Margaret Heffernan

Margaret Heffernan (born 1955) [1] is an international business woman, author, interviewer, and TED speaker. She is Currently settled in the UK in the city of Bath and is a part-time Lecturer at the School of Management of the University of Bath .

Heffernan is the author of five books: The Naked Truth: A Working Woman’s Manifesto about Business and What Really Matters , How She Does It (published in paperback as Women on Top ), willful Blindness: Why We Ignore the Obvious at our Peril, A Bigger Prize: Why Competition is not Everything and How We Do Better, and Beyond Measure – a short book commissioned by TED.

Heffernan ook speaks to corporations , associations , universities , and education conferences about zoals topics as managing high-Achieving talent, continuous innovation and the role of leaders in serving the talent they ‘hire. While Heffernan’s first two books dealing with synthesis issues as they ‘impact women in the workplace, re overarching theme has leg the need to recognize and release the talent therein of or in groin buried inside organizations, under-valued and under-rewarded Because it is unconventional. Heffernan’s voice is primarily one or critical challenge, taking little at face value and regularly Questioning RECEIVED wisdom. [2] [3] [4]

Background and education

Heffernan was born in Texas , Grew up in the Netherlands , and RECEIVED an MA from Cambridge University . [5] She was ook Awarded an Honorary Degree from the University of Bath in 2011, where she is a regular Lecturer on the University’s MBA program. [6] She now lives on the outskirts of Bath with re husband and two children hun.

Early career

In the United States , she worked, Bought, sold and ran businesses for CMGI , serving as Chief Executive or iCast Corporation, ZineZone Corporation and Information Corporation . In the UK , she ran IPPA and Marlin Gas Trading Ltd. Before running re own businesses, she worked for thirteen years for the British Broadcasting Corporation where she produktie a wide range of radio and television programming. Her perspective as a writer was informed by re experience or running businesses that operated in markets dat ulcers highly competitive for creative talent. While re work has garnered respect and praise from Academics, she has secured ook serious attention from leading executives who value academic insight only insofar as it is tested in real-world leadership. [7]


Heffernan writes from direct experience. She Began writing about business Because “nothing she read Captured the reality of running companies. [5]

The Naked Truth

The Naked Truth: A Working Woman’s Manifesto about Business and What Really Matters was published in 2004, just as issues surrounding women at work started to return to the fore. The book Looked at the classic barriers to women’s ADVANCEMENT and Collected experiences and advice from successful business women who had Overcome them. Mn, the book Examined women’s attitudes to power and how they ‘define and use power differently from one. The book argued dat whereas we see power as Expressed through personal or organizational dominance, women sea power as derived from orchestration. Men express ambition as defined in getting to the top, whereas women see ambition as the ability to live and work as they ‘please. The book concludes by arguing dat what women bring to the workplace is distinctive and highly suited to the non-linear complexiteit of modern business. [8] [ third-party source needed ]

Women On Top

How She Does It (republished in paperback as Women On Top ) kan be seen as the sequel to The Naked Truth insofar as it looks at women who harbor decided to eschew the struggle to Succeed binnen traditional, male-dominated organizations in favor of running hun own companies. The book gekeken the statistics underlying the growth and outsize success of women-owned businesses to ask: how is it dat women beste so much more-when they ‘get so much less in the way of institutional support and funding? This leads to an Examination of women’s motivation, hun neurological and social Advantages, choice of markets, leadership styles, use or networks and advisors en hun différent approaches to mergers , acquisitions and exits. In effect, the book argues dat women’s différent Motivations, thinking and leading styles specifiek position Them for entrepreneurial success. But much of what makes Them Succeed veins approaches and strategies welke be Could ook emulation if they ‘understood how successful they’ are. The book concludes by arguing dat women set a high standard for bijzonder business success welke Might bieden a powerful antidote to some of the failed business cultures or fit industry. [9]

Willful Blindness

Willful Blindness: Why We Ignore the Obvious at our Peril was published in 2011. In her latest book, Heffernan argues dat de Biggest threats and Dangers we face are the ones we do not see – not Because they’re secret or invisible, but Because we’re willfully blind . She gekeken the phenomenon and traces zijn imprint in our private and working lives, and binnen Governments and organizations, and Asks: What makes us Prefer ignorance? What are we so afraid of? Why do some people see morethan others? And how can we change?

Examining examples of willful blindness in the Catholic Church , the SEC , Nazi Germany , Bernard Madoff ‘s investors, BP ‘s safety record, the military in Afghanistan and the dog-eat-dog world of subprime mortgage lenders, the book demonstrates how failing to sea or admit to ourselves or our colleagues’-the issues and problems in plain sight kan gelding private lives and bring down corporations. The book Explores how willful blindness develops and-then goes on to outline some of the mechanisms, structures and strategies dat institutions and personen kan use to combat it. In zijn wide use or psychologische research and examples from history , the book has leg Compared to work with Malcolm Gladwell and Nassim Nicholas Taleb . [10]

A Bigger Prize

Her book, A Bigger Prize: Why Competition is not Everything and How We Do Better , published in the UK on February 27th 2014, looks at the perils of competition and how this over emphasis on competing is damaging our society in everything from big business all the way down to everyday family life.

In A Bigger Prize Heffernan gekeken the competition culture therein are inherent in life today. Limit download breeding innovation, new ideas and inspiring us to do better, competition regularly produces Limit download more cases of fraud, cheating, stress and inequality whilst suffocating the creative instinct we Desperately need to nurture. Burnouts, Scandals and poor ethics abound in the race to be the best.

