Kay Leigh Hagan

COACH, ACC, WITH 30+ YEARS OF EXPERIENCE

Kay Leigh Hagan

COACH, ACC, WITH 30+ YEARS OF EXPERIENCE

As a coach, wordsmith, and strategist, I work with clients to identify moments of choice allowing them to move with more awareness and intention. My clients range from university trustees and former hedge fund managers, to artists and writers, to corporate managers and executive directors of non-profit organizations, to professors and social activists. I am particularly interested in working with issues concerning women’s equality, power dynamics, and the role of non-profit boards. For more than fifteen years, I was a strategic advisor to an engaged philanthropist focused on supporting several leading academic and advanced research institutions. My client’s leadership roles on these boards as trustee, director, and committee chair involved significant and long-term board dynamics, as well as oversight of the institutions’ principals and mission. I have developed an appreciation for strengthening the governing documents of organizations and institutions (bylaws, board policies, board member orientation, etc.), and for training board members to be effective ambassadors for their organizations. I am the author of seven books on subjects including feminist thought, journal keeping, and self-reflection. I co-authored an award-winning centennial history for the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, a think-tank for anthropology, archaeology, and southwest Native American art. My personal areas of focus are internalized and systemic oppression and privilege, the movement of power through language, and politics.

WHERE IT ALL BEGAN

When I was in sixth grade, my favorite teacher bestowed a bright red check mark on a poem I had written about Jack Frost and the coming of winter, with the comment “You should be a writer.” I have often joked that if Mrs. Sluder’s praise had been for a math exercise, I may have become a rocket scientist. Instead, pursuing the craft of writing in all forms became my vocation and has illuminated the path of my career like a laser beam. I began keeping a journal as an adolescent and discovered the power of self-observation to heighten consciousness and personal agency, a theme that continues to guide my work today. Although poetry was my passion, I knew it was unlikely to provide a livelihood, so I earned a B.A. from the Henry W. Grady School of Journalism at the University of Georgia. Early stints as a legal secretary, grant-writer, arts administrator, and bookstore owner revealed the power of writing to open doors and facilitate change. Inspired by the women’s movement, I began to teach journal keeping workshops for women as a tool for self-awareness and consciousness-raising, which evolved into long-term study groups for women’s empowerment that I called Feminars. I self-published a book on journal keeping and a collection of feminist essays, both subsequently picked up by Harper & Row (now HarperCollins). I spent more than a decade touring the country, speaking and teaching on feminist activism. Gradually, my love for New Mexico called me to a more private life. I did anti-racism/sexism training and continued teaching the Feminars. I consulted with the Los Alamos National Laboratory and began long-term research on nuclearism. I began an extended association consulting with the School for Advanced Research. I became involved in the life of a young girl from a troubled family and eventually took protective custody of her as a teenager which, along with my mother’s eldercare and the cancer journey of several friends, deployed my writing skills in new ways as I navigated on their behalf through medical, government, and legal bureaucracies. I met my wife Pam when I volunteered for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, and was privileged to accompany her to Washington, D.C., where she worked in the Obama White House and I had the opportunity to observe language and power operating on an epic level. Today, I work with a select group of clients while devoting time to my own research, writing, and activism.

LET’S GET PERSONAL

How People Describe Me

Engaged listener and observer, intuits deep truths and patterns, identifies the real questions. Honest, focused, intelligent, generous.

What Inspires Me

The ‘power of one’—the power each of us has to make a difference through our circles of influence: self, family, friends, community, and beyond.

What Brings Me Joy

My beloved. Making deep connections, among ideas and among people. Northern New Mexico. Friendship. Writing. Curiosity.

What Drives Me Crazy

Willful ignorance. Loud restaurants. Posting on social media instead of having a conversation.

A Favorite Quote

“What if something goes right?”

As a coach, wordsmith, and strategist, I work with clients to identify moments of choice allowing them to move with more awareness and intention. My clients range from university trustees and former hedge fund managers, to artists and writers, to corporate managers and executive directors of non-profit organizations, to professors and social activists. I am particularly interested in working with issues concerning women’s equality, power dynamics, and the role of non-profit boards. For more than fifteen years, I was a strategic advisor to an engaged philanthropist focused on supporting several leading academic and advanced research institutions. My client’s leadership roles on these boards as trustee, director, and committee chair involved significant and long-term board dynamics, as well as oversight of the institutions’ principals and mission. I have developed an appreciation for strengthening the governing documents of organizations and institutions (bylaws, board policies, board member orientation, etc.), and for training board members to be effective ambassadors for their organizations. I am the author of seven books on subjects including feminist thought, journal keeping, and self-reflection. I co-authored an award-winning centennial history for the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, a think-tank for anthropology, archaeology, and southwest Native American art. My personal areas of focus are internalized and systemic oppression and privilege, the movement of power through language, and politics.

WHERE IT ALL BEGAN

When I was in sixth grade, my favorite teacher bestowed a bright red check mark on a poem I had written about Jack Frost and the coming of winter, with the comment “You should be a writer.” I have often joked that if Mrs. Sluder’s praise had been for a math exercise, I may have become a rocket scientist. Instead, pursuing the craft of writing in all forms became my vocation and has illuminated the path of my career like a laser beam. I began keeping a journal as an adolescent and discovered the power of self-observation to heighten consciousness and personal agency, a theme that continues to guide my work today. Although poetry was my passion, I knew it was unlikely to provide a livelihood, so I earned a B.A. from the Henry W. Grady School of Journalism at the University of Georgia. Early stints as a legal secretary, grant-writer, arts administrator, and bookstore owner revealed the power of writing to open doors and facilitate change. Inspired by the women’s movement, I began to teach journal keeping workshops for women as a tool for self-awareness and consciousness-raising, which evolved into long-term study groups for women’s empowerment that I called Feminars. I self-published a book on journal keeping and a collection of feminist essays, both subsequently picked up by Harper & Row (now HarperCollins). I spent more than a decade touring the country, speaking and teaching on feminist activism. Gradually, my love for New Mexico called me to a more private life. I did anti-racism/sexism training and continued teaching the Feminars. I consulted with the Los Alamos National Laboratory and began long-term research on nuclearism. I began an extended association consulting with the School for Advanced Research. I became involved in the life of a young girl from a troubled family and eventually took protective custody of her as a teenager which, along with my mother’s eldercare and the cancer journey of several friends, deployed my writing skills in new ways as I navigated on their behalf through medical, government, and legal bureaucracies. I met my wife Pam when I volunteered for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, and was privileged to accompany her to Washington, D.C., where she worked in the Obama White House and I had the opportunity to observe language and power operating on an epic level. Today, I work with a select group of clients while devoting time to my own research, writing, and activism.

LET’S GET PERSONAL

How People Describe Me

Engaged listener and observer, intuits deep truths and patterns, identifies the real questions. Honest, focused, intelligent, generous.

What Inspires Me

The ‘power of one’—the power each of us has to make a difference through our circles of influence: self, family, friends, community, and beyond.

What Brings Me Joy

My beloved. Making deep connections, among ideas and among people. Northern New Mexico. Friendship. Writing. Curiosity.

What Drives Me Crazy

Willful ignorance. Loud restaurants. Posting on social media instead of having a conversation.

A Favorite Quote

“What if something goes right?”