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  • Writer's picturePatrick Norris

92. Patrick Norris – The Leader’s Kryptonite: Emotional Fusion Versus Differentiation

Welcome to Episode #92 of the Red Ink Revival Leadership Podcast. In today’s episode Patrick shares one of the most important factors for successful leaders: differentiation. Self-differentiation is a leadership code cracker. If you have wondered why you can’t seem to get the ‘wins’ you work so hard for, even after training with conferences, consultants, books, podcasts, and mentors, this episode is for you!

This episode takes us into the following:

  • The underlying reason why leaders feel stressed, burned out, and ready to quit.

  • Dr. Murray Bowen’s Family Systems Theory.

  • Defining self-differentiation from Family Systems Theory and applying it to everyday scenarios.

  • How relational systems often drive us and pressure us to conform.

  • What leading experts say about the power of differentiation from marriage, parenting, medical, addiction recovery, and pastoral leadership perspectives.

  • Patrick’s story of suffering as a leader and what the clarifying insights have meant to his own leadership.

  • Questions that help us reflect and determine our maturity in self-differentiation.

  • How the more mature we are at self-differentiation the less anxiety we lead with.

  • How anxiety in relational/leadership systems leads to weakened trust and weakened team connections.

  • Biblical references around self-differentiation.

  • Contrasting enmeshment/fusion to self-differentiation.

  • Setting the stage for upcoming episodes dealing with maturing and developing skills for healthier, less anxious differentiation.

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If you have questions you would like addressed in a future episode, topics you would enjoy hearing, or just want to give us feedback, we would love to hear from you. Email us at

Edited and produced by Evan (Emac) McAlister.

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