On Monday, April 29, Harpeth Hall celebrated Margaret Napier Morford '73 as the recipient of the 2019 Distinguished Alumna Award. This award honors trailblazers who are nationally recognized for professional excellence and leadership and who serve as an example for other women in highly competitive fields.
As CEO and founder of an international management consulting and training company, The HR Edge, Inc., Margaret has decades of experience in the business world and has worked with companies like Verizon, Chevron, Lockhead Martin and Deloitte, 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, and is a change agent in gender politics.
With her exceptional public speaking skills on display, Margaret shared a highly entertaining presentation with the Harpeth Hall students that she titled, "Leadership Lessons from my Dysfunctional Career & Upbringing." Margaret's knack for connecting with her audience was evident and appeared to make her message and her impressive experience feel more relateable to the students.
Margaret's presentation contained 8 rules to "help you succeed in your career," and each one included an amusing story as the inspiration behind it. Like Rule #3 (The Aunt Peg Rule) which read, "Adjust your message to your audience (and its sensibilities) if you want to be heard." The story involved knowing when to use her Southern manners and say "ma'am" or "sir" -- in an atypical way. Proving again, the importance of knowing your audience.
"I want you to be memorable in a very positive way," Morford said.
Rule #7 (Niece's Rule), is a lesson she learned from her niece, and also at Harpeth Hall: "Appreciation is an investment in your relationship with anyone - the more you appreciate them, the more most people will do for you."
Margaret let the girls ask her questions at the end of assembly, and in response to how to know what to do with your life, she said, "You have to find your own sweet spot."
"It all depends on you," she continued. "You have to decide what to do with your life, and so much depends on these three questions: 1. How hard are you willing to work? 2. How do you handle your successes and failures? and 3. How much are you willing to give?"
Margaret's razor-sharp insights and career advice inspired everyone in attendance. In closing she shared, "I wish you the greatest future of all!"
For her contributions to the business world, gender politics, and the Nashville community, and also for her inspirational presentation to our students, Harpeth Hall is honored to name Margaret Napier Morford '73 as its 2019 Distinguished Alumna.