“Explaining families and institutions in terms of the nature of their parts, I began to think, was like trying to reduce chemistry to physics. Other forces come into play when one studies “molecules” rather than “atoms,” even though molecules consist of atoms. Relational processes in an institution, I concluded, cannot be reduced to psychodynamic or personality factors in the individuals of which they consist. A different level of inquiry was required than one that tries merely to understand “the minds” or personalities of the individuals involved. What was needed to account for the connection between leader and follower, I was beginning to realize, was an approach that did not separate them into neat categories nor polarize them into opposite forces, nor even see them as completely discrete entities. Rather, what was needed to explain an emotional process orientation to leadership was a concept that was less moored to linear cause-and-effect thinking. It had to be one that conceptualized the connection between leader and follower as reciprocal and as part of larger natural processes, many of which, I came to realize, were intergenerational.”


Edwin H. Friedman, A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix
Read more quotes from Edwin H. Friedman


Share this quote:
Twitter icon

Friends Who Liked This Quote


To see what your friends thought of this quote, please sign up!

0 likes
All Members Who Liked This Quote

None yet!


This Quote Is From

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
846 ratings, average rating, 126 reviews
Open Preview

Browse By Tag