Margaret Wheatley

Margaret Wheatley - Leadership Business Management Communication  speaker


About Margaret Wheatley - Business Management and Leadership Speaker:

Margaret Wheatley writes, teaches and speaks about how we can organize and accomplish our work in chaotic times, sustain our relationships, and willingly step forward to serve. Since 1973, Meg has worked with an unusually broad variety of organizations: Her clients and audiences range from the head of the U.S. Army to twelve year-old Girl Scouts, from CEOs and government ministers to small town ministers, from large universities to rural aboriginal villages. All of these organizations and people wrestle with a common dilemma - how to maintain their integrity, energy and effectiveness as they cope with the relentless upheavals and rapid shifts of this troubling time. But there is another similarity: a common human desire to find ways to live together more harmoniously, more humanely, so that more people may benefit.

She has written several best-selling books. Her new book, published October 2012, is So Far From Home: Lost and Found in Our Brave New World. This book first explains how this global culture emerged, a brave new world destructive of our good work, opposite to what we intended to create. It calls on us to claim a new role for ourselves --warriors for the human spirit and then provides practices and commentary for how to do our work drawing on our best human capacities to serve in this dark time.

Her other books are: Walk Out Walk On: A Learning Journey Into Communities Daring to Live the Future Now, co-authored with Deborah Frieze; Perseverance; Leadership and the New Science (18 languages and third edition); Turning to One Another: Simple Conversations to Restore Hope to the Future (seven languages and second edition); Finding Our Way: Leadership for an Uncertain Time and A Simpler Way (co-author Myron Kellner-Rogers).

Meg earned her doctorate in Organizational Behavior from Harvard University, and a masters in Media Ecology from New York University. She also studied at University College London, U.K. She has been a global citizen since her youth, serving in the Peace Corps in Korea in the 1960s, and has taught, consulted or served in an advisory capacity on all continents (except Antarctica). She began her career as a public school teacher, and also has been a professor in two graduate management programs (Brigham Young University and Cambridge College Massachusetts).

She is co-founder and President emerita of The Berkana Institute, founded in 1991. Berkana has been a leader in experimenting with new organizational forms based on a coherent theory of how living systems adapt and change. Berkana has worked in partnership with a rich diversity of people around the world who strengthen their communities by working with the wisdom and wealth already present in their people, traditions and environment. These pioneers do not deny or flee from our global crisis;they respond by moving courageously into the future now, experimenting with many different solutions.

Meg has received several awards and honorary doctorates. In 2003, The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) honored her for her contribution to workplace learning and development and dubbed her a living legend. In April 2005, she was elected to the Leonardo Da Vinci Society for the Study of Thinking for her contribution to the field of systems thinking. In 2010, she was appointed by the White House and the Secretary of the Interior to serve on the National Advisory Board of the National Parks System; her primary responsibility is to support the growth of a 21st century culture of adaptation and innovation throughout 400 national parks.

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What Margaret Wheatley Talks About:

Meg draws her ideas from many places, beginning with the discoveries in new science that profoundly shift our worldview. To her science background, she adds the perspectives and wisdom from many different disciplines, cultures and spiritual traditions that she has learned from. She writes frequently for professional journals and magazines.

Engaging Wholeheartedly as Women Leaders: Maintaining Stamina, Direction and Values in the Midst of Challenge and Uncertainty
As women leaders, we often find ourselves in situations or decisions that challenge our values and sensibilities.  If we choose to pay attention to relationships, focus on the future, engage many perspectives, or act with caring and generosity, we may be criticized for these behaviors.  Yet these are exactly the behaviors that build strong teams, that enable people’s contributions and talents to grow, and that lead to more intelligent and long-lasting decisions.  So how do we persevere from a position of confidence and strength, even when faced with criticism or disregard?

Perseverance is the capacity to keep going even in the face of setbacks. It is a conscious choice not to give up, no matter how difficult the circumstances. The Chinese character for perseverance is a knife over a human heart. Can we endure setbacks, criticism, failures and loss and still keep going? How do we confront the dominant energies of our time – aggression, fear, patriarchy – and not get caught up in them? How do we cope with our exhaustion and overwhelm?

This seminar will offer practices and approaches that enable women leaders to persevere.  Specifically, we will engage together in exploring:

  • The real basis for self-confidence and inner strength;
  • Our personal clarity for what we value and embody;
  • Our “hot buttons” –those difficult situations we react to emotionally rather than wisely;
  • Our strengths and gifts that we've demonstrated through action; and
  • Our renewed commitment to serve our organizations, colleagues and families as wise, confident women leaders.

Subtle Beliefs that Restrict Our Leadership Capacity: Peeling the Onion One More Layer
Meg has the great privilege of supporting and advising leaders and consultants who are fully engaged in working from the new paradigm of living systems and complexity theory.  They’ve become smart at systems thinking, skilled at analyzing complex problems, and experts at engagement and community building. They consciously choose to rebel against the practices that degrade human capacity and work courageously to use practices that cultivate our best human qualities, such as creativity, innovation, caring, and community. They are truly “Warriors for the Human Spirit.”

Yet there are more subtle beliefs that can rob these leaders of energy and cause their work to go in wrong directions.  This seminar will be a collective exploration of some of these subtle beliefs in order to make them visible.  We will then explore alternative beliefs that can better serve us as we do our bold and pioneering work.

Other Popular Topics by Margaret Wheatley Include:

  • Leading in a Networked World
  • Leading in Turbulent Times
  • The Power of Conversation to Change Our World
  • Avoiding the Ambush of Hope: A Retreat for Exhausted and Overworked Leaders
  • Joyous Perseverance: Walking a Heart Path in These Difficult Times 

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