We talked with writer, researcher, and coach, Jennifer Garvey Berger, about her passion for spreading ideas about complexity, leadership, adult development, and change “so they can do the good that the world needs them to do”. She explained that “there are ideas about the world that are unbearably useful, and yet they are often locked up away from the people who could best use them.” Berger’s work and research are driven by her desire to get ideas about complexity out into the world. She expressed to us that there is joy and beauty in complexity describing it as “a fundamental energy in the world” that we should try to understand the rules and learn to play inside them, rather than try to contain and control complexity.
Later in our conversation, Berger shared insights from her new book Unlocking Leadership Mindtraps: How to Thrive in Complexity, including the five mindtraps she believes are holding us back. 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. After describing why these natural impulses are hindering us, she stated, “if we can get a handle on some of these mindtraps, that redeploys our energy and lets us work with the system instead of continually fighting against it.”
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