When I was small I always wanted to help people. For some reason I had the ability to see the big picture, narrow it down to the bottom line, and understand what action steps needed to be taken to move ahead. (At the time I didn’t know to call it that). So I tried to support folks in the only way I knew how, which was to tell them my thoughts and share my vision about how to do things.
As a result I was labeled “a bossy little girl”, and told that nobody would ever like me if I continued to tell people my thoughts. They predicted that if I kept it up I’d grow up to be a ‘pushy broad’. In those days strong women were negatively referred to as ‘pushy broads’, and were looked down on by men and women alike. I learned that little girls weren’t supposed to be directive, visionary or in control, so I stopped talking.
Now that I’m an adult I’ve realized that I wasn’t a “bossy little girl”, I was a girl with Executive Leadership Skills! If I’d been a boy, people wouldn’t have tried to silence me. They would have been proud and encouraged me to be strong, speak my mind and lead.
Women have come a long way since I was a child, but in some circles the old stereotypes are still in effect. Although not as prevalent as it used to be, there is still the perception that there is something unfeminine about being a strong leader.
My husband is a wise man who thinks I’m feminine, and also likes the fact that I’m strong, have leadership qualities, and focus on empowering other women to share their vision, wisdom and connect with their inner leader. He is proud to jokingly tell people that I “teach Pushy Broad School”, and I’m proud to do it.
So this month I’m reflecting on the importance of encouraging girls and young women to be strong, assertive, and visionary. To tap into and use their Executive Leadership Skills, and be proud of being “a bossy girl”.
How about you?
Please comment so others can benefit from your wisdom and experience.
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