee. With this commitment to decisive, mature action, reactions are inevitable. Thus the need for courage: to persist in the face of those reactions.
Leaders will discover keys to recognize the emotionality that contaminates all decision-making processes, and what is required to provide clear, decisive, well-defined action. Friedman offers a treasure trove of tools, concepts and principles (e.g., five characteristics of a highly anxious system) to help leaders diagnose complex situations and to determine what is helpful and what is harmful.
Perhaps his most crucial contribution is the insistence that the leader focus on self: that is, in order to create transformation in a system, the leader needs to identify his/her participation in the present dynamic, and focus on altering his/her own role. Again, courage is a requirement here, but thankfully, focus on self diminishes the stress inherent in attempting to change others.Read more ›
The themes include the necessity of a sense of adventure and the possession of courage in leaders, the importance of self-differentiation, focusing on strengths instead of catering to weaknesses, the destructive nature of relationship triangles and the challenges leaders face among followers.
He highlights some negative practices of leaders in our culture, mainly the over-dependence on data and information and the misplaced emphasis on emphathy over action.
In this book, readers will find practical, simple ways to improve leadership. This book will challenge some of the accepted practices of organizational leadership today and should open readers' eyes to necessities of effective leadership.
All of Friedman's themes are applicable to families, congregations, businesses, government, etc. This is an especially useful book for parents and pastors/rabbis.
The downside of the book is that it was published posthomously, so the last three chapters were collected by colleagues who also edited the book. The effect is that it is not as cogent and concise as it might have been if Friedman had lived long enough to complete the writing himself.
This is a dense book on leadership that is definitely worth the effort of reading, as it will change the way you lead and relate to others.
Craig Stephans, author of Shakespeare On Spirituality: Life-Changing Wisdom from Shakespeare's Plays
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Helpful concepts but I wish the author supported his ideas more sufficiently.Published 27 days ago by Stacey Messick
One of the most influential books that I've ever read. I recommend this book to everyone I know.
While not a political book, our political and social leaders could... Read more
Really good book. Somewhat difficult reading but really addresses our current problems with leadership. Read morePublished 2 months ago by John W. Vaughan
I'm a big Friedman fan, and a believer in systems theory.
My quibble with the book is that I think Friedman (or whoever finished the book after his death) pushed the metaphors... Read more
Extraordinary insight into "family systems." A life changing book for people who are trying to understand how family dynamics affect one's interactions later in life.Published 4 months ago by Homer Dante
This is a great book for Leadership Change. Needs to be read many time for maximum affectsPublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Read this for insight on what is going on in the "United" States of America today and why "The Donald" could become the next President of the "U".S.A.....Published 5 months ago by Brian Fulthorp