The Call -
Why a Juicy, Empowered and Inner-Directed Feminine Leadership is the next step for moving into the new organizational paradigm on a large scale
(Co-authored by Lovisa Alsen and Fanny Norlin)
We would like to start out by saying that explaining our version of feminine leadership — juicy, empowered and inner-directed, and why it’s so important in the new organizational paradigm — can’t really be done. It has to be a felt experience in the body and through the senses. Yet, we will still give it our best shot, using e.g. theories from complexity thinking, metamodern philosophy and vertical development to explain why, while giving a more practical explanation of the what, again as an approximation of the felt experience. Ultimately, though, if we manage to make you curious, and perhaps even a bit turned-on, we would see this article as a successful endeavor:).
You see, our version of feminine leadership starts with a turn-on. More specifically. A call from the feminine desire inviting the masculine manifestation to respond. A case of life’s mating dance, you might summarize it with. Which we contend is what is needed for the emerging paradigm. But let’s start at the beginning…
Call and Response
Our existence is based on two polarities; call and response. The call is the signal for life, something that wants to come into being, may that be through the Big Bang, a desire turning inertia into a cataclysmic creative process of an entire Universe, the seed of a desert flower that is given a few drops of rain and then sprouts into exquisite colorful vibrancy, or through a human egg that signals to a particular sperm cell that it wants to be fertilized, which then switches on the baby-making process. So there is a signal, a call, the feminine, which then pulls, or seduces, the response, the masculine, into change. Into being.
In the recent paradigm, companies were created when someone identified a need, a problem to be solved, with the potential for a market niche, and then responded to that need. A call was initially needed to identify the market need, but once that was done, to succeed in penetrating the market, success came down to execution and grit. Today, as we enter the network economy, that equation is shifting. As internet interconnects the world globally, the dynamics are shifting away from one-way communication and from large corporations pushing products to their customers — to interconnected networks where everyone can communicate and collaborate with each other. The winners in the emerging game become those who manage to build a business model that enables this enormous new resource of interaction and collaboration between employees, partners and customers. In other words; the ones who create the platforms and networks on which customers are pulled into becoming co-creative partners. In the networked society and the information-overloaded attention economy, creating a push-business out of perceived need will be impossible. If you can’t create a strong, or even seductive, pull, no customers will line up.
With the new ruling currency of engagement and attention determining your bottom line, success becomes dependent on a strong feminine leadership; a bona-fide belly-dance aimed at making you weak in your toes and loins, igniting the life force, that will make your customers, employees and partners turned-on missionaries.
If you now are thinking; “Hell yes, sister! Tell me more about what this feminine leadership is”, you can skip the coming paragraphs and jump straight to The next level feminine leadership is juicy, empowered and inner directed.
Or, come along on a deeper dive into understanding how the dynamics between feminine and masculine leadership work in relation to this call and respond.
The pattern of emergence — from biology to leadership and organizations
Using complexity thinking we can describe the call and the response phenomenon as emergence, or self-organization. When a system is successful in reproducing itself, it gives birth to more and more belonging units, becoming increasingly complex. Eventually it may run into a state of high energy chaos, from which a pattern on a higher level may become visible; out of ‘nothing’ (no structure) becomes ‘something’ (a new structure). A new more complex stable system, at a higher level of the systematic hierarchy has emerged.
The development of all organisms follows this process — whether we are looking at a single organism or entire civilisations. When it comes to the global shift from one stage of societal and organizational complexity to the next, it is therefore this process of emergence we need to understand and make sure that our leadership and organisations support. To achieve this understanding we will look at how this pattern shows up in developmental models ranging from motivational psychology, adult and organizational development to syntheology.
If we look at self-determination theory, a motivational psychology framework, it explains the drivers of human development as autonomy, relatedness and competence. These three drivers are aligned with what is needed to create emergence. The state of no structure is created by the drive for autonomy; the drive for differentiation from a former structure. The drive for relatedness is what creates a “new structure”, the drive for union into a new structure. Competence represents the “meta-drive” to develop from one structure to another.
In Kegan’s models of Adult Development we also see this drive for oscillation between autonomy and relatedness or differentiation and union; moving from self-focused mind (differentiation) to socialized mind (union) to self-authoring mind (differentiation). The same pendulum can be found in Laloux’s stages of organizational development in his Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations Inspired by the Next Stage of Consciousness; from red (differentiation), to amber (union), to orange (differentiation) to green (union).
