Being Bold vs. Being Bossy – Which One Are You?
“The Future is Female.” This statement has been broadcast across a variety of media outlets. As a female entrepreneur, and mother to a daughter, this statement inspires me. I don’t think anyone would argue that we’ve come a long way as women leaders in business. Still, there is that gray area for women that men don’t often face. I’m talking about the B-word. Being bold, versus being bossy. Striving to be a confident leader that’s well respected, while being respectful, can be a struggle if you don’t understand the difference. Today I’d like to dive into both categories to help you determine where you might fall, what areas you might need to work on, and what areas you’re shining bright like a diamond in.
Let’s first cover the formal definitions of each word. Webster defines BOLD as “a person, action, or idea, showing an ability to take risks; confident and courageous”. The definition of BOSSY is listed as “given to ordering people about; overly authoritative; domineering; offensively self-assured or given to exercising usually unwarranted power”. Now, let me tell you what the Urban Dictionary has listed for BOSSY – “Describes a girl who is the alpha-female or the queen bee. She is gettin paid, stayin fly, and is the leader of her crew. Respected by all, loved by some.”
Confused yet? Today’s culture is attempting to flip the old negative bossy model on its head and call it a positive. But is it? In my opinion, bossiness comes from a place of false confidence, in which people build their own self-esteem from outward sources. A steamroller “my way or the highway” queen bee approach won’t get you very far, or very well-respected. To be bold, is to be confident and courageous. As a Christian woman in charge, you want to set a positive example for those around you, encourage other women, and lift them up.
The Bible teaches us that when we let His boldness pour through us, we’ll discover, “He crowns the humble with victory,” (Psalm 149:4b, NIV).
Queen Esther demonstrated great boldness when she approached the throne of King Xerxes, saying, “I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish,” (Esther 4:16b, NIV). Queen Esther could be a role model for women in every century. Before she put her life on the line to save her people, she wisely asked them to fast and pray, that she might be given favor by the king.
Bottom line, you don’t need to fake confidence, my fearless female comrades. Boldness in business can be touchy, but only if we do it on our own. When we let God lead the way, we can follow Him without fear, knowing His timing is perfect, and knowing that the outcome of our boldness is always in His capable hands.