“I will begin by describing the nature of an emotional regression and showing how in any society, no matter how advanced its state of technology, chronic anxiety can induce an approach to life that is counter-evolutionary. One does not need dictators in order to create a totalitarian (that, is totalistic) society. Then, employing five characteristics of chronically anxious personal families, I will illustrate how those same characteristics are manifest throughout the greater American family today, demonstrating their regressive effects on the thinking and functioning, the formation and the expression, of leadership among parents and presidents. Those five characteristics are:    1. Reactivity: the vicious cycle of intense reactions of each member to events and to one another.    2. Herding: a process through which the forces for togetherness triumph over the forces for individuality and move everyone to adapt to the least mature members.    3. Blame displacement: an emotional state in which family members focus on forces that have victimized them rather than taking responsibility for their own being and destiny.    4. A quick-fix mentality: a low threshold for pain that constantly seeks symptom relief rather than fundamental change.    5. Lack of well-differentiated leadership: a failure of nerve that both stems from and contributes to the first four. To”


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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