Jennifer Garvey Berger
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About Jennifer Garvey Berger
Jennifer Garvey Berger believes that leadership is one of the most vital renewable resources in the world. At a time when organisations are often forging the path rather than following the path of others, leadership is about creating the conditions for people to be their most creative, connected, intelligent selves. She is a founding partner and CEO of Cultivating Leadership, a consultancy that serves executives and executive teams in the private, non-profit, and government sectors around the world. Her clients include Google, Microsoft, Novartis, Wikipedia, and Oxfam International. Jennifer designs and teaches leadership programs, coaches senior teams, and supports new ways of thinking about strategy and people with clients facing these dramatic shifts in complexity, volatility, and change in their workplaces and markets. She blends deep theoretical knowledge with a driving quest for practical ways to make leaders’ lives better.
Jennifer also supports leaders one-on-one as a leadership coach. She supports clients to find their current growing edge and then make choices about how they want to grow, and she teaches coaches around the world transformational and developmental coaching approaches in her Growth Edge Coaching certification series. Jennifer speaks at leadership and coaching conferences, and she offers occasional courses for coaches at universities all over the world like Harvard University, the University of Sydney, and Oxford Brookes University.
Jennifer holds a doctorate in adult development from Harvard University, where she studied under and worked with acclaimed developmental psychologist Robert Kegan. She was an Associate Professor at George Mason University before she left the academy on a mission to connect powerful research and the people doing real work in the world. Jennifer is an American by birth, a Kiwi by choice, and finds herself living now in London, far from her beach house on the Tasman Sea. Wherever she might call home, she loves laughing with her two nearly-grown children, rolling on the floor with her dog, and writing about leading, coaching, and living.
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Books By Jennifer Garvey Berger
Listen to people in every field and you'll hear a call for more sophisticated leadership—for leaders who can solve more complex problems than the human race has ever faced. But these leaders won't simply come to the fore; we have to develop them, and we must cultivate them as quickly as is humanly possible. Changing on the Job is a means to this end.
As opposed to showing readers how to play the role of a leader in a "paint by numbers" fashion, Changing on the Job builds on theories of adult growth and development to help readers become more thoughtful individuals, capable of leading in any scenario. Moving from the theoretical to the practical, and employing real-world examples, author Jennifer Garvey Berger offers a set of building blocks to help cultivate an agile workforce while improving performance.
Coaches, HR professionals, thoughtful leaders, and anyone who wants to flourish on the job will find this book a vital resource for developing their own capacities and those of the talent that they support.
Author and consultant Jennifer Garvey Berger has worked with all types of leaders—from top executives at Google to nonprofit directors who are trying to make a dent in social change. She 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.
When faced with complex challenges or uncertain outcomes, many leaders believe that if they are smart enough, work hard enough, or turn to the best management tools, they will be able to find the right answer, predict and plan for the future, and break down tasks to produce controllable results. But what are leaders to do when this isn't the case?
Rather than offering one-size-fits-all tips and tricks drawn from the realm of business as usual, Simple Habits for Complex Times provides three integral practices that enable leaders to navigate the unknown. By taking multiple perspectives, asking different questions, and seeing more of their system, leaders can better understand themselves, their roles, and the world around them. They can become more nimble, respond with agility, and guide their organizations to thrive in an ever-shifting business landscape. The more leaders use these simple habits, the more they enhance their performance and solve increasingly common, sticky business issues with greater acumen.
Whether in large or small organizations, in government or the private sector, in the U.S. or overseas, leaders will turn to this book as a companion that helps them grow into the best version of themselves.
There is a complexity paradox that we all need to understand. We humans have a natural inclination towards connection, engagement, and creativity – all necessary skills to thrive in complexity. The problem is that the stress caused by uncertainty and ambiguity makes it difficult to tap into this inclination when we need it the most. This book offers a set of practices that help you not only understand complexity but actually hack into your own nervous system to bring your natural capacities back online. By paying close attention to your body, redefining your emotional experiences, and connecting more deeply to others, you can transform the anxiety, exhaustion, and overwhelm that complexity creates. Better still, as you unleash your natural complexity genius, you create the conditions for those around you to flourish in an uncertain world.