Book

Managing Leadership Anxiety: Yours and Theirs

Leaders face a steady onslaught of internal and external pressures we are not trained to handle. We focus on skill development and hone our gifts but too often neglect the most powerful leadership tool: awareness of what is happening under the surface.
All manner of triggers, stories we tell ourselves and reactivity bubble just under our conscious awareness. This takes energy to manage, especially when we’re not aware of it or when we’re reacting unconsciously to anxiety in someone else. The tools in this book help you move from being managed by anxiety to managing anxiety, both yours and theirs.
“Theirs” because a leader is not the only person whose anxiety gets in the way. A group of people like a family or a staff can develop a systemic anxiety that keeps them stuck. You can notice not just your own or another’s anxiety, but also your entire organization’s or family’s anxiety. Who rescues who? Who always bulldozes over people, who gets the last word? Who stays silent and then calls a ‘meeting after the meeting’ to talk behind others’ backs? Most powerfully: how is your organization or family ‘stuck’ in a chronic pattern?
This book helps you develop the capacity to notice not only your own anxiety, but also your entire group’s anxiety. This is where change and health really occur. Whether you lead an organization, a family or a department or if you just want to understand a difficult relationship in your life, these tools can give you new options. 

 

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AVAILABLE APRIL 9 2019

An Excerpt from the Introduction:

Leaders face a steady onslaught of internal and external pressures we are not trained to handle. We focus on skill development and hone our gifts, but too often neglect the most powerful leadership tool: awareness of what is happening under the surface. All manner of triggers, reactivity and stories we tell ourselves bubble just under our conscious awareness. This boiling collective blocks our capacity to be present because it takes energy to manage, especially when we’re not aware of it or when we’re reacting unconsciously to anxiety in someone else. 

When I first started leading twenty-five years ago, I was all gusto but unaware of what was happening underneath. I had mixed motives, a huge shadow, false assumptions, drives I couldn’t name, and plenty of well-meaning blunder. I was also highly reactive to anxiety in others. I have stories . . . so do the people I was serving.

 

 

This book will help diagnose what is causing your anxiety and also provide you with prescriptive tools to help diffuse anxiety—moving you from being managed by anxiety to managing anxiety, both yours and theirs.

This is no small journey.

A leader who discovers the cause of anxiety and uses the approach in this book to manage it has an increased capacity for anxious situations, difficult people, and ambiguity. By managing this bubbling cauldron, you can break through recurring patterns and lead in a whole other gear.

A leader is not the only person whose anxiety gets in the way. A group of people like a family or a staff can develop a systemic anxiety that keeps them stuck. Once we’ve covered some individual tools that help diffuse anxiety, we’ll focus on group dynamics and how a leader can bring significant health to their team by addressing recurring relational patterns. You can notice not just your own or another’s anxiety, but also your entire organization’s or family’s anxiety. Who always bulldozes over people, who gets the last word? Who stays silent and then calls a “meeting after the meeting” to talk behind others’ backs? Most powerfully: How is your organization or family stuck in a chronic pattern?

As you work through this material you will develop the capacity to notice not only your own anxiety, but also your entire group’s anxiety.

This is where change and health really occur. If you become not only self-aware but also group aware and lead beyond awareness, you can create a healthy culture for people to thrive. Whether you lead an organization, a family, or a department, or if you just want to understand a difficult relationship in your life, these tools can give you fresh ways forward. 

AVAILABLE, NOV 02, 2018

Managing  Leadership Anxiety

Steve Cuss

My topics for leaders focus on learning to “think about the way you think” and getting from stuck to unstuck as well as some of the more classic church leadership topics such a preaching, change management and soul care. For the wider Christian audience, I write theologically informed reflections.
I’ve been a follower of Jesus since the mid-1980s and a full-time pastor since the mid-1990s. I write about leadership and the intersection of theology and life and occasionally anything whimsical. I primarily write for faith leaders and followers of Jesus.