We see the same drivers and patterns in Riceour’s model on how our subconscious drives behaviour; first a source is required (energy that is created in the drive for differentiation from old structure), then pressure (created by the drive for union into a new structure), then direction of this pressure into an object (in other words into the new structure; the components of manifestation — direction and creation).
In Syntheism: Creating God in the Internet Age, Bard and Söderqvist, present the four gods we worship that determine human behavior in the following order; atheos; the nothing or the void (differentiation), pantheos: the everything (union), entheos; change (direction) and syntheos; manifestation (creation).
Looking at the overarching pattern we can see that the source of all human drivers (individual and collective) are part of an emergence to a higher level of complexity. And that in this development there seems to be two different dimensions of drivers (with two sub-drivers each): the “fuel” of development — differentiation that is followed by union, and the “process” of development — change/direction and consistency/creation.
Feminine and Masculine leadership
So what roles do feminine and masculine leadership play in this process of development? It is when we add a Tantric perspective (Tantra here representing a philosophy of non-rejection or inclusion of everything, and of an understanding of the need for life-force, i.e. sexual energy) that we start seeing the connection between how emergence works, what is needed for the next paradigm of organizational development and the sexual life-creating play of the feminine call and the masculine response. According to Tantric philosophy, the feminine is the energy, or the source of life force, which then is directed by the masculine into manifestation. Applying this to organizational development and our understanding of emergence, the roles of feminine and masculine leadership become clear. Feminine Leadership creates energy by differentiation from the old structure followed by uniting into a new one and Masculine Leadership serves this process by directing this energy and using it to build new organizational structure. The feminine fuel of differentiation and union is followed by masculine process of direction and manifestation.
Here we want to shine light upon a common misconception, which can be found both within leadership theories and in the more shallow interpretation of Tantra. This misconception is to see the feminine as yin and the masculine as yang — when in reality they are both yin and both yang. They are both order and chaos, both stability and change, both pleasure and truth, both nurturing and powerful. However, they represent different dimensions of the two polarities. The feminine is the essence or energy of yang (differentiation) and yin (union) and the masculine is the manifesting movement between yang (change/direction) and yin (consistency/creation). The feminine is the wave while the masculine is the particle. They are opposite in perception but in reality different dimensions of the same thing. And they both play crucial, co-empowered, roles in developing to higher levels of complexity. Both are needed, and different polarities are needed more in different phases of emergence. Differentiation is followed by union and direction is followed by creation. Development into a higher stage is always initiated from the feminine differentiation of old structures creating the energy, the chaos or the pull required for new ones to be manifested by the masculine.
Which brings us back to the current paradigm shift in society and in business. As with all emergence, each new paradigm, or level of systemic complexity, requires a significant increase in differentiation energy to emerge. Wiithout the next level Feminine Leadership, we will not be able to create the differentiation from the current structure; the chaos, the energy, the pull, the life force that is needed from which a sufficiently complex business fit for the emerging paradigm can be manifested. In short; to create the next level of life on this planet and the next level of masculine response — we first need the next level of feminine call.
Differentiation before union
If you are now thinking ”this isn’t an issue in our organization; we talk about the need for more feminine all the time”. Our question back would be; “Which of the feminine polarities are you inviting and encouraging?” Yes, there is a lot of talk about how we need more of the feminine, but we most commonly refer to the uniting feminine, not the differentiating! The yin of feminine, not the yang. The soft, listening, caring feminine, not the wild, powerful and sexual feminine. Speaking in Jungian archetypes most likely you are inviting the maiden, the innocent girl or the nurturing mother, but what we’re suggesting is that we first need to invite the juicy, sexually alive woman; the wild woman, the witch and the seductress. Archetypes most of us are not entirely comfortable with because we have seen so few conscious examples of such.
Yet, however challenging, in order to reach the next level of complexity, the differentiation phase must come before the union phase. Otherwise we will end up longing and striving for an evolved union without first creating the energy and power that comes from differentiation, which gets us stuck, and often-times burned out, at a lower level of complexity. This attempt to create a more evolved union, but where we avoid and miss out on the differentiation phase, is one of the root causes behind not being able to successfully implement “teal”/self-organizing/metamodern leadership and instead getting stuck in the postmodern “green”. To create a potent enough call for a complex enough response, we need to learn how to create sufficient differentiation before we can bring in a more evolved union.
