Complexity Explorer Santa Few Institute


Popular-Science Book

Getting Out of Control: Emergent Leadership in a Complex World

In an age of increasing complexity, our hope as leaders lies not in gaining control, but in relying on emergent order. Most leadership books promise to help you get control of your business, your career, and your life. In Getting Out of Control: Emergent Leadership in a Complex World, Neil Chilson flips this formula on its head. Emergent order—order with no single individual or entity in control—surrounds us. From ant colonies to our brains, cities, and economies, emergent order sustains powerful and complex systems that no one designed and no one controls. Awash in this complexity, we have less control than we imagine or wish. Chilson explains how this emergent order confounds managers who grasp for control but holds great promise for leaders willing to adopt an emergent mindset. Getting Out of Control explains why effective leaders seek to influence rather than to control. Chilson offers real-world examples of successful and failed leadership from Washington, D.C.‘s halls to Silicon Valley’s workstations. He distills six principles of the emergent mindset to help leaders in public, corporate, or private life maximize their influence and avoid the pointless pursuit of control in this complex, out-of-control world.

United States
Neil Chilson
Complex Systems, Policy, Evolution, Law, Social Change