Leading a Business in Anxious Times

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9780982051238: Leading a Business in Anxious Times
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Have you ever swum in the ocean where there is a strong undertow? You may not notice the powerful current until you find youself struggling to stay afloat. Organizational anxiety works the same way. Hidden from the surface, it can undermine your effectiveness during the challenging times that inevitably confront every organization. Leading a Business in Anxious Times looks at the workplace as an emotional system and introduces systems-based leadership, an approach to leading that is grounded in a well-tested theory of human behavior used for over fifty years by family therapists. The authors show that the same patterns of automatic behavior governing family relationship systems also affect business and have a profound impact on every business's success. This book invites individuals working at all levels of large and small businesses, nonprofits, and service organizations to embrace a new definition of leadership as a reciprocal relationship. Readers will learn how the ability to lead any type of business organization directly relates to the capacity of its leaders to manage their own anxiety in the relationship system - to think clearly and take thoughtful action in the presence of anxious colleagues in order to minimize the crippling effects of anxiety in the company - and how this ability is affected by one's position in one's family of origin as well as one's family history. Using the stories of several successful business leaders - as well as the stories of the authors themselves - to illustrate the concepts introduced in the book, Leading a Business in Anxious Times provides you with the tools you need to make yourself a stronger, more effective leader under stressful circumstances.

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About the Author:

Leslie Ann Fox is the co-founder and CEO of Care Communications, Inc. in Chicago. A pioneer of systems-based leadership, she has been teaching it to clients and employees since 1989. Katharine Gratwick Baker has a business consultation practice in western Massachusetts.

Review:

Psychiatrist Murray Bowen's application of natural systems thinking to human behavior radically advanced our understanding of what undermines cohesion and cooperation in social groups. Fox and Baker so deftly explain and illustrate how systems ideas bring order to the sometimes tense and chaotic relationships in a workplace that it is a must-read for employees and employers alike. --Michael E. Kerr, MD, Director, Bowen Center for the Study of the Family

This book is an important addition to the growing literature on Bowen family systems theory and its many applications by two seasoned systems thinkers. Business leaders will recognize their own predicaments in its clear examples. As they apply what they learn here, they will see welcome changes--in themselves and in their organizations. --Roberta M. Gilbert, MD, Author of Extraordinary Leadership: Thinking Systems, Making a Difference

Baker and Fox connect long-held theories that have been central to the treatment of family systems and effectively connect those theories to larger organizational contexts. The authors have made the leap with a practical touch in mind so that managers and leaders at all levels might benefit from their words of wisdom. --Thomas J. DeLong, Philip J. Stomberg Professor of Management Practice, Harvard Business School

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Leslie Ann Fox; Katharine Gratwick Baker
Published by Care Communications Press (2009)
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