In Simple Habits for Complex Times, Jennifer Garvey Berger and Keith Johnston set out to help leaders navigate through the rise of VUCA: volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. The style of the book while packed with research and analytical data is written in an easy to digest format that both academics and non-academics will enjoy. Kirkus in viewing the work writes, “Their thoughtful book is a kind of guide for grown-ups; it touts simple habits one can develop but acknowledges there are no simple solutions.” In this same vein the thesis of the authors to the reader is simple and covers three aspects: 1. ask different questions (instead of having the answers), 2. take multiple perspectives (even when we disagree), and 3. see the systems (including emergence), but in reality are hard to implement because often as leaders we are more focused on what we think is right versus bringing others into the conversation.
In, The Dark Side of Transformational leadership: A Critical Perspective, Tourish writes on charismatic leadership saying,
In particular, Maccoby (2000) suggests that many charismatic leaders are narcissists – that is, people with an inordinately well-developed self-image, in which they take great pride and on which they reflect frequently. They are also likely to have a strong need for power, high self-confidence and strong convictions (De Vries et al. 1999). Rather than flexibly responding to feedback, the narcissistic but charismatic visionary leader is inclined to perceive reality through the distorting prism of his or her vision.
Berger and Johnston underline this same perspective and understanding writing,
Now research tells us that charismatic leaders are more likely to leave the organization in a mess; that even when we think we’re making decisions with clear heads, we’re actually responding to unconscious thoughts; and that all-powerful leaders often go all-powerfully wrong.
There were a lot of impactful things in this book, but one of the most significant parts was the understanding of the Cyenfin Framework for decision making. In my context many of the leaders I know still operate from a commonplace mindset (this is how it has been, so we do not need to change) rather than understanding the arena of complexity. The authors state, “complexity is about getting our heads around what is possible (because anything could happen) rather than what is probably going to happen (which is determined from what has happened before).” Seeing that one of Generation Z’s central characterization is “Wi-Fi Enabled” moreover another is entrepreneurship as the Wharton School declares that “already one defining characteristic is abundantly clear: This generation is Wi-Fi enabled” also, research points out that 76% already make their own money part-time. In summation, Gen Z is growing up in an “always on” world and “make your path mindset” which breeds personal and professional complexity. What is the answer for leaders, Berger is helpful again writing;
When leaders really understand that parts of their world really are complex and unpredictable, though, they have a different task. Instead of clarity about what the future will look like, the job for leaders in complex spaces is to get a diverse set of perspectives on the current conditions to make sense of what direction to take. They need to use that sense of direction to create the conditions for people to come up with a set of safe-to-fail experiments to learn from as they reshape the organization.
In the framework of Spirit-led Leadership, the “direction” is set by the Spirit. As we seek to reach and lead Gen Z, we must embrace the curiosity of following the Spirit (which will connect with them in their entrepreneurial spirit) instead of trying to create clarity. Setting safe-to-fail experiments (operating from forgiveness and grace) that will provide space for different perspectives in the complexity we all face.
Great explanation of the Cyenfin Model here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7oz366X0-8
 Berger, Jennifer Garvey. Simple Habits for Complex Times (p. 8). Stanford University Press. Kindle Edition.
 Berger, Jennifer Garvey, and Keith Johnston. “Simple Habits for Complex Times by Jennifer Garvey Berger, Keith Johnston.” Kirkus Reviews. Accessed March 7, 2019. https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/jennifer-garvey-berger1/simple-habits-for-complex-times/.
 Tourish, Dennis. The Dark Side of Transformational Leadership: A Critical Perspective, Routledge, 2013. ProQuest Ebook Central, 25.
 Berger, Jennifer Garvey. Simple Habits for Complex Times (p. 13). Stanford University Press. Kindle Edition.
Berger, Jennifer Garvey. Simple Habits for Complex Times (p. 11). Stanford University Press. Kindle Edition.
 White, James Emery. Meet Generation Z: Understanding and Reaching the New Post-Christian World (p. 41). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
 “Is Gen Z The Most Entrepreneurial Generation Ever? [INFOGRAPHIC].” ValueWalk. Last modified December 18, 2018. https://www.valuewalk.com/2018/12/gen-z-entrepreneurial-generation-infographic/.
 White, James Emery. Meet Generation Z: Understanding and Reaching the New Post-Christian World, 41.
 Is Gen Z The Most Entrepreneurial Generation Ever? [INFOGRAPHIC].” ValueWalk. Last modified December 18, 2018. https://www.valuewalk.com/2018/12/gen-z-entrepreneurial-generation-infographic/.
 Berger, Jennifer Garvey. Simple Habits for Complex Times (p. 146). Stanford University Press. Kindle Edition.