When the Center Does Not Hold: Leading in an Age of Polarization
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When the Center Does Not Hold: Leading in an Age of Polarization  -     By: David R. Brubaker, Everett Brubaker, Carolyn Yoder
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When the Center Does Not Hold: Leading in an Age of Polarization

Fortress Press / 2019 / Paperback

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Product Information

Title: When the Center Does Not Hold: Leading in an Age of Polarization
By: David R. Brubaker, Everett Brubaker, Carolyn Yoder
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 138
Vendor: Fortress Press
Publication Date: 2019
Dimensions: 8.5 X 5.5 X 0 (inches)
Weight: 7 ounces
ISBN: 1506453058
ISBN-13: 9781506453057
Stock No: WW453057

Publisher's Description

Over the past forty years, congregations, businesses, other organizations, and communities across the United States have become increasingly divided along political and ideological lines.

In When the Center Does Not Hold, David R. Brubaker, with contributions by colleagues Everett Brubaker, Carolyn Yoder, and Teresa J. Haase, offers relevant, practical mentorship on navigating polarized environments. Through easily accessible stories, they provide tools and processes that will equip leaders to both manage themselves and effectively lead others in highly polarized and anxious systems.

Coaching includes guidance on key characteristics of effective leadership in times of polarization: refusing contempt, honoring dignity, broadening binaries, seeking first to understand, inviting disagreement, and staying connected.

With years of combined experience in the fields of conflict transformation and organizational and leadership studies, Brubaker and his colleagues offer hope. Here, readers learn from leaders and communities that continue to renew the covenants that bind them, courageously address deeper needs that drive conflict, and hold on to a moral center while navigating the storms of polarization.

Author Bio

David R. Brubaker has more than thirty years of organizational consulting and workplace mediation experience and has consulted with more than one hundred organizations and congregations since 1987. He holds an MBA degree and a PhD in sociology from the University of Arizona, with concentrations in organizations and religion. He writes a regular blog post for the Congregational Consulting Group.

Everett Brubaker has been active in bridge building efforts related to environmental issues for nearly a decade. He holds a B.A. in Environmental Sustainability from Eastern Mennonite University and an M.A. in Communication & Advocacy from James Madison University. Everett was the recipient of the 2019 Civic Engagement Award from the Graduate School at JMU and works as the Resident Services & Communications Coordinator for Harrisonburg Redevelopment and Housing Authority.

Carolyn Yoder has twenty-five years' experience as a psychotherapist and trauma trainer in the US and abroad. She is founding director of STAR (Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience), a justice and conflict-informed training program of Eastern Mennonite University's Center for Justice and Peacebuilding. STAR has supported thousands of civil society leaders on five continents in building resilient communities amidst crisis, division, and violence. She holds an MA in linguistics from the University of Pittsburgh and an MA in counseling psychology from Alliant International University, San Diego.

Teresa J. Haase earned a BA in English and secondary education and an MA and EdS in counseling psychology from James Madison University. She holds a PhD in counseling from The George Washington University. Haase is licensed as a professional counselor in Virginia and an Approved Clinical Supervisor through the National Board for Certified Counselors. She has been working in the field of mental health for twenty years as a clinician, scholar, and counselor educator. Haase has a particular interest in advocating for heart-centered leadership.

Editorial Reviews

"The challenge of this century is not whether we will face tough and complex choices, live in divided communities, or feel in ourselves and others a powerful fear about the survival of what we may consider the essence of our identities. It is how we will choose to be and lead in the midst of these realities. This book offers a brilliant overview of contemporary dynamics around our divisions--political, social, and religious--and, more importantly, illustrates concrete pathways for how to lead with care, clarity, and understanding while navigating this age of polarization. A more timely volume could not have landed on my desk." --Dr. John Paul Lederach, Professor of International Peacebuilding, University of Notre Dame

"When the Center Does Not Hold is an important tool for those of us in congregational and denominational systems that seem to be flying apart in the midst of intense polarization. David R. Brubaker and his colleagues offer guidance through the layers of intrapersonal, interpersonal, organizational, and political transformation that need to occur as we seek to build bridges across our polarized divides. I highly recommend this book to leaders who particularly feel they are in over their heads in the waters of intense polarization." --Rev. Susan Nienaber, District Superintendent, United Methodist Church

"Leading from the center is harder than ever. This timely book will serve as a valued resource for pastors and leaders who find themselves fenced in by the polarizing discourse and practice of our time." --Rev. Christopher Edmonston, White Memorial Presbyterian Church

"David R. Brubaker and his colleagues combine astute academic insight with compassionate pastoral care to guide us in the difficult challenge of social polarization. This clearly written book will help leaders and others know how to be a positive force for change." --Dr. Ronald Richardson, Author, Polarization and the Healthier Church

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