So, in the emerging network paradigm, the billion dollar question (literally) becomes “what does this differentiating feminine leadership look like and how do we support its emergence”? How does a call look like that can bring this new level of complexity into being? This is where things get really exciting. We have discovered a leadership method and practice that create this differentiation energy in a more potent way than even close to anything we have seen in our combined 20+ years of leadership development work. What we have discovered is that feminine leadership is what will create a potent enough source needed to succeed in the emerging paradigm and that it will come from women who, in a self-aware, present and heart-connected manner, are sexually alive. Intrigued? Let us dive into the sexual core of the matter..
The difference between sex and sexual energy
Our relationship with sex and sexual energy has been repressed for hundreds, if not the last couple of thousand years, throughout the vast majority of the world. There has been a strong correlation to religious practices that aimed to control sexual urges in both genders, and where men, and women, tried to reign in, especially female sexuality, which we still see expressed in different parts of the world today. This repression is due both to the fact that sex and sexual energy are direct portals to what’s most holy and most sacred — and to the enormous power that lies within female sexuality. Hence it is precisely this sacred source that we now need to tap into and use in our leadership and organizations.
So at first we would like to distinguish between sex and sexual energy. Sex can be said to be a collective name for a number of activities humans and all other species engage in to express their sexuality and at its most basic level to be oriented around reproduction. Sex can be done with or without sexual energy present. Without it, sex is mechanistic. With sexual energy, it has a transformative, numinous, and playful quality.
So what is sexual energy? Sexual energy, according to Tantra, Daoism and within the world of yoga, is plain and simple the creative life-force. It can be felt on a subtle level when doing yoga or pursuing something creative, like creating art or making music. More potently, it can be experienced through different Tantric practices, using breath, awareness, movement. Sexual energy can be experienced subtly, or powerfully, as a sensation of strength, capacity/capability, confidence, but also joy, playfulness and a form of happiness.
Another way of describing sexual energy is by calling it Eros, which stems from ancient Greece, where eros was considered a specific form of love. Whichever way we use to describe sexual energy/life force or eros is that it is that it can be felt like an irresistible desire to make love to life itself AND that it comes from an interior sense of self. It is not outside us, it is within us that we experience this incredible feeling of aliveness. When we start activating our senses, when we become more sensual, we can feel the presence of eros, e.g. when we are slowly stroking velvet with the backside of our hand, or smelling a fragrant rose.
For women the most potent way to activate our sexual energy is by getting acquainted with our genitals, in this case specifically our vagina/pussy, or as we call it, our jewel. It is a reclamation, going from shame and disgust, to appreciation and eventually, to a deep felt sense of love. For this article’s purpose, our focus in on sexual energy, and more specifically, how women’s sexual energy is sourced from our vaginas/pussies/jewels. It is from this place that the power of feminine leadership originates.
The next level feminine leadership is juicy, empowered and inner directed — the foundation for the call
When we as women lead from a playful, conscious and sacred sexual energy with a heart-connection, it connects us with our inner strength, allowing us to desire, create and call in what we want, which creates movement AND clear delineation and differentiation. We are then able to seduce anything and everything into being without effort. If this sounds like it might be too good to be true, we encourage you to try it yourself. We, as two intellectuals who mainly used to live in our heads, keep discovering the surprising power that comes from being turned on. And how it exponentially increases the more women that connect to it. It is like a super-power we never even knew existed.
The power that is liberated through an embodied turn-on creates a powerful hereness — a particular form of mindfulness — in contrast to a leaning-forward motion of performance, of wanting to merge, or save someone/something. When we as women are turned-inward and connected to our life-force, our turn-on, we can stand in our integrity with a deep sense of self — which together creates the call and shows us how our jobs can go from disconnect and meaninglessness to a true meaningful homecoming and a sense of joy and aliveness.
Let’s go deeper — and get more explicit; the three components of Feminine Leadership:
Pleasure — With pleasure, we mean everything that makes life pleasurable, with a focus on our desires, our longings. It is the heart together with pussy power or the jewel force that holds the seat to our sacred life-force, as previously mentioned. It is, after all, in all mythology, the origin of creation itself. More recently, we’ve learned neurologically, that the clitoris has a mini-brain and is the only organ in the body that has 8000 nerve endings exclusively there to experience pleasure.
When we are connected to our pleasure, we become conduits for the call, for allurement and for seduction. Not because we are trying to convince anyone, but because we become irresistible. It is an invitation to an awakening; to more life, to that which creates life. It is the foundation of desire and play. When our pussy power/jewel force is activated, by focusing on what we desire and what turns us on in life, we come from our place of aliveness. It enables us to use our sexual energy as a power source, instead of having to live off the adrenaline and our increasingly taxed adrenal glands. This juiciness is the most fundamental aspect of the call. Without juiciness, which invites the masculine to respond, there is no alchemy. Nothing happens. Yet with it, we can with very little effort, or play, create enormous attraction and action. This is the next level source, needed for the next level emergence.
