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Margaret Wheatley has a doctorate in Organizational Behavior and Change from Harvard as well as a Masters in Media Ecology from New York University. She has been an organizational consultant for more than forty years, has worked as a professor in two graduate business programs and relishes her role as both mother and grandmother. The American Society for Training and Development awarded her their highest honor in 2002, naming her as a “living legend."

Margaret demonstrates, through her work as a writer and speaker, how troubled times need not be a bar to accomplishing goals, maintaining fulfilling loving relationships and serving others. She has written five hugely popular books, including Leadership and the New Science, which has been translated into eighteen languages and is currently in its 3rd edition, and Turning to One Another: Simple Conversations to Restore Hope to the Future, currently in its 2nd edition and available in seven languages. She has a plethora of published articles in both professional and mainstream media.

The Berkana Institute is a charitable institution of which Margaret is co-founder and president emerita. The Institute works to strengthen communities across the globe by bringing out the strengths that are already present in local people and indigenous traditions.

Full Profile

Margaret Wheatley is a well-respected writer, speaker, and teacher for how we can accomplish our work, sustain our relationships, and willingly step forward to serve in this troubling time. She has written five books: Perseverance (2010); Leadership and the New Science (18 languages and third edition); Turning to One Another: Simple Conversations to Restore Hope to the Future (7 languages and second edition); A Simpler Way (with Myron Rogers); and Finding Our Way: Leadership for an Uncertain Time (3 languages).

Margaret is co-founder and President emerita of The Berkana Institute, a charitable foundation that works 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. Her numerous articles appear in both professional and popular journals.

Wheatley received her doctorate in Organizational Behavior and Change from Harvard University, and a Masters in Media Ecology from New York University. She’s been an organizational consultant since 1973, a global citizen since her youth, a professor in two graduate business programs, and a happy mother and grandmother. In 2002, the American Society for Training and Development awarded her their highest honor and dubbed her a ‘living legend.’


Margaret Wheatley Speaker Videos Back to top

Fearless Leadership for These Times


Margaret addresses the global financial crisis, demonstrating that far from being a singular event it is the inevitable result of a system which has a grotesque overreliance on greed, conflict and overproduction.

Talk about Fearlessness



Speeches / Speaking Engagements Back to top


Margaret Wheatley guides her audience through the troubled times in which we live; their causes, their effects and the ways in which we can not only adapt but make things better.

She instills in her audience the mantra that they must persevere and that by making the right choices it is possible to make a positive difference even when things seem hopeless. She emphasizes the power of leadership which is rooted in the community rather than in dominance.

Listening to Margaret Wheatley will make you feel, however grim things may seem, that change is achievable and that you can be a part of it.

    Suggested Speaking Topics:

    • Leading Well in Chaotic Times
    • Perseverance: Igniting the Heart in the Midst of Hardship
    • Perseverance: Leadership in Turbulent Times
    • Perseverance: Making a Choice to Make a Difference
    • A Call to Fearlessness: Discovering Your True Voice
    • Leading in Crisis and Chaos
    • Being Comfortable with Uncertainty
    • The Power of Healthy Community
    • Leadership that Engages and Relies on Community




* Please note that while this speaker’s specific speaking fee falls within the range posted above (for Continental U.S. based events), fees are subject to change. For current fee information or international event fees (which are generally 50-75% more than U.S based event fees), please contact us.

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    Perseverance
    Perseverance is designed to offer guidance, challenge, clarity and consolation to all the people doing their work day-by-day. The topics are not the usual inspiring, feel good, rah-rah messages. Instead, Wheatley focuses on the situations, feelings, and challenges that can, over time, cause us to give up or lose our way. Perseverance is a discipline—it’s a day-by-day decision not to give up. Therefore, we have to notice the moments when we feel lost or overwhelmed or betrayed or exhausted and note how we respond to them. And we have to notice the rewarding times, when we experience the joy of working together on something hard but worthwhile, when we realize we’ve made a small difference.

    Each topic is a brief essay, meant to be read as needed. (The book is not intended to be read through all at once.) You can thumb through the book and find what you need or what attracts you in the moment. Every essay names a behavior or dynamic, puts it into a broader human or timeless perspective, and offers ways for the reader to either live with or transcend that dynamic. The reader is also challenged by the direct voice of the book. Wheatley wants people to be able to see themselves, their situation, and to assume responsibility for changing the situation or their reaction to it if it’s one that troubles them. (There deliberately are no examples of other people—the reader is the example; their personal experience is the only case material.)

    The content (essays and quotes) is drawn from many spiritual traditions and diverse cultures. The book is deeply grounded spiritually and also quite inclusive—accessing human experience and wisdom from many sources. Both this grounding and inclusiveness support the essential message—human being throughout time and history have persevered. We’re just the most recent ones to face these challenges.
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    Leadership and the New Science: Discovering Order in a Chaotic World
    This pioneering work shows how revolutionary discoveries in quantum physics, chaos theory, and biology provide powerful insights for transforming how we organize work, people and life. "Margaret Wheatley pushes our thinking about people and organizations to a new level".—Ken Blanchard.
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    Finding Our Way: Leadership for an Uncertain Time
    Though management expert Margaret J. Wheatley works with a broad variety of clients, from Fortune 100 CEOs to ministers, she points out that they all struggle to maintain integrity, humanity, and effectiveness in a relentlessly fast-paced, technology-driven world. Credited with establishing a fundamentally new approach to leadership based on living systems theory, or, as she puts it, "how Life organizes," Wheatley shares her first-ever compendium of essays about her real-world experiences helping clients introduce more authentic, life-affirming practices into their organizations.

    Essays cover a wide scope of topics including leadership strategies, raising children in turbulent times, and the role of communities in the lives of organizations. Finding Our Way is filled with practical advice on applying the ideas in Wheatley′s groundbreaking books and has particular relevance for managers and leaders who are trying to run their organizations in more progressive, egalitarian, and effective ways.
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    Suggested Speaking Topics:

    • Leading Well in Chaotic Times
    • Perseverance: Igniting the Heart in the Midst of Hardship
    • Perseverance: Leadership in Turbulent Times
    • Perseverance: Making a Choice to Make a Difference
    • A Call to Fearlessness: Discovering Your True Voice
    • Leading in Crisis and Chaos
    • Being Comfortable with Uncertainty
    • The Power of Healthy Community
    • Leadership that Engages and Relies on Community


Fearless Leadership for These Times


Margaret addresses the global financial crisis, demonstrating that far from being a singular event it is the inevitable result of a system which has a grotesque overreliance on greed, conflict and overproduction.

Talk about Fearlessness