PDF of the 5 Drivers of Wander Woman (and the Dark Side of Each)
“There is an entire group–a big one–of extremely accomplished women who are tortured by the endless pursuit to be “outstanding.” Wander Woman is the first book I have read that addresses their needs. This is a book for highly successful women AND their executive coaches. Not only will passionate, driven women better manage their minds, the exercises and coaching questions will help them improve their relationships with those they live and work with.”
–Madeleine Blanchard, Founder, Coaching Services, The Ken Blanchard Companies
A lot of press has focused on the changing nature of the workplace, particularly on the rise of women. Few of these stories focus on the changing nature of the women themselves. In particular, high-achieving women are more confident, assertive and active. They are also more stressed and perplexed about their futures.
I have observed the shift in the demeanor of high-achieving women first-hand through my years of teaching and coaching female top talent in corporations and in my doctoral research. When I tried to find contemporary research or books I could share with these women to help them better understand themselves and their choices, I found none.
To articulate the needs of these women and provide them the tools they need, I wrote Wander Woman: How High-Achieving Women Find Contentment and Direction. I am hoping it will bring high-achieving women together to talk about their hopes and dreams plus the disappointments and challenges they are facing in the workplace.
“As an entrepreneur and former broadcast executive I have known the excitement of overachieving. I’ve also felt the frustration of comparison, never feeling like I had accomplished quite enough. So here I am—a wander woman—and this restless archetype is screaming to be recognized and acknowledged for her significance in my journey. I knew this book would speak to many of the talented women leaders and entrepreneurs we coach, but I was delighted to find the content was also relevant and just in time for my own transformation at mid-life. Thank you our dear coach colleague for this beautiful expression and pathway to freedom.” –Darelyn DJ Mitsch, Master Coach, Author, President of The Pyramid Resource Group and a Wander Woman
Wander women are confident, gutsy, dynamic goal-driven who don’t struggle with the same issues that their mothers did around work. They aren’t afraid to speak up, aren’t racked with self-doubt, and have little trouble asserting themselves. However, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t struggling.
Wander women often feel underutilized, bored, unfulfilled, and fearful that they are not living up to their potential or having the impact that they know they are capable of. Their solution is often to wander from job to job, career to career, business to business in search of fulfillment, and this leaves them even more anxious, exhausted, and confused. Now, for the first time, they have help.
“This book is for all women to help us find greater happiness and satisfaction with the wondrous things we are achieving. The ideas and exercises represent breakthrough thinking. I plan to give this inspiring and thought-changing book to many women as a gift of guidance on their journey.” -Linda Alepin, Founding Director, The Global Women’s Leadership Network
In Wander Women, I draw on my knowledge in psychology and my experience as a coach to show wander women how to “wander on purpose.” I give them the tools they need to gain insight into why they wander and to make strategic decisions about when to move on. For many wander women this will not mean fewer changes, but smarter ones. They will move on because they are ready to take the next step, not because they can no longer stand the boredom or frustration.
“Whenever Marcia takes you on a learning journey, self-defeating behavior has nowhere to hide. Fear not. Marcia’s warmth, gentle humor, and practical guidance make self-transformation a totally fun and engaging experience. Her deeply insightful stories of Wander Women–as well as her own transformative journey– will touch the restless wanderer in your own soul, and open new paths to love, joy and contentment.” –Deb Giffen, Director, Wharton Executive Education
I also address the “burden of greatness” that wander women typically carry, starting with the social, political, and historical forces that have shaped this new identity. The book is full of quotes and stories of both women in organizations and entrepreneurial women. My hope is that the book the smart, strong women of today together to explore and support each other on our journey of success AND fulfillment.
“For all of us who have attained “success” but still yearn for a greater sense of contribution and purpose—this is THE book. No more wondering as we wander. Using her well-honed coaching skills for high-achieving women, Marcia cuts through the standard self-help jargon and lays out a process for moving from success to significance.” Eileen McDargh, President, McDargh Communications, author of Gifts from the Mountain-Simple Truths for Life’s Complexities.
