“I have lived and worked in the Washington, D. C., metropolitan area for almost four decades. During this period I have watched families and institutions recycle their problems for several generations, despite enormous efforts to be innovative. The opportunity to observe this firsthand was provided by my involvement in the major institutions designed by our civilization to foster change: religion, education, psychotherapy, and politics (I have been here since Eisenhower). That experience included twenty years as a pulpit rabbi, an overlapping twenty-five years as an organizational consultant and family therapist with a broadly ecumenical practice, and several years of service as a community relations specialist for the Johnson White House helping metropolitan areas throughout the United States to voluntarily desegregate housing, before Congress passed appropriate civil rights legislation. Eventually, the accumulation of this experience began to show me how similar all of our “systems of salvation” are in their structure, the way they formulate problems, the range of their approaches, and their rationalizations for their failures. It was, indeed, the basic similarity in their thinking processes, despite their different sociological classifications, that first led me to consider the possibility that our constant failure to change families and institutions fundamentally has less to do with finding the right methods than with misleading emotional and conceptual factors that reside within society itself. For”

Edwin H. Friedman, A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix
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A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix by Edwin H. Friedman
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