RESEARCH & RESOURCES

Unlocking Leadership Mindtraps

How to Thrive in Complexity

Author and consultant Jennifer Garvey Berger hears a version of the same plea from every client in nearly every sector around the world: “I know that complexity and uncertainty are testing my instincts, but I don’t know which to trust. Is there some way to know what to do when I can’t know what’s next?”

Her newest work is an answer to this plea. Using her background in adult development, complexity theories, and leadership consultancy, Garvey Berger discerns five pernicious and pervasive “mind traps” to frame the book. These are: the desire for simple stories, our sense that we are right, our desire to get along with others in our group, our fixation with control, and our constant quest to protect and defend our egos. In addition to understanding why these natural impulses steer us wrong in a fast-moving world, leaders will get powerful questions and approaches that help them escape these patterns.

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The greatest journey a leader can make is into a world of self-awareness, mindfulness, and curiosity. Unlocking Leadership Mindtraps is a pioneering handbook that I believe will help generations of leaders navigate complexity and find fulfillment.

— Vas Narasimhan, Chief Executive Officer, Novartis

In this book, Jennifer explains key skills: listening to learn, disagreeing to expand, resolution to deepen relationships. I wish that every leader, and every person, would read this in today’s increasingly interconnected yet polarized world!

— Diane Tang, Vice President, Google

This book is deceptively brilliant. It offers a host of very accessible practices that will result in creating the agile, innovative, engaged organizational conversations and cultures that can thrive amid complexity.

— Bob Anderson, Founder and Chairman, The Leadership Circle

I don’t know how Garvey Berger has managed to capture so much wisdom in such a small compass, but I do know we are all the beneficiaries!

— Robert Kegan, Harvard University

Thought-provoking, insightful, and empowering. This book opens up academic research to a broader audience, encouraging us all to expand the limits of our thinking. Jennifer’s work continues to inspire me.

— Jill Adler, Chairwoman, Egon Zehnder