About Wisdom Leadership Studio…

Wisdom Leadership Studio helps leaders and emerging leaders who feel the ground shifting beneath their feet to expand and strengthen their capacity for leading social and cultural transformation.  To lead with wisdom and inspired creativity in the midst of chaos, complexity and the unknown.

Through private and group coaching programs, workshops, retreats and community events, we help you birth the next world.

n516700194_2270“Marilyn, thank God for you. you are such a gem of a human.

You weave together so many different worlds in your life and lift up the complexity of it all. You are an ally to so many people in so many ways. You help us all by helping us stay connected to the bigger picture and affirming the vitality of our roles in that.  You have the gift of affirming the blessings to be shared from no matter where we stand. Your presence is at once encouraging but also challenging – challenging us to look deeper and deeper, to push the envelope further.

I can’t even begin to imagine all the threads you’ve woven, the projects that wouldn’t have happened without you, the friendships that wouldn’t exist . . . Thank you for your lifetime’s work and for all the ways it lives out in your community. You are a blessing.”

-Tad Hargrave, founder of Radical Business & Marketing for Hippies, marketingforhippies.com

What I believe…

flying ducks silhouette on solar backgroundI believe that Life and future generations are asking big things of us – to re-imagine our world, our social institutions, culture, ways of living and working.

I believe the old model of leadership is not suited to dealing with these challenges.  And that we must transform how we think about and embody ‘leadership’ to transform the world.

The stakes are high and the challenges enormous.  They are asking us to grow and become wiser and more creative as leaders.

But I believe in the power of wisdom to lead and recreate the world.

Before starting my business…

I had a unique and unusual career path.  One with many twists and turns that were hard to ‘explain’ when I went for more traditional job interviews.  But seen from the perspective of my current work with transformative leaders, it offered the perfect training.  It allows me to offer you…

  • A big-picture perspective on change: My training as a cultural historian (with degrees in east, west and indigenous history), and 5 years teaching university students, has given me an interdisciplinary understanding of how systems and cultures change.  It can help you connect to the big picture, to the larger systems and cultural trends influencing your mission.
  • Deep understanding of the process of personal transformation: My graduate training in Counselling Psychology and Transformative Learning has helped me understand how change and transformation happens through individuals.  It helps me support you – deeply and compassionately – as you work through energetic blocks, limiting beliefs or fears of change, visibility and success.
  • Practical Career Development: My very first career job was as a manager of a government employment agency.  The skills I’ve gained from years working in the career development field can help you take control of an interview process, or to find greater fulfillment through reinventing your work or career path.  And can help you connect to, and find direction from, the deeper currents of your life.
  • Transformative Leadership Tools: As a transformative leadership coach with numerous certifications, I weave in perspectives from transformative learning, as well as evolutionary and collaborative leadership.  My own leadership journey goes far beyond my training, experience and credentials. It’s been a life-long commitment  – to the inner work, to my artistic path, to social justice and environmental causes, and to my life-long involvement with different wisdom traditions.  I am constantly on the edge of my own learning and evolution, so that I can help you with yours.
  • Grounded planning and strategy: While earning my degrees I supported myself doing complex project and program management.  My experience supporting the strategic goals of the non-profit sector and collaborating on leadership projects in the non-profit, health, employment, and education sectors, offers you a grounded support in the planning and implementation details of your change projects.

My background offers you a unique combination of tools and perspectives.   Skills that can help you navigate the inner and outer dimensions of leading change in a changing and sometimes chaotic world.

Why I began my business…

In 2003 I was invited to join a planning committee at the University of Toronto to bring some of the world’s leading visionaries together to discuss the state of the world.  The resulting 3-day gathering was a profound turning point in my life.

Before that event I had worked closely with national leaders, board members and CEOs.  And I been influenced by various thought leaders, visionaries, elders, social justice leaders since my early 20s.  But I had always thought of leadership and visionary wisdom as two separate domains.

At that event, attended by wisdom leaders of every tradition, worlds collided.  I realized that the future of our world depended on wisdom and leadership becoming one domain.  We needed wisdom embodied in leadership.  We needed wisdom to lead and create the next world.

Within six months I launched my own company (then called VisionLegacy), to help those who cared deeply about the future of world to increase their capacity for inspired leadership and wise impact.

Why I remain committed to this work…

Over the nine years of my business, I’ve worked with leaders and emerging leaders from virtually every sector.  Their leadership challenges and growing edges were often vastly different, but they all had one deep fear in common.  They feared they weren’t doing all they could to protect the future of our world.

They were afraid they didn’t have the courage, skills, gifts, or band-width that it took.  That somehow they were letting down life and yet couldn’t find the way forward.

SoulCard3008The truth is that the challenges of our time are asking us to make bigger and bigger commitments to Life.  To take on missions that ask us to grow, stretch and evolve in ways that can seem impossible.

To become the leaders who can pull off those missions.  To stretch our capacities.  To overcome insurmountable challenges and make difficult choices.  To question what we believe.  To come back from the brink of burn-out.  To confront painful and confusing truths to heal core wounds.  To find our voices in moments of terror.   And to reinvent ourselves and leadership as we go. 

These challenges can discourage us, question ourselves and make us want to give up.  But with patience and the right support, they can open up into our deepest wisdom and creative knowing.  They can unlock doors to unforeseen answers and solutions, to new ways of living and working and leading.  To new identities and expanded capacities.  To unveiling new possibilities – for ourselves and the world.

I remain committed to this work because I know how difficult those moments of doubt can be.  How they can steal our fire.  Because I want wisdom leaders to spend less time struggling in those difficult places and more time recreating the world.

What vision of leadership could you step into with the right support?