The big idea in 254 words


“You have capacities within you that are phenomenal, if you only knew how to release them.” 

— David Bohm, quantum physicist & neuropsychology researcher


Never before have we faced a more challenging, fast-paced and complex leadership environment. To thrive as a leader, team and organization in the 21st century requires unprecedented leadership capacity, agility and execution.

At Apheno, I guide leaders to recalibrate and upgrade both their inner game (their mental, emotional and relational capacity) and their outer game (their competency). This results in quantifiable improvements in leadership effectiveness, impact and team performance.

I specialize in the science of vertical learning which is the state of the art in leader development. Cited as the #1 trend in the future of leader development, it was developed at Harvard, Berkeley, Stanford and other leading institutions, and has been furthered by my own research.

Vertical learning is at the heart of elite leader development programs in high-tech companies, the US military and intelligence communities, Olympic athlete training centers, and global NGOs.

Vertical learning has proven to unlock significant mental, emotional, and relational abilities. These make leaders more effective across mission-critical domains, including strategic and systemic thinking, change leadership, collaboration, stakeholder relationship development, and conflict management.

A well-designed vertical learning program can accelerate the natural evolution of a leader’s cognitive, emotional, and interpersonal abilities by 3-5x, supporting them to better lead the transformational change organizations need to adapt and flourish.

My approach integrates advanced findings in neuroscience, adult development, and peak performance. It deeply strengthens any leader's ability to make wiser and more timely decisions, adapt to highly-complex, ambiguous, and rapidly changing contexts, and cascade these benefits on to the entire organization.


“A few years ago, I transitioned from a 20+ year career in business into a new role with an environmental NGO. While I was able to translate many skills into my new context, it became clear that, in order to truly become a leader in sustainability and to do justice to the tremendous challenges we are facing, I had to do some deeper work. In particular, I focused on how I needed to become different inside, as this impacts the way life treats us outside. In this role more than ever, self change is the prerequisite for external change. Barrett’s expertise in individual and personal high-performance, his structured approach to cultivating advanced mental models, and his patient coaching have been invaluable in helping me on the path to the next level.”  

— Pascal Mittermaier, Global Managing Director, Cities, The Nature Conservancy