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Unleash your Complexity Genius

Jennifer Garvey Berger and Carolyn Coughlin

It feels like the world is spinning off its axis right now, and this underscores what’s always been true: there’s much about life, work, and the world that we just can’t control. But, as Jennifer Garvey Berger and Carolyn Coughlin show in their insight-packed new book UNLEASH YOUR COMPLEXITY GENIUS: Growing Your Inner Capacity to Lead (Stanford University Press, August 2022) there are methods—both mental and physical—to manage the confusion that paralyzes us in the face of unpredictability and compounding challenges. The authors explain how to tap into our innate human ability to handle the unknown and the overwhelming by using a genius that lies within all of us, and which is often switched off just when we need it most.


Bringing together research about human development and the science and wisdom of the body, as well as decades of experience coaching CEOs and industry leaders on how to hone their leadership skills, UNLEASHING YOUR COMPLEXITY GENIUS offers those who are overwhelmed and exhausted—most of us these days—an array of easy-to-implement practices for living and leading well in stressful times.

"The arrival of Unleash Your Complexity Genius is perfectly timed to help us navigate the moment. Compassionate and actionable, this wonderful book can help you access and use your innate genius for handling the complexity all of us find ourselves confronting today. I promise that you will find yourself taking a calming deep breath within the first few pages. But don't stop there, or you'll miss valuable tips for navigating your most perplexing challenges with humility and grace."

Amy C. Edmondson, Professor at Harvard Business School; author of The Fearless Organization

"Imagine you could be in a fabulous workshop, taught by world-renowned facilitators, who are gifted at holding a space for your learning. Now imagine you can experience the workshop as quickly or slowly as you like, and you can re-take any part of it you want to do over. That is your opportunity in Unleash Our Complexity Genius. Don't just "read" this book. Open the cover and enter the workshop!"

Robert Kegan, Chief Knowledge Officer, The Developmental Edge, LLC

"Simple yet powerful insights into how to find and unlock your own genius for dealing with complexity. Using GEMs, you will learn how to be yourself, deliver bigger outcomes, and make whatever you do enjoyable. Jennifer has worked closely with my leadership team, and I can attest for the applicability and efficacy of her advice."

Vinod Kumar, CEO, Vodafone Business

"In today's world, effective leadership requires thriving in an increasingly complex world. Unleash Your Complexity Genius is an invaluable guide to proven practices to grow as a leader and be energized by facing complexity. I have benefitted immensely from these concepts in my own leadership journey and my work with these extraordinary authors."

Vas Narasimhan, CEO, Novartis

"Jennifer and Carolyn continue to do incredible work to help us handle our complex, confusing and uncertain lives. Combining their expertise in adult development, biology and neurology with their experience in organisational and human behaviour, this book offers enlightening case studies, pinpoint diagnoses, and valuable advice. Even more generously, they have developed multiple practices to help brain and body reach peak fitness for this challenge of our times."

Nick Studer, CEO, Oliver Wyman