Congratulations to our 2019 Harpeth Hall/Ward-Belmont Distinguished Alumna Award Recipient – Margaret Napier Morford ’73
The Distinguished Alumna Selection Committee has chosen Margaret Napier Morford, class of 1973 as this year’s Distinguished Alumna. This award is given annually to an alumna of the school who is nationally recognized not only for professional excellence and leadership but also for possessing the vision, skill, and commitment to make things happen. Margaret Morford is indeed a woman who makes things happen.
Margaret launched her own corporate consulting firm, The HR Edge, in 2002, and her roster of clients includes Verizon, Chevron, Lockheed Martin, Nationwide Insurance, NAPA Auto Parts, Domino’s, Deloitte, and Intercontinental Hotel Group, to name a few. Working with private clients, particularly CEOs and C-Suite executives of Fortune 500 companies, she helps company leaders develop their executive management teams and plan strategy for their organizations. Margaret has also dedicated herself wholly to helping solve gender inequity in this country. Rather than blame entrenched patriarchal systems, Margaret speaks candidly and courageously about the ways women hold themselves back. And, she gives practical tactics for how to NOT “add panes to the glass ceiling.” She is a force in corporate America and a change agent in gender politics.
Margaret devotes a great deal of time and energy to the mission of making people successful, which she accomplishes through speaking engagements, publications, one-on-one mentoring, and volunteering. Margaret spends roughly 50 percent of her time addressing groups at conferences and gatherings across the United States, Canada and Europe. Her topics range from “How Not to be a Networking Parasite” to “The Man’s Pour: Adding Panes to the Glass Ceiling.” Her management strategies are so effective that she is a sought-after workplace expert in media across the country and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and USA Today, and has appeared regularly on ABC, NBC, and FOX television affiliates. She has written two best-selling books—Management Courage: Having the Heart of a Lion and The Hidden Language of Business: Workplace Politics, Power & Influence—and is currently working on a third. Margaret credits Harpeth Hall with teaching her to communicate well, in particular to write well.
She also credits Harpeth Hall with helping her understand the power of friendships among women. “I spend a lot of time helping women overcome things that hold them back, and I got that from Harpeth Hall. The all-girls atmosphere helps you form friendships with women that carry you through the rest of your life.” In her talks and articles, Margaret advises women not to envy one another’s success or view all work relationships as either friendships or rivalries. She insists that women help other women succeed. Margaret heeds her own advice all the time, including in her volunteer work with SOAR, a professional leadership development program aimed at helping women launch their careers. At the end of the day, Margaret cares most about one all-encompassing question: Whose heart did I gladden today?
Margaret will be featured in our upcoming Spring 2019 Hallways magazine which is due in homes in April. Margaret will speak at an all school assembly and will be honored at a reception at Harpeth Hall on Monday, April 29.