Boss lady, slay queen, alpha B*itch maybe you’ve heard the terms? #BossLady has shown up on coffee mugs, t-shirts, bumper stickers, and social media memes. Originally the term was meant to compliment a confident and independent woman for taking charge of her professional and personal life. Unfortunately, there are those that take it to a different level and use #BossLady to be a #meangirl.
“A successful, independent woman who knows what she wants in this world. She WILL NOT stop until she is satisfied. She NEVER settles for anything less than everything. She speaks her mind in every situation. She stands up for what she believes in and won’t stop until she is finished. This woman is always on top of her game. She stays ready to achieve success, so she never has to get ready!”
Some women were born on top of their game, some were fortunate to be raised to be on top of their game. Others are learning as they go and that’s totally cool too! We all have to learn sometime, right? What I’m learning through experience is that there are women that believe they have to tear others down in order to build themselves up and this is NOT ok.
It’s tough for women to make it to the top for a number of reasons. It appears that once they’re at the top, some women perceive themselves as superior or more accomplished than those that haven’t been as successful. (Perception vs. reality but that’s for a different day!) While they may have really great intentions for the companies they run if they don’t keep those insecurities in check this behavior will turn to toxic boss lady “real quick like”, as my Granny would’ve said!
It is shocking to me that in the days of #MeToo and other social movements that were designed to empower women and bring them together that we’re not talking about how women are bullying each other and tearing each other down. Even worse our young daughters, nieces, cousins, etc. are witnessing these behaviors, learning that these behaviors mean leadership and repeating the ugly behavior.
The Workplace Bullying Institute found that women bully other women up to 80% of the time. To take it one step further, studies have shown that “women who report to other women experience a greater frequency of bully, abuse, and job sabotage.”
If you’re doing this and thinking you’re sending the message to young girls and to your teams that this is the way to get ahead or to be successful.
Trust and believe…it is NOT!
It is the fast track to anger, resentment and burnout. You may be tempted to think that you’re putting off the “I’m dedicated and have all my stuff together” image but you’re not. You’re showing off your lack of self-control and lack of trust in your team to handle their business.
Whether you’re feeling like this could be you or you’ve been on the receiving end of this behavior, it may be time to take a step back for reflection. The “Insight Timer” app is a great resource for both guided and solo meditations.
Fortunately, there are plenty of Boss Ladies that believe and demonstrate that when you give a little the whole tide rises and “a rising tide lifts all boats”. After all, everyone deserves to be treated respectfully, with dignity and encouraged show up as their best self.