I don’t mean to be rude, but I do mean to be candid, hence keeping this blog post short n’ sweet.
Being a writer and businesswoman means I’m often ‘crowned’ with titles like ‘female boss’, ‘boss lady’ or, more progressively, just ‘boss’. While these gestures are well intentioned, I wear said gift like a crown of thorns; painful, jarring and cringe.
My experience as someone who has interned, been an employee and seen the dark side of office politics (who am I kidding…as if there’s a lighter side), the term boss is attributed to unskilled, undeserving managers with insecurities, playground sensibilities, delusions of grandeur, a taste of luck (perhaps nepotism) and a gift for taking credit and placing blame. Moreover, a ‘female boss’ is suseptable to said traits, and is also the mysoginist’s ideal feminist…as in, she’ll step over other ‘bitches,’ permit primitive, sexist jokes and twerk her way to the top if it gets her there (it’s a harsh truth, but a truth I’ve seen).
Paradoxically, a leader has the wisdom and discernment to know when the transformation from an independent worker to a team player is necessary; leaders are humble and carry a quiet dignity that is overshadowed by the cumulonimbus clouds of respect they have for the earth and those who inhabit it; leaders are slow to anger, quick to forgive; leaders are aware of the psuedo-apocolyptic world we live in, and still find ways to love it; leaders know that other people’s success is not their failure; leaders believe ‘earning respect to get respect’ is a nonsense. Rather, they believe that respect is a basic human right that should be given freely to all, and can only be retracted if someone requests it.
I’m reminded of a proverb a friend recently Whatsapp’d me:
“A boss creates fear, a leader creates confidence. A boss fixes blame, a leader corrects mistakes. A boss knows all, a leader asks questions. A boss makes work drudgery, a leader makes it interesting. A boss is interested in himself or herself, a leader is interested in the group.”
To conclude (I told you this would be short n’ sweet), my aim as a businesswoman and a person is shaped by my ethos as a leader. I’m no ones boss, and that’s something I take lioness-pride in.