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Showing posts from November, 2011

A Failure of Nerve

The two books which have shaped my ministry more than any other are James W Fowler's Stages of Faith and Edwin H Friedman's Generation to Generation . So, when Stu Crossan mentioned in passing that he was reading the book that Friedman was working on at the time of his death ten years ago, I immediately hotfooted it off to and got myself a copy. I read it quickly and am writing this without the book in front of me because I have already lent it to someone. It's that good. A Failure of Nerve is about leadership and Friedman's thesis is quite simple: good leadership, he says depends less on expertise and data than it does on the maturity of the leader. He defines maturity as development on two parameters, a) self differentiation and b) the ability to take responsibility for one's own emotions. He argues that many organisations are profoundly anxious and, of course, provides analysis of the characteristics of an anxious organisation and the factors wh