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Bossy or Leading

I thought I'd share a story while observing my daughter over the years.

Years ago, my daughter was on a team that did not have very good direction.  Everyone wanted to be on top.  She is a quiet, yet brilliant kid, who was getting frustrated that they were not accomplishing anything.  I saw what was going on and I told my daughter, "just take charge, tell them what they should do."

She said, "I don't know mom they'll be angry with me."

I said, "just try next time."

Being a good daughter she did and that was their most successful meeting.

Today she says, when she is working on a team she waits till there is little time left, then she starts telling people what to do.  "you do this, you do that and I'll do this" etc.

At the end of the project, when they get everything done, she apologizes to everyone.  When she told me this I didn't feel comfortable with it.  Recently, I read the above quote then I knew she shouldn't be apologizing.  I suppose we have a stronger belief of people liking us then getting the work done.

So this morning, I will have a talk with my daughter and tell her not to say she is sorry but congratulate the team on a job well done because there is no reason to be sorry.

Please share your stories of your girls, I would love to read them.

Update: I did talk to her about it. I told her the quote.  I asked her if the boys would apologize.  She said no.  She said she'll try congratulating next time.


  1. Good leadership never needs excuses!

  2. As a former teacher, I saw such tendencies all the time. They are ingrained in our society, but little by little, change will come about.

    1. I find, in general, women can multi-task which has its advantages but to lead it makes our plates full and stresses us out. Where I find men can put blinders on and are more driven to the goal. Don't get me wrong blinders has its disadvantages, like lack of compassion, but I sometimes think our multi-tasking can be counter-productive in a goal-driven world.

      I think I'd like to see how we can use our multi-tasking skills in a goal driven way then perhaps we'd be invincible :)

  3. The leader - manager syndrome. Read in The New York Times that the majority of US high school students consider themselves to have leadership skills. And the same applies to all countries in the world. Catch is the majority of them do not have leadership skills.

    Leader is a buzz word at the moment and if you look at Linkedin profiles you will, again, find that the majority claim to be leaders.

    Since time immemorial the majority of people have been followers. And it hasn't changed. To try to lead and not being able to is not a position to aim for. It will bring neither happiness nor success.

    Have no idea if your daughter has leadership skills or not. If she has encourage her because we do need true leaders in this world. Not an abundance of people who are not but believe they are:-)

    1. High Schoolers are still inexperience to give a good assessment of their skills. My point really was that women and men are looked upon differently and how they perceive what is important characteristic of their gender. But I agree, I have heard many different definitions of leadership.

  4. It's an ongoing challenge. Grown women who have successful careers, great expertise and experience will allow a younger man who is clearly less experienced to take charge of work projects because of a lack of confidence. In the face of that kind example, it's hard for young girls to learn to lead. I challenge my own daughter to tackle situations she finds intimidating and to look for solutions she can live with. She is not inclined towards leading and would rather go her own way than manage a group going in a direction she doesn't like. That's not my own style, but I think if she has confidence in herself and her decisions, then she has achieved the level of leadership she requires.

    1. Yes, self-esteem seems to be an issue our gender needs to overcome. I also think we need to encourage each other more and look at those who have gone before us. I am amazed at how many women out there who have done incredible things but I never knew about them. Btw: I'm with your daughter, it's hard to lead when you don't believe in the cause. ;)


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