Failure of Nerve may be classified as a classic contribution to social science, particularly the subject of leadership from the perspective of psychology. It seems to align with the sub-discipline of Strengths Psychology, which encourages the discovery and development of inherent strengths, rather than an unhealthy focus on weaknesses. The book is about leadership as a “function of emotional systems” especially courage, and not merely about leadership style or an accumulation of data.
It is divided into two parts. The first, comprising the first five chapters, highlights how contemporary leadership is failing due to limited imagination as well as fallacies about data, survival, and autocracy. The concluding part, which includes three chapters and an epilogue, among other things clarifies the traits of well-differentiated leadership. 
Friedman addresses the problem of anxiety within leadership noting that “when anxiety reaches certain thresholds, even the most learned idea can begin to function as superstitions.” This is crucial because of the alarming rate of mental health disorders today, a lot of which may be rooted in anxiety. Within my ministry context I engage with several marginalized families with breadwinners who are often very anxious because they are not sure where their next meal will come from. Thus, Friedman suggests that although the family leaders (parents) I work with are not lacking in potential or creativity, their anxiety cripples their ability to lead with excellence. Not surprisingly, the Bible urges all not to be anxious but through prayer to embrace the peace of God (Phi. 4:6). Leaders who have not read the Bible or Friedman may wonder how to live without anxiety in a world disrupted by Covid and several other challenges. Yet history shows this is possible.
Friedman also addresses the importance of self-differentiation among leaders at all levels. This resonates with the Biblical idea of being wonderfully and fearfully created (Ps. 139:14). One can only imagine what life might be like if parents in the low-income communities I work with would come to terms with this idea of self-differentiation. Presumably, this will lead to identifying their unique talents, and hopefully developing these into strengths that make a unique and significant contribution to society. A second reason why I agree with self-differentiation is because of how it draws attention to the origin of human diversity: a great God who transcends culture, location and generation.
While Friedman is outstanding in his argument about leadership being a function of emotional systems, I believe his work would have benefited even more by including a little more of the spiritual dimension of leadership. For example, based on the leadership model of Jesus, we may conclude that prayer is a significant quality in the life of leaders who wish to make a sustainable impact in the world. Perhaps more than anything else, prayer highlights human dependence on God. Yet prayer is scantily mentioned in Friedman’s model, thus indirectly undermining God’s role in human leadership. In this regard, I see Friedman’s argument as being a little incomplete. Otherwise, Failure of Nerve is an excellent book that will help emerging and established leaders alike for many more years.
 Friedman, Edwin H., Margaret M. Treadwell, and Edward W. Beal. A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix. (New York: Seabury Books, 2017. Kindle), location 123
 (Friedman, Treadwell and Beal 2017) location 4461
 (Friedman, Treadwell and Beal 2017) location 174