Power — Our power comes from awakening our wild and holy woman in our bodies and it is a felt interior experience. It involves not only our jewels, but the lower belly as well as the heart, and as we recognize our sacredness, we become strong, without victimhood, aggression or passive-aggression. We become lion-hearted. It is also a clean and clear delineating of assertion of our will and direction-setting and it supports our individuation. We can then easily handle push-back, since there is an underlying wildness that is not easily intimidated, nor reactive. This is the powerful and playful feminine who holds her ground, stands in her truth, and has fun while doing it. This creates the active, differentiating aspect of the call. It gives the needed oomph.
Presence — The third element of feminine leadership is an inner-directed, felt intelligent presence, like golden honey. The mindful feminine leader who is “one unto herself’, the Jungian definition of virgin. It is the movement from the outside and the externals, where we strive to be a good girl, to the inside, to the self-reflective, self-aware interior experience, connected with a deeper felt truth and a connection to our holiness. It is also our inner journey home; a place of deep surrender and non-doing, which allows for an efficient, yet effortless doing. This is the third vital piece of the call because we are then no longer looking to to get things from the outside. There is a self-sufficiency present. Which is what makes the call so seductive.
In order to create the engine of the call that takes us to the next level, it is the three afore-mentioned components of Feminine Leadership that collectively create the power of transformation. A transformation which we keep seeing within and around the women who experience this power- to the extent that it sometimes feels like magic.
If you feel seduced enough now, and want more, skip down to the section below where we invite you to join us — or do it yourself! We can’t wait to be turned-on with you. However, if you feel that there must be some shadow-side to all of this goodness, or at least that it’s bound to create complications, then here are two caveats:
The first caveat that usually is brought up when we talk about pleasure and the pursuit of desires is that mindlessly pursuing pleasure turn us all into superficial addicts, constantly looking for our next high. When sexual energy is added to the mix, that’s when it’s also considered dangerous, with the fear that we become either prey or predators — where heartless and reckless instincts end up ruling our existence. Which is probably one of the reasons why companies, especially in the wake of MeToo, are trying to sanitize away every speck of sexual energy in workplaces today. Yet, we claim that we can’t afford to turn off this incredible power-source, especially if we want to evolve into the next paradigm. So how do we do this then? Well. For starters. Just so we are very explicit. We are not advocating sex at work, nor any sexual advances from anyone. We are advocating the reclamation of sexual energy as sacred. What we are advocating is that we as self-aware, heart-connected and turned-on women use our life-force, the sexual energy, consciously to activate the call through our desires and our self-seduction so that we can come home to our own bodies. Which in turns enables us to show up at work in a more soulful and holistic way, bringing more life into the work-place. We also believe that this can only be done when it is us women who set the terms of bringing sexual energy into the workplace; women who stand in their feminine leadership. Finally, we are also advocating that organizations who would like to attempt this, also utilize deep self-reflection as a tool for bringing in presence and for increasingly making unconscious drivers, behaviors and actions through the organization conscious. It is then, and only then, we can make the call consciously.
Moving on to the second caveat, we want to address our definition of gender and biological sex, as used in this article, and why this often is considered problematic. According to our definition, both women and men have both the feminine and the masculine within — and furthermore, as we have delineated in the article, we also have the two sub-poles of the feminine and the masculine within us. Thus we acknowledge the definition of gender as a social construct.
At the same time, we also acknowledge that we are biologically different; a difference driven primarily by genitals and hormones, and that it does wire us differently (on an aggregate level, not necessarily on an individual level where the individual differences are multifold). Which is important. We want to honor our jewels/pussies/vaginas and not put her back in the bag where she was locked up and shamed for the last couple of thousand years. We also love the polarities that rise between women and men biologically. Whatever our sexual preferences are. So this caveat can be summarized by saying; yes, it is complicated AND the way forward is to bring in the integral and meta-modern perspective of being able to hold both the social construct and the biological differences to be true at the same time.
Overall we understand that our approach to organizational development and personal growth as a whole might sound bonkers, dangerous, or that it is triggering. Even five years ago, both of us would have been suspicious of anyone presenting such a weird case:). One of the main reasons is that this is new (and oldest of old, and the reason why even the universe exists), and very few of us have experienced meeting a woman who can stand in these powers — in presence and integrity. This is the reason why we want more women to join us. We want to strengthen the field of collective and sacred feminine turn-on! Which is how we all, the collective human species, can embark on this undulating, playful and truly transformative ride together.