Click here to watch two videos about what differentiates Wander Women from the rest of women in the world.
This book is for you, Wander Woman.
You are often misunderstood and generally mismanaged. Your manager may label you rebellious and competitive. You see yourself as passionate. In your mind, you weren’t hired to be efficient; you were hired to change the world. If your style becomes more of a problem than an asset, the difficulty doesn’t last for long. As soon as you feel you can no longer make a significant impact in your domain, you move to another department or company. Or, you decide you can more easily change the world being your own boss.
On the surface, this lifestyle sounds exciting. You start each new job with grand visions for what you can accomplish. Then reality hits and the job disappoints. Too often, you are pigeonholed, underutilized, micromanagedand told to slow down. You spend more time planning exit strategies than you do envisioning your career. Somewhere along the way, the excitement turns into cynicism. The more you wander, the more likely you mightlose your sense of purpose and possibly, your sense of self.
“I’m running out of options,” Kali, age 39, told me. “I start a job with great anticipation, move up quickly, then somewhere along the line, I wake up with this gnawing sense that it’s over. The work isn’t meaningful anymore. So I start making plans to leave.”
I have observed this shift in the demeanor of high-achieving women firsthand through my years of coaching female top talent and in the women attending my leadership classes worldwide. Management training and sadly, many women’s development programs have yet to fully recognize the shift. Classes and business books for women still focus on helping them find their voice, balance their lives or strategize their way to the top of their organization. My clients don’t need to find their voice; they know how to roar. They don’t expect to balance their lives; they long to find peace in the chaos. They aren’t focused on organizational politics; they want significant projects they can run with or businesses they can run on their own. More than anything, they seek to know what they can accomplish in this lifetime without feeling exhausted and lonely in the end.
The shift is so profound you might call it a revolution but no one has ventured to name what is happening. You might not have realized that thousands of women have the same burning issues and desires that you have and seek contentment and direction as you do. My clients are also surprised to hear how many other women face the same challenges as theirs. They are glad to know you exist, too. Together, you can bring the revolution to light.
What You Will Find in Wander Woman
This book is intended to help you answer the questions you ask while you wander. I am not trying to convince you to act differently. Instead, I hope to shift your awareness and awaken you to a world of possibilities beyond your daily perspective. This means you can’t just read through the book, talk about the concepts and determine if you agree or not. You have to spend time reflecting on the pages, completing the exercises, dialoguing with a friend or coach about what you’ve learned and having the courage to try out behaviors in opposition to your habits. Then you can determine if you agree with what I present or not. If you are ready, your questions will be answered. “Will I ever find peace of mind in the moment? Will I ever feel that the work I’ve done is good enough? How can I know if I am doing what I am meant to do as my purpose on this planet?” Once you have this awareness, it is irreversible. The objective of Wander Woman is not to teach you; the goal is to transform you.
Marcia Reynolds speaks to the heart and soul of every woman who is looking for purpose in her life. The magic is in her—she has walked the talk and found significance and relevance in her own life and career. What a beautiful patchwork quilt she has woven–an old soul who has journeyed along a road other women long to travel. Marcia’s insight and wisdom have helped so many high powered, successful women learn to shape a life they love and leave a legacy. There are not days in one lifetime for Marcia to coach each of us; yet through the pages of this book you will come to know her as a friend and mentor, there to guide you to the path that is right for only you. -Suzanne Bates, author, Motivate Like a CEO, Communicate Your Strategic Vision and Inspire People to Act!
This book is for you, Wander Woman. You can finally come home to rest your feet before the wind blows and takes you off on your next adventure. I hope you savor the ideas, the exercises and the questions I offer. Take your time, keep your mind open, find other women to go through the process with you and celebrate your successes. I wish you joy as well as clarity in the process.
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