One of the “problems” with the frequencies of feminine leadership is that they are both often invisible and highly useable.
So, as a result of hundreds of years of patriarchy – the unbalanced and unjust prioritization of men and masculine forms of thought, action and leadership that have created an un-level playing field in the workplace and society for women to contribute and receive resources, opportunities, access and support –
Most women have embodied one of a few strategies to cope:
- We surrender our boundaries, our energy and our truths to the establishment and let ourselves be used
- We override our instincts and take on “their” strategies, with strength and vigor, to get ahead (doing it as well as any man, but backward, in heels)
- Or we push back, fight against, refuse to play the game – getting tight lipped and tight-bodied to protect our own energies, and get our due on the fringe, where we can
In other words, we become the bitch… one of the boys… or the doormat.
The surface layer problem here is obvious. We have to work harder (and in some cases give up our native ways of being and doing) in order to get the same level of access as our male counterparts. Or else, we seem to end up getting steamrolled, sidelined, or pigeon-holed at work. We know this.
But there’s another layer that I believe can be even more insidious… especially for women who have mastered the game and are already successful in the current (imbalanced) paradigm.
From a purely spiritual, non-gendered perspective (to borrow the words of Adam Grant), Givers Gain. Generosity, gratitude and selfless contribution and surrendered service are the name of the game when it comes to transcending the ego. Saints do it. Monks do it. Well known philanthropists do it…
And, as the texts and textbooks (from religion to new-age thought) seem to agree… what we give comes back tenfold.
In the best-case scenario stories about this critical and (I believe) universal human truth, the role of systemic oppression is pretty much missing. So we don’t get the full education on what can happen when we allow ourselves to be ‘taken’ too much or too far.
On the flipside, if we simply rail against the establishment, set strict boundaries, take care of our own, and refuse to surrender to the magic of giving… we fail to activate to our fullest potential as leaders (and humans), and fail to set the spiritual momentum of the universe in motion.
To be an activist? Or a devotee?
To set clear boundaries – or to let ourselves be (in the best possible way) well used?
What’s a girl to do?
It’s one of the biggest reasons why my answer to client’s questions about strategy or practice is MOST often “it depends.”
And it’s what makes cracking the code on truly embodying feminine leadership in a business context SUCH a nuanced, soul-refining and profound game, for those who chose to play it.
I cannot teach you how to do this in a 30-minute webinar. No one can. It requires you to
- know yourself…
- love yourself…
- and trust yourself…
…as a woman. And this is what the work of Guts & Grace (be it coaching, training or strategy) is all about.
In order to lead like a woman – artfully embodying the frequencies of feminine in a business leadership context takes practice, commitment and dedication. And it’s deeply worth it. Because when you declare your commitment to this type of growth, you will be taken on an incredible journey to learn the workings of the new paradigm – from the inside out – for yourself.
How can I be sure? Consider this:
The nature of listening, collaborating, leading from behind, facilitating, following the flow, trusting spirit to guide you… of leading from the feminine… IS about allowing – surrendering.
It makes you ‘useable’ in the best of ways, and in the worst. So, your ability to choose sovereignty, to set boundaries, to track the parody of an energetic exchange – IN PARALLEL to learning this skill – make it possible to surrender in a good way.
To risk an intense metaphor, it’s more like healing from an eating disorder than alcoholism. There’s not quitting cold turkey. You MUST work in the grey – neither shutting down the urge, nor losing control. You MUST do both at once.
This is a true path of mastery.
To the extent that you are already walking this path of growth and healing, I commend you. Many of us (especially those who are successful in our leadership thus far) are already on the path.
And most of us have room to improve.
This week I invite you to consider the following questions:
- What have been your coping strategies to contend with the patriarchy at work, or in life?
- What are their costs or consequences?
- And where/how do you struggle to calibrate your actions or responses at this stage?
Then, take some time each day to observe yourself in the moment. Especially, notice the sensations in your body, and notice what actions they compel you to take or not take. How and when do you tighten, resist, get stingy, push, hold back? How and when do you dissolve, leak, lose boundaries, get too porous, allow too much?
And when you get to the end of the week, take some notes for yourself about your ability – and willingness – to learn and live in the grey.
What gifts or lessons do the frequencies of the feminine have for you right now?
With curiosity of mind and generosity of spirit,