There’s something I discovered early on, doing this work supporting women to play big. Frankly, at first, this discovery really surprised me.
It was this: we often leave powerful and prestigious institutions and roles as a part of our playing bigger.
When a woman honestly defines what playing big means to her and has the tools to go for that, not infrequently, one of her next steps is leaving a prestigious role or institution for a more authentic expression of herself and her values.
I didn’t expect this, and a part of me didn’t like it. I didn’t like it because I want to see brilliant, ethical, conscientious women filling the ranks of leadership in our most powerful institutions – so that those women can transform the institutions and wake them up. We’ve got to be in the building to do that.
Or do we?
For some women playing big is going for the bigger role or title or responsibility within her field – because that’s the way to get done what she wants to get done. But for other women, playing big is shedding the shoulds that have kept them somewhere very acceptable, but that isn’t where they most want to be. They leave seeking more autonomy, creativity, meaning, flexibility, or passion for their work. And they often leave with frustration and grief.
This is something I think we need to be talking about more. I don’t have the answer, but I know we are looking for a both/and solution:
How do we support an individual woman in having the career and life she desires, and at the same time infuse our troubled institutions with wise leadership – and diverse leadership – so that they become better for people and the planet?
This is a question we explore in Playing Big – through our journeys and the tools. Let’s talk about it together here, too. I would love to hear: how has this “should I stay or should I go?” question showed up in your journey? What has been true for you about the change you could and couldn’t make inside of large, established, or powerful institutions? And what about outside of them?
Last but not least, registration for my Playing Big course closes in just a couple days – Thursday, April 28th at midnight. A remarkable group of women from all around the world is coming together for this special experience. Stay and go…with us. Learn all about it and get your spot HERE.