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Course Registration

Leadership in Anxious Times

Leadership in Anxious Times

Thursday, November 7, 2013
1:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Forum Room - Bradbury Thompson Alumni Center

Dan Papero, Ph.D. 

So much has been written about the topic of leadership in recent years that one might assume everything has been said. Much of the writing focuses on the characteristics of a particular person, or his/her organizational skills, or his/her vision, and so forth. All of these areas are important and relevant, but none seems fully to capture the function of leadership.  

Systems thinking may have something to add to the discussion of leadership. From this perspective, leadership is a function in the broader network of relationships that form the infrastructure of a family, an organization or a community. Systems thinking describes the variable of anxiety and its effect on the functioning of people and organizations. It also suggests that how the person manages oneself well in the organizational system during anxious times can contribute to the efficient functioning of the entire organization. That person may or may not be the designated leader of the group. In a sense everyone in a relationship system can be a leader and in fact has a responsibility to lead to the best of his or her abilities.  

The presentation will address ideas related to the leadership functions in an anxious relationship system, from the family to the large organization. It will discuss systems thinking in some detail and the inferences for leadership that can be drawn from it. Rather than a set of techniques to be applied within the organization, the presentation will focus on the development of a way of thinking about systems functioning that allows the individual to be present in the anxious system and to maintain his or her functioning under the pressure of anxiety. There are no easy answers to be found in systems thinking, but with practice one can gain knowledge, improve functioning and become a more effective contributor to the organization.

  4 Professional Development Hours

Registration fee of $45.  Seating is limited.
 Call 670-1399 or visit to register.

Dr. PaperoDr. Papero has served on the faculty of the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family since 1982. He has written numerous articles and book chapters on various aspects of family systems theory and family psychotherapy and, in 1990, published a basic introduction to family systems, Bowen Family Systems Theory. He serves on the editorial board of Family Systems and of the Family Business Client. He currently gives between fifteen and twenty invited presentations yearly to various professional groups across the country on topics related to family systems theory, family psychotherapy, and the functioning of corporations and organizations. In recent years he has consulted increasingly with organizations in both the private and public sectors about the impact of relationships on functioning and about the emotional process of organizations. Dr. Papero maintains his consulting practice in Washington, DC.