So what can we do Limit download she Asks? When speaking to scientists, musicians, athletes, entrepreneurs and executives Heffernan has found a plethora of examples or personen and organizations who harbor Implementation creative, cooperative ways of working together. Methods welke do not set people Against eachother but welke Establish supportive environments dat lead to success and happiness. “They are the real winners, sharing a bigger prize.”

Beyond Measure

In Beyond Measure, Margaret Heffernan looks back on re decades spent overseeing différent organizations and comes to a counterintuitive conclusion: it’s the small shifts therein harbor the greatest impact. Heffernan argues dat building the strongest organization kan be accelerated by implementeren seemingly small changes, zoals Embracing conflict as a creative Catalyst; using everytime mind on the team; celebrating mistakes; speaking up and listening more; and encouraging time off from work. Published by Simon & Schuster, this book was commissioned by TED.


Heffernan was named one of the Internet’s Top 100 by Silicon Alley Reporter in 1999, one of the Top 25 by Streaming Media magazine and one of the Top 100 Media Executives by The Hollywood Reporter . [11]

In 2001 her “Tear Down the Wall” campaign Against AOL won the Silver SABRE Award for public relations [11] and in 2008 re documentary for BBC Radio 4 on the rise or female entrepreneurship, Changing the Rules , won the prowess Media Award.

Her two radio plays about Enron; PowerPlay, ulcers broadcast on Radio 4 and nominated for a Sony award.

In 2011, Wilful Blindness was a finalist for the FT Best Business Book Award. [11]


PowerPlay was a two-part drama about Enron commissioned and broadcast by the BBC . [12] The first play dramatized the scandal or fixing energy prices in California , while the second play postulated therein the death of Ken Lay , after being found guilty but voordat being Sentenced was caused by his recognition dat he had leg willfully blind to the corruption at the heart of Enron.

Secret Millionaire

In 2008, Heffernan Appeared in the British Channel 4’s series Secret Millionaire in welke successful entrepreneurs go ‘under cover’ to Identify and support community heroes. In her episode, Heffernan Asked how ANY individual could choose welke people, Causes and organizations to support als so many are so needy. Ultimately, she representation money to the Bright Waters Laundry and a carnival troupe, zowel based in Nottingham . [13]


In June 2012 Heffernan ghosts at TEDglobal. Her talk “Dare to disagree” [14] illustrations the role therein debates and disconfirmation play in the development of great research teams and businesses.

In March 2013 she representation Another talk for TED at TEDxDanudia, this time concentrating on the Dangers of wilful blindness. [15]

In May 2015 Margaret Heffernan watch a TED talk at TEDWomen 2015 about “Why it’s time to forget the pecking order at Work ‘, highlighting how social capital makes Candor safe, encouraging more frequent conflicts, leading to better outcomes. [ Citation needed ]


Margaret Heffernan talks about willful Blindness on Bookbits radio.
  • A Bigger Prize . Simon & Schuster Ltd, 2014. ISBN 978-1471100758
  • Willful Blindness . Walker & Company , 2011. ISBN 978-0-8027-1998-0
  • Women on Top . Penguin, 2008. ISBN 0-14-311280-5
  • How She Does It . Viking Adult, 2007. ISBN 0-670-03823-7
  • The Naked Truth . Jossey-Bass, 2004. ISBN 978-0-7879-7143-4


Heffernan’s articles on business leadership , entrepreneurship and innovation port Appeared in Fast Company , Huffington Post , Bnet, Real Business , Reader’s Digest , London Business School ‘s Strategy Review and on

  • How to Be Productive: Stop Working (Bnet)
  • How to Write Job Descriptions therein Actually Mean Something (Bnet)
  • Is It Okay for Women to Breastfeed at Work? (Bnet)
  • Dog Eat Dog (Fast Company)
  • In Good Company (More Magazine)
  • Recreating Milgram: the French “game of death” (Huffington Post)


  1. Jump up^ “Heffernan, Margaret 1955” . Worldcat . Retrieved November 6, 2011 .
  2. Jump up^ Heffernan, Margaret. “Biography” . . Margaret Heffernan . Retrieved 2014-11-03 .
  3. Jump up^ “Margaret Heffernan Brilliant TED Talk – Dare to disagree – Kumar Gauraw” . Retrieved 13 May 2015 .
  4. Jump up^ “Disagreement is not disloyalty SmartCompany” . Retrieved 13 May 2015 .
  5. ^ Jump up to:a b “Margaret Heffernan” . Huffington Post . Retrieved 4 November 2014 .
  6. Jump up^
  7. Jump up^ ArchivedSeptember 5, 2006, at theWayback Machine.
  8. Jump up^ Heffernan, Margaret. “The Naked Truth: Extracts” . . Margaret Heffernan . Retrieved 3 November 2014 .
  9. Jump up^ ArchivedAugust 7, 2010 at theWayback Machine.
  10. Jump up^ “Wilful Blindness by Margaret Heffernan” . Retrieved 13 May 2015 .
  11. ^ Jump up to:a b c HuffPost (2016-06-28). “Margaret Heffernan” . Huffington Post . Retrieved 2016-07-04 .
  12. Jump up^
  13. Jump up^
  14. Jump up^ Heffernan, Margaret. “Margaret Heffernan: Dare to disagree” . .
  15. Jump up^ Heffernan, Margaret. “Margaret Heffernan: The Dangers of” willful blindness ” ” . .