Margaret Heffernan: How To Face The Future With Confidence & Courage

In her excellent & very timely new book, “Uncharted,” Margaret Heffernan stresses that while the forecasting business has made its ‘experts’ very rich, it is also based on a fallacy: the idea that the future can be extrapolated from the past.”

This is how the Financial Times announced it had chosen “Uncharted: How To Navigate The Future” as one of its 2020 best business books of the year. And in this podcast, Heffernan openly expresses gratitude for the award while very accurately asserting that her book fully transcends a “business” specific categorization.

If 2020 – a year where a sudden COVID pandemic profoundly reshaped how we all work & live – taught us anything, it’s that life is highly uncertain. But while we may all intellectually accept this truth, Heffernan says most of us remain addicted to prediction, & routinely seek out a sense of certainty about how our futures will unfold.

Heffernan’s book begins with the assertion that any belief that we can accurately predict the future – whether it be by relying on complex algorithms, so-called “expert” opinions or a belief that history often repeats itself – is a complete & utter illusion. She explains that no amount of data can ever make up for the complexity of life, & the predictions we all accept as gospel too often miss all the hidden forces at work that inevitably prove to influence outcomes.

Heffernan’s cold-sober conclusion is that – like it or not – we’re all really swimming in “uncharted” waters. And,  in this podcast, she shares several highly innovative ways for us to successfully & creatively navigate them.

If you’re not already familiar with Margaret Heffernan, she’s a rather brilliant person & thought leader. Her three previous books, Beyond Measure,” “Willful Blindness” and “A Bigger Prize,have all been critically acclaimed. She’s also given four speeches on the TED stage that have accumulated over 12 million views so far.

While all of us may wish we could have a crystal ball to reliably tell us what tomorrow will bring, Margaret Heffernan gives us second best – truly informed guidance on how to face down a sometimes frightening future with courage & grace.

By Mark C. Crowley

Mark C. Crowley is the author of Lead From The Heart: Transformational Leadership For The 21st Century which has been taught in 11 American universities. He is a global speaker, leadership consultant and thought leader on the topics of workplace culture and employee engagement.