From words to experience
We started out with the disclaimer that we can’t describe in words what you have to experience for yourself. Yet, we still have made an attempt to describe why the next emerging paradigm needs to be called in by feminine leadership that is juicy, empowered and inner-directed. But not until you actually have experienced it not only by meeting turned-on women, but also seen the principles applied to your business, will you know what we are so excited about.
That is why we are inviting you to join us in an experience-based exploration. How can we seduce ourselves and others into our own higher state of pleasurable, connected and sacred state of being? Trust your jewel to guide you, and if you want support from us and/or do it together, here are some coming opportunities:
Online Initiation Course
Once a year Lovisa Alsén leads the participatory and juicy online course in Awakening Feminine Leadership, which is the foundational work for this deep level of turned-on awakening, marinating you in the juiciness and empowerment that comes from within AND together with other women on the same journey. You can read more and sign up for the next course here.
If you want inspiration and information on future events you can sign up for Lovisa’s newsletter here.
A summary, how it all started and an invitation
Thank you for joining us on this exploratory ride traversing complexity, pussy power/the jewel force and the call! We love to share what we have discovered — and keep discovering.
To sum up our discoveries so far, what we are realizing more and more is how paramount this version of feminine leadership is in order to create the energy, creativity, integrity and the level of call/pull needed to meet the ever-increasing speed, force of change and complexity that comes with the network economy. Which in turn is what will enable us to attract customers, employees and partners. Simply summarized; the juicy, empowered and inner-directed feminine leadership when met by the next level of masculine response and manifestation (which deserves an article of its own) is what will be the key to success in the emerging society.
When Lovisa created the course in Awakening Feminine Leadership in 2016, it was not with the intention of what we currently see unfolding. The main reason was that Lovisa loved bringing together the different insights she had had in the past 15 years teaching leadership and human development, primarily for women — but now from a different place; a place that felt holy and juicy at the same time — in particular for Lovisa herself. She had had a deep spiritual and sexual awakening through a heart-opening relationship with a man, and it was from this burst of power the course Awakening Feminine Leadership was called forth. And to no surprise, the call came from another woman who had taken previous courses with Lovisa, whom asked Lovisa to create a new program that would explore these topics. After a transformative start with seven women in business, academia, and the entrepreneurial world, Lovisa continued to hold these courses, feeling both the turn-on and the holiness, which in turn kept attracting more women. The call kept widening. When Fanny Norlin took the course in 2017, she felt the effects, initially in herself, but then also profoundly in her leadership and her organization. Which made her realize that this aspect was the missing link, and she could see the power of building a field for other women around feminine leadership and bringing it into the business world. Since both Lovisa and Fanny are systems-thinkers, with a deep interest in integral/meta-modern thinking, and with Fanny having worked for seven years with implementing self-organizing governance in organizations, the insights presented in this article are an attempt to understand what actually is unfolding. Thus we are trying to back-track how these visceral changes in women can be understood and applied on a meta-cognitive level.
Knowing what we know today, it’s almost incomprehensible that the power of the feminine call is not more well-known, and that not more attempts have been made to harness the sexually alive, present and heart-connected power in women. We feel like we are on a life-long scrumptious, yet at times also lonely and challenging journey, which is why we are inviting more women, and men, to join us. So if you feel called, we’d love to hear from you — together we can build the fountational nodes of a truly inspiring network society.
“When a sincere woman begins to dance, the seven heavens, the earth, and all of creatures begin to dance” Rumi
In eros, love and truth,
Lovisa Alsén and Fanny Norlin
I founded the concept of Awakening Feminine Leadership — Juicy, Empowered and Inner-Directed, and have worked with transformative leadership development focused on women for 15 years, primarily in San Francisco and Los Angeles. I have a MSc in International Economics, and have held a number of leadership roles and created companies and organization. During the past 20 years I’ve explored integral thinking and have co-authored a book about complexity and the emerging flow society. I’m also a Tantrica, yoga- and mindfulness teacher and use and teach inquiry to facilitate a deeper level of inner truth and heart connection.
I am a student of Awakening Feminine Leadership since 2018 as well as a partner in spreading the concept. I am the Chief Communications Officer at a Europe-wide tech-company, where I practices feminine leadership in the management team, especially related to strategy development. I have a background in management consulting, where I specialized in agile strategy and governance as well as culture transformation. I have a M.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering and Management and wrote my masters thesis on facilitating consciousness development.