An Ode to Productivity

To Be of Use
The people I love the best
jump into work head first

without dallying in the shallows
and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.
They seem to become natives of that element,
the black sleek heads of seals
bouncing like half submerged balls.

I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart,
who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience,
who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward,
who do what has to be done, again and again.

 I want to be with people who submerge
in the task, who go into the fields to harvest
and work in a row and pass the bags along,
who stand in the line and haul in their places,
who are not parlor generals and field deserters
but move in a common rhythm
when the food must come in or the fire be put out.

 The work of the world is common as mud.
Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.
But the thing worth doing well done
has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.
Greek amphoras for wine or oil,
Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums
but you know they were made to be used.
The pitcher cries for water to carry
and a person for work that is real.

 by Marge Piercy

Leading With Grit and Grace

In the field of Leadership, the rise of the feminine is causing a deep rumble. Emotional intelligence is gaining perceived value. Communication skills, and the capacity to build shared meaning and purpose in our places of work, are more widely recognized as critical to success. Women are taking up leadership more firmly, with more compassion and more radiance than ever before.

We are “leaning in” at work, as Sheryl Sandberg describes, and we are still carrying the lion’s share of responsibility for the quality of life for our families. “A record 40 percent of all households with children under the age of 18 include mothers who are either the sole or primary source of income for the family,” the Pew Research Center reported in May of 2013, as it released data that certainly won’t surprise many Americans but underscores some dramatic shifts over recent decades.The juggling act that each of us performs in our own private lives is actually a societal and cultural developmental edge. We are on the front lines of a massive experiment in life with less-clearly defined gender roles; the stakes are high, the gains and the losses are very real, and there doesn’t appear to be any going back.

Particularly when working with women, I help them to step forward into the challenge of this experiment in their work and personal lives. Using developmental models, I map out the stages of life and help you to find your place so that you can broaden your perspective on the unfolding narrative. With current and ancient wisdom concerning the masculine and feminine applied to leadership theory, I help you hone your directive/assertive and supportive/receptive aspects and to bring them into a powerful balance. I point you in the direction of what is essential and true to you. While I draw on the successes and failures of my own life, I rely on Integral methodology and many years of research and personal development to help women find their way.

  • How do you navigate the demands of your work and personal life without succumbing to Superwoman Syndrome?
  • How effectively do you stand up for what you know?
  • Do you know when to stand down?
  • How tenacious is your follow through?
  • Does being authentic and strategic feel at odds to you?
  • What do you listen for?
  • Do you know how and when to give direction and support?
  • Are you able to initiate and foster real and fruitful dialogue?
  • How much quiet do you allow yourself?
  • Have you discovered the value of silence?

Together we explore questions such as these along with the specific ones you bring to the table.

Together we hold the paradoxes until the contradictions begin to shift and wane, giving rise to the opportunity for transformation.

Together we discover more and more about your leadership style, and what is essential to you; we build your capacity to lead your life with grace and grit.