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. Her first book Changing on the job: Developing leaders for a complex world has been called “quite simply the best book on leadership and adult development out there.”Her second book is, Simple habits for complex times: Powerful practices for leaders(co –authored with Keith Johnston). In her most recent book, Unlocking Leadership Mindtraps: How to Thrive in Complexity, she helps leaders understand why our natural impulses steer us wrong in a fast-moving world, and suggests powerful questions and approaches that help us escape these patterns.
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.
Session length: 90 minutes
One of the hopes as coaches is to support the capacities of our clients to unlock their potential, but there are certain conditions that call for entirely new approaches. This is particularly true when clients (and coaches) are dealing with complexity, where the pace and rate of change and interconnectivity stresses our normal response reflexes and sends us into unhelpful patterns that get in the way of our success.
Worse still, we hardly know that we’ve gone down the wrong path at all and we keep spinning ourselves deeper and deeper into the traps our bodies and brains have set for us. This session will offer an eminently practical set of ideas specifically targeted in the questions we ask and the way we listen to our clients as they struggle in complexity.
Drawing on decades of research and practice, this Mindtraps framework, from my new book Unlocking Leadership Mindtraps: How to Thrive in Complexity, offers us ways to coach our clients in the present and then give them handholds for self-coaching in the future. In this session, we’ll explore these traps, and we’ll look at ways to help clients (and ourselves!) recognise and ultimately unlock the traps.