- Differentiating the self: If you don’t know who the hell you are, why would anybody else? This means defining yourself as more than just a pale reflection of what everybody wants from you. If you start to disappear into the context, your boat has sunk and it won't be going anywhere. This is the key to the whole deal: “Leadership [is] the capacity to define oneself to others in a way that clarifies and expands a vision of the future.”
- Staying connected: Sticking with reality, including your own pragmatic reality, not merging yourself into the demands and anxieties of the most angry and conficted focus groups you serve.
- Maintainng a non-anxious presence: “Keeping your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you” as the man said. Colluding with hysteria increases the amount of idiocy in the system.
- Keeping open space to be proactive: Not becoming entirely imprisoned by the latest crisis; making phonecalls as well as answering them. Entiely reactive turns you into a football for others. Being that compromises (1) above.
- Managing triangles: This is where three people run scripts between them where any two gang up on any one serially. There re also fix-it games which are actually hellish triangles of blame — hot potato circles in which nobody accepts true responsibility. Ther’s an old game of Victim—Rescuer—Persecutor. Three chairs, two people, keep moving. Just Don’t do it!
- Persisting in the face of sabotage: ‘No good deed goes unpunished!’ That’s a reason to do it, not to fail to do it...
The only tragedy of Friedman’s book is that he died before it was finished, so half of it is barely reconstructed from notes. Does it ring bells for anyone else?