Effective Leadership Begins with Self

Whether you are a parent or a president, you are a leader. However, effective leadership begins with your relationship with yourself and then others.

Edwin Friedman pulls back the curtain on people dynamics in his book, A Failure of Nerve.  Friedman’s theory goes against the grain of leadership training and identifies effective leadership as an emotional process to regulate one’s own anxiety. 

He offers a theory of self-leadership that impacts all forms of effective relationships to include romance, family, work, organizational leadership, and church.

I happen to agree with Friedman; anxiety and self-regulation are two of the leading actors in our ability to relate successfully or poorly.  A constant goal of any relationship dynamic is to stay connected to others in a meaningful way, while not losing one’s own identity. This is not an easy balance to maintain, and it’s a learning that requires ongoing focus and practice.

You can learn more about Friedman’s theory and process in this video. It is a synopsis of his book, illustrating the importance of continual growth of self-regulation, a developmental skill that has gotten little attention in recent.

Self-regulation is a leadership skill that requires ongoing honing and application in our ever-changing experiences of relationship. 

Working in this arena with your therapist can be a powerful boost to self-leadership, promoting growth in effective relationships, leadership impact, and one’s own emotional health.

Written by: Sheri Schulze