Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Bossy IS Bad

Sorry Girl Scouts, love your cookies, but being bossy is---and always will be---bad. If anything, we need to call it out as we see it MORE--not less--often.

“Bossy” means telling people to do things your way, immediately, with no consideration for their feelings or input. “Bossy” means being pushy, overbearing and rude. “Bossy” means taking charge at the expense of others.

As adults in the workplace, the supervisors (dare I say, “bosses?”) we complain about are the ones who employ those “bossy,” intolerable attributes.

Let’s be intellectually honest…the intent of the GSA’s initiative is good, but it is off-target.

The assignations of “bossy” (as the Girls Scouts suggest is the more often girl-child directed word/the adult version, “b*tchy”) or “bratty” (perhaps the more boy-child directed counter-criticism/the adult version, “d*ckish”) are condemnations incurred by poor behavior. They are not declarations doled out for the precocious demonstration of leadership potential as the Girl Scouts, First Lady, Sheryl Sandberg, Beyonce and so many others are hyper-defensively surmising.

“Bossy” is not leadership squelching, it’s ill-behavior correcting. As parents and society, we need to ban bossy behavior, not the use of the word.

My daughter---like so many daughters, and sons----is a leader by nature. She has imaginative, creative ideas. She persuades. She encourages. She listens. She acts with confidence. She’s decisive. She is—as her brother says complimentarily of himself---“like a boss.”

If either of my children---female or male---act “bossy” in the traditional, rightly-accusatory sense of the word, please, please call them on it.

If either of them---male or female--- act “like a boss” in the 21st century sense of the phrase---take charge leaders who are creative, persuasive, collaborative, decisive and considerate---please, please compliment them on it. Those are the qualities we admire and desire in our leaders for tomorrow.

post signature


Jennifer @ littlemeems.com said...

Well said! The article did not sit well with me either. I can see where they are trying to go, but they took a little detour on their way. "Bossy" is not the same as "take charge" (which is what they are trying to promote). One enlists the help/feelings/feedback/partnership of others; one does quite the opposite. Thanks for putting it so more eloquently than I have been able to!

cat said...

I really think the idea of being boggy, as good as the intentions may have been , does not fit the girl scouts. Being bossy is not being a leader (as you so rightly said). Being a leader is leading by listening, by capturing and organizing the thoughts of those around you and not to boss them around