Edwin_FriedmanEdwin H. Friedman (1932–1996), family therapist and rabbi, focused on leaders developing three main areas of themselves:

  1. Being self differentiated
  2. Being non-anxious
  3. Being present with those one is leading

My understanding of each:

  1. Being self differentiated – able to be self-aware and objective regarding emotions and reactions around us.
  2. Being non-anxious – able to stay focused on one’s own beliefs and inner gyroscope.
  3. Being present with those one is leading – able to stay calmly engaged, non-reactive, and compassionate.

We aspire to be a “non-anxious presence” in the midst of whatever is going on.  We exercise our sea legs and respond with moderation and clarity.

Consider being a “non-anxious presence” in light of its two extremes:

  1. Extreme #1 – Anxious Presence –  present but part of the problem. Motto: “The sky is falling!”
  2. Extreme #2 – Non-Anxious Non-Present – not anxious but not engaged.  Motto: “Whatever.”
  3. Healthy Choice – Non-Anxious Presence – staying calm yet engaged in the life of the team. Motto: “Argh, me hearties! Let’s keep sailing – together!”