Just Enough Anxiety: The Hidden Driver of Business Success

Overview

A psychologist and leadership expert explains how to harness the right level of anxiety 

Most of us see anxiety as a bad thing, so at the first sign of it we try to fight back or run away. But according to Robert Rosen, this outdated view ignores one of the most powerful forces in business: Anxiety helps us concentrate, learn, relate to people, think more creatively, and deliver better results. 

Of course, too much anxiety causes ...

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Overview

A psychologist and leadership expert explains how to harness the right level of anxiety 

Most of us see anxiety as a bad thing, so at the first sign of it we try to fight back or run away. But according to Robert Rosen, this outdated view ignores one of the most powerful forces in business: Anxiety helps us concentrate, learn, relate to people, think more creatively, and deliver better results. 

Of course, too much anxiety causes fear, chaos, and loss of morale. But too little leads to stagnation and a false sense of security. It’s like a rubber band: If you pull it too hard, it breaks. If you don’t pull it hard enough, you fail to maximize its potential. Finding the happy medium between panic and passivity is the secret to success. 

Drawing on twenty years of research with CEOs, Rosen explains how great leaders succeed by living and leading with just enough anxiety. He shows how the ability to manage anxiety brings out their own best performance, enables them to build great teams, and inspires and challenges their organizations. 

Only when we allow ourselves to feel our insecurity, discomfort, confusion, and pain can we reach our potential, both as individuals and teams. Just Enough Anxiety offers practical guidance to all kinds of organizations, blending cutting-edge psychology with real-world stories of success.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Anxiety is an unfortunate fact of life, but can be a positive force in business success, says psychologist Rosen, contending that today's rapid rate of change is particularly anxiety provoking for businesses and those who work to build them. Rosen believes that business leaders can manage their own anxiety to yield positive company results. Though our minds try to protect us from anxiety by using ego defense mechanisms that can be productive or destructive, either too much or too little anxiety can be a hindrance to performance. But the right amount of anxiety can motivate and encourage. With checklists, questionnaires and self-evaluation forms, Rosen offers tools and guidelines to help readers assess and understand their personal reactions to the emotion. Concrete, real-life examples and explanations of anxiety's various forms, personal effects and potentially positive aspects teach managers how to work with the emotion and elicit its healthy side from employees. Rosen's insights are thought provoking and helpful. (Mar. 13)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591841975
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/13/2008
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.26 (w) x 9.26 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert H. Rosen is a psychologist, researcher, business adviser, and bestselling author of Leading People and The Healthy Company. He won a MacArthur Award in 1991 for his leadership research. He has interviewed more than 250 CEOs, and each year he speaks to thousands of executives worldwide. His firm, Healthy Companies International, has worked with major organizations around the world, including Johnson & Johnson, Northrop Grumman, Intel, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Boeing, and ING.

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Table of Contents

It's Time to Evolve     1
A New Understanding of Anxiety     24
Living in the Gap     61
The Three Faces of Anxiety     92
Realistic Optimism     124
Constructive Impatience     143
Confident Humility     165
Putting Jea to Work     197
Change Begins with You     228
Acknowledgments     233
Notes     235
Selected Bibliography     245
Index     249
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