Marion Chapsal & Geronimo Leadership Coaching
Demeter and Artemis: Can We Have it All?


The Story of the 3rd Mariochka.

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who kept apologizing for not being a little boy. Since she arrived 2 weeks earlier than expected, there was no room anymore at the planned Maternity Hospital. Instead, she was born at Clinique Sainte Marie-Thérèse, far, far away from home. Her mother decided to call her after this clinic, because she had planned no name for a girl…

After two other daughters, came the 3rd Mariochka, unwanted as a girl.


It started with a huge disappointment…”Oh, non! Pas encore une fille!” (“Oh no! Not another girl!”).The two sisters decided to switch her too long and too old fashioned catholic name Marie-Thérèse to “Marion”, which was the French name of an American character , “George” Fayne, in the popular Nancy Drew Mystery Stories series.

Excellent material for therapy! Wrong sex, wrong name, wrong place and wrong timing!

This little girl didn't like to play with dolls. She dreamed she could be as witty, brilliant and intrepid as the boy her mom wished she had. Very young, she knew that there were two kinds of girls inside of her: the one that wanted to be independent, a free spirit, adventurous and bold. The other, caring, nurturing, soft and warm. She thought the first one had to be kept locked, deep inside of her or hide under disguises. One day, she told herself, she would find a way to show to her mom that girls were worth it, too!



Since then, the little Mariochka always tried to please, to be a wonderful  surprise instead of a huge disappointment or at least to make herself as little and nice as possible. She made the clown, and tried to be a good girl too. She enjoyed every opportunity to "masquerade" and loved costume parties!

She studied hard to fit in the scientific academic achievements standards of her parents (both Doctors), entered a “Grande Ecole”, studied international business administration and became free when she started again from scratch in Drama School and played the different roles she had been longing for.

At 22, still a student, she got pregnant, graduated from business school, got married, lost her father, gave birth to her first child, studied theater, lost her mother, gave birth to her second child, moved to Aix-en-Provence, struggled with an abusive relationship where she almost died stangled, divorced. She lived in the United States and studied to become a professional rebirther, lived in a community, experienced plenty of New Age techniques, explored spirituality in Bali and in the woods of Connecticut where she hugged trees and became her "best friend". She came back to Lyon and started a fresh, alone, with her two young children and an immense appetite for happiness and a drive for success and achievement!

This was when she started her career as a communication and leadership consultant for international executives, and especially for women who want to find their place, their role and their identity at the workplace.

As in the fairy tales, that’s also when she met her God Mother, the woman who would become her Mentor and her adopted mother, Marie-Claire Gaittet. (Gaittet means Joyfulness, happiness in French…) She introduced her to EM Lyon School of management, where she was in charge of Communication and Leadership Skills for MBAs and hired her for the International Executive MBA programme, which was taught in English. This was her strike of good luck!

Almost at the same time, in 1992, she met the man who would become her husband and the father of their three other children, her Prince Charmant!

Together, they have seven children…, including twins. Yes, SEVEN!


Professional issue: Artemis

Artemis is the Hellenic goddess of forests and hills, the hunt and often was depicted as a huntress carrying a bow and arrows.

Until 2007, Marion juggled between home and raising her 5 children, and lecturing and training part-time. Until it became obvious that she was still trying to to be the pleasing one, and this time for the business school Academy. She had to follow the rules and teach , lecture and train according to excellence standards, following the one-sided business theories, created by men for men. Since she didn't have a "PhD", she had no real future in researching her own field.

She did tried her best, though, to fit in the cast! She taught in English for International MBA executives, she developed expertise in designing "sur mesure" leadership training, she got involved into mentoring and tutoring students, supervising their personal and professional projects. She was waiting for approval, to be recognized and promoted for the excellent work she was doing, assuming that as a natural consequence, reward will come. She was into her Sleeping Beauty syndrome.

What were the different choices available for her?

What are the three actions she could have taken?

She wanted to express her creativity and also develop her own coaching business, without being dependant on an Academic background, where innovative and entertaining approaches were not valued. She wanted to explore new models of leadership, out of the masculine traditional business box.

She chose to start her own consulting