Sheryl Sandberg, the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, recently proposed that we ban the word “bossy.” Her reasoning?
“When a little boy asserts himself, he’s called a ‘leader.’ Yet when a little girl does the same, she risks being branded ‘bossy.’ Words like bossy send a message: don’t raise your hand or speak up. By middle school, girls are less interested in leading than boys—a trend that continues into adulthood.”
A little over a month ago, I posted a quote from Sandberg on my website’s Facebook page: “I want every little girl who is told she is bossy to be told she has leadership skills.” The post ignited a firestorm of commentary. However, my reasoning behind the post was for my daughters. I want them to grow up in a world that values their leadership skills, especially considering the level of time and effort I am investing in teaching them these skills. As a professor whose doctorate is in leadership studies, it was only a matter of time before I waded into the issue. Continue reading “A New Definition of Leadership”