Summary of Why It’s Time to Forget the Pecking Order at Work

TED Conferences LLC, more...

Watch the video

Why It’s Time to Forget the Pecking Order at Work  summary
Superstars may make great tabloid fodder, but in business, collaborative teams outshine individual glory hunters.


9 Overall

9 Applicability

7 Innovation

9 Style


Individual high-performing employees are overrated, according to five-time CEO Margaret Heffernan, who denounces workplace superstars in favor of collaborative teams. In this candid, fresh oration, Heffernan calls for the end of “management by talent contest.” getAbstract believes employees will certainly concur with Heffernan’s timely, contrarian message and suggests that employers and executives take note, too.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why it is time for companies to stop pitting employees against one another
  • What traits high-performing groups share
  • What leaders can do to enable team members to produce their best work


To investigate whether he could increase the productivity of a flock of chickens, evolutionary biologist William Muir bred the most productive chickens in his flock for six successive generations. Yet the resulting “superflock” of high achievers didn’t outperform the average control flock. Rather, the...
Get the key points from this video in less than 10 minutes. Learn more about our products or log in

About the Speaker

Margaret Heffernan is the former CEO of five companies, including ZineZone and the author of Willful Blindness.

Comment on this summary

  • Avatar
  • Avatar
    Andrea Carolina Morales Vivas 1 year ago
    I completely agree with Margaret Heffeman when she argued "Today’s problems need the varied input and energy of many people, not just superchickens"

More on this topic

By the same author

Customers who read this summary also read

More by category