Leadership: Adventure before Safety

The problem in North America today: “civilization influences our thoughts and our leaders toward safety and certainty rather than toward boldness and adventure.” p.33

“What our civilization needs most is leaders with a bold sense of adventure.” p.193

Qualities of mature, imaginative and adventurous leaders: they “cherish uncertainty”, are “willing to encounter serendipity”, and “expose themselves to chance …. Related here is the necessity of preserving ambiguity … if the viewer’s imagination is to flower, it is important not to solve the problem in advance.” p.46

Leadership = “individuals who were willing to go first.” p.187

“The ramifying power of emotional barriers [is] to restrict both the imaginative capacity and the adventure necessary for freeing the imagination…” p.48

“Sixteenth and Seventeenth century adventure was an open-ended search for novelty rather than a driven pursuit of truth.” p.45

“If society is to evolve, or if leaders are to arise, then safety can never be allowed to become more important than adventure … Everything we enjoy as part of our advanced civilization, including the discovery, exploration, and development of our country, came about because previous generations made adventure more important than safety.” p.83

~ Edwin Friedman (A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix) Seabury Books, New York, 2007

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