Cover of Leading Outside Your Comfort Zone by D. Christopher Kayes
Leading Outside Your Comfort Zone
The Surprising Psychology of Resilience, Growth, and Well-Being
D. Christopher Kayes

January 2025
256 pages.

Hardcover ISBN: 9781503640528



A research-backed guide to leading with confidence and resilience in an age of anxiety.

Leading is inevitably frustrating and emotionally demanding, yet leaders get little training in how to deal with painful emotions. Since the global pandemic, stresses on leaders have only grown. To lead effectively in an age of anxiety, leaders must build the capacity to act in spite of unpleasant emotions, and bring a learning mindset to challenges that can otherwise feel overwhelming. Leading Outside Your Comfort Zone draws on a wide body of research to show how well-being and resilience emerges from this struggle; leaders grow by adopting a learning mindset in the face of unpleasant emotions. The book explains how to:

Confidently face new challenges

Accelerate progress toward goals

Improve productivity during discouraging, "unfruitful" periods

Overcome frustration with difficult personalities and organizational politics

Build confidence and a mindset of stress-less productivity

Build resilience throughout the organization

Leadership expert D. Christopher Kayes integrates insights from diverse disciplines, including management and organization studies, psychology, sports and military psychology, neuroscience, and education, and presents original research involving over 1,000 leaders. The book focuses on five tools that help leaders develop positive emotional engagement, creative problem-solving, learning identity, flexibility, and social support.

About the author

D. Christopher Kayes is Professor and Chair of the Department of Management at The George Washington University's School of Business. He is the author or co-author and editor of five books: Judgment and Leadership: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Concepts, Practice and Development, Contemporary Organizational Behavior, Organizational Resilience: How Learning Sustains Organizations Through Crisis, Disaster, and Breakdown, The Learning Advantage: Six Practices of Learning-Directed Leadership, and Destructive Goal Pursuit: The Mt. Everest Disaster.