Why smart companies do dumb things

Anxiety is both natural and necessary, for without it we would not be able to survive. But when collective anxiety is mismanaged, it travels through an organization in uncontrolled chain reactions, resulting in dumb decisions, unproductive conflict and grueling office politics.
      That’s the bad news. The good news is that it only takes one person to break the anxiety chain reaction—and that person could be you. Read The Anxious Organization and discover how to:

  • Defuse personality conflicts by recognizing that they’re not so personal after all
  • Avoid getting entangled in destructive politics while remaining “in the loop”
  • Stop micromanaging--or get another micromanager off your case
  • Break the cycle of blame and avoid becoming its scapegoat
  • Arrest “groupthink” before it results in a disastrous decision
  • Remain calm, clear and collected in the face of others’ anxiety reactions
  • Spread calm to others by taking clear and principled stands



Order the revised and expanded edition from Amazon

“Learning to manage your anxiety, and helping your employees manage theirs, is not a touch-feely, ‘soft skills’ topic. It’s a dollar and cents topic. A firm grasp of the principles in The Anxious Organization can mean the difference between a company that thrives and one that doesn’t even survive.”
Harriet Lerner, Ph.D. author of The Dance of Anger

Jeffrey A. Miller explains how to break the self-perpetuating anxiety loop that’s crippling your company. …a compelling and deeply insightful book. Don’t miss it.
Morrie Shechtman
Author of Fifth Wave Leadership: The Internal Frontier

“If you have a fascination with human behavior—or just a job in a workplace of stampeding wildebeests—The Anxious Organization is well worth your time. It explores the intricacies of organizational relationships in rich, colorful, readable prose. Great job, Jeffrey A. Miller”
Michael E. Kerr, MD
Director, the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family

"Using the long-lost art of story telling, Mr. Miller succeeds at driving home important lessons that leaders and staff, even the lowest on the totem pole, in any organization can use to improve performance. My eyes were opened to how my own behavior has previously and continues to create anxiety in my own organization. I look forward to applying lessons from this book and sharing its contents with my co-workers."
David A. Westman
Executive Director
Emergency Nurses Association




Table of contents

1 Primitive Guys, Inc.
Why all organizations are anxious
2. This is Your Brain on Stress.
How anxiety leads to doing dumb things
3 You are Not a Wildebeest
The herd instinct and its discontents
4 Three's Company
The triangle as the basic unit of organizational politics
5 I'm Okay; You're Dysfunctional
The one-up one-down cha cha
6 Nothing Personal
Blame, cutoff and open warfare
7 Getting a Grip
How to stay calm, clear and collected in a crazy system
8 Composure is Contagious
Tips on leading an anxious organization
9 The Power of One
How to change the system from within


“Miller explains that when leaders learn to manage their own anxiety they have a powerfully calming effect on everyone below them. When you get your act together, others around you will get theirs together. And as the author writes, that simple (though not easy) change can transform a herd of stampeding wildebeests into a sane, smart, and effective organization.”

Quint Studer, Author of Hardwiring Excellence: Purpose, Worthwhile Work, Making a Difference and Results That Last: Hardwiring Behaviors That Will Take Your Company to the Top



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© copyright 2007 Jeffrey A. Miller