1. Forget the pecking order at work – Margaret Heffernan
Organizations are often run according to “the superchicken model,” where the value is placed on star employees who outperform others. And yet, this isn’t what drives the most high-achieving teams. Business leader Margaret Heffernan observes that it is social cohesion — built every coffee break, every time one team member asks another for help — that leads over time to great results. It’s a radical rethink of what drives us to do our best work, and what it means to be a leader. Because as Heffernan points out: “Companies don’t have ideas. Only people do.”
The former CEO of five businesses, Margaret Heffernan explores the all-too-human thought patterns — like conflict avoidance and selective blindness — that lead organizations and managers astray.
2. Why do ambitious women have flat heads? – Dame Stephanie Shirley
Dame Stephanie Shirley is the most successful tech entrepreneur you never heard of. In the 1960s, she founded a pioneering all-woman software company in the UK, which was ultimately valued at $3 billion, making millionaires of 70 of her team members. In this frank and often hilarious talk, she explains why she went by “Steve,” how she upended the expectations of the time, and shares some sure-fire ways to identify ambitious women.
In 1962, Dame Stephanie “Steve” Shirley founded Freelance Programmers, a software firm with innovative work practices — and (mainly) women employees.
3. How to overcome our biases? Walk boldly toward them – Vernā Myers
Our biases can be dangerous, even deadly — as we’ve seen in the cases of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner, in Staten Island, New York. Diversity advocate Vernā Myers looks closely at some of the subconscious attitudes we hold toward out-groups. She makes a plea to all people: Acknowledge your biases. Then move toward, not away from, the groups that make you uncomfortable. In a funny, impassioned, important talk, she shows us how.
Vernā Myers is dedicated to promoting meaningful, lasting diversity in the workplace.
4. Why the best hire might not have the perfect resume – Regina Hartley
Given the choice between a job candidate with a perfect resume and one who has fought through difficulty, human resources executive Regina Hartley always gives the “Scrapper” a chance. As someone who grew up with adversity, Hartley knows that those who flourish in the darkest of spaces are empowered with the grit to persist in an ever-changing workplace. “Choose the underestimated contender, whose secret weapons are passion and purpose,” she says. “Hire the Scrapper.”
Regina Hartley thinks that those who don’t always look good on paper may be just the person you need to hire.
5. The career advice you probably didn’t get – Susan Colantuono
You’re doing everything right at work, taking all the right advice, but you’re just not moving up. Why? Susan Colantuono shares a simple, surprising piece of advice you might not have heard before quite so plainly. This talk, while aimed at an audience of women, has universal takeaways — for men and women, new grads and midcareer workers.
Susan Colantuono is the CEO and founder of Leading Women.
6. Why we have too few women leaders – Sheryl Sandberg
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg looks at why a smaller percentage of women than men reach the top of their professions — and offers 3 powerful pieces of advice to women aiming for the C-suite.
As the COO at the helm of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg juggles the tasks of monetizing the world’s largest social networking site while keeping its users happy and engaged.