One of the hardest things about launching my coaching business was deciding what to call it. While I accept that I have to be personal in this type of work, I didn’t want to follow the path so many coaches take by naming it after myself. I wanted something clear, empowering, and that also reflected a bit of my quirky personality. The irony of the name “Boss Lady” is that it reflects a title I myself had trouble embracing. My wonderful co-worker would affectionately refer to me in this way, but deep down I hated it. I didn’t like feeling singled out as an authority figure. I saw myself as the quarterback, a leader rather than an authoritarian. But when I thought about how many women probably shared my same aversion to claiming the head seat at the table, I couldn’t get it off my mind as the perfect example of what I want to help my clients accomplish.
Does this mean all of my clients have to become executives or pursue high-powered careers? Certainly not! As one of my favorite quotes says, “I’d rather be a great Sergeant than a poor General.” The world needs great do-ers to execute big visions and make things happen. If we’re all vying for the top position, we won’t have the support system needed to do the work with a solid team. We have to know our own individual talents and strengths and develop those areas rather than trying to only view success as a destination to the top. We need great leadership at every level, not just the C-Suite. I believe being a Boss Lady means embracing whatever you take on, intentionally giving it your best effort, and constantly pushing yourself to improve. That could be as a middle manager, an entry-level intern, a retiree looking to get involved in the community, or a stay-at-home mom considering a move back into the workplace. It’s claiming your power as the Boss of your life and over whatever is holding you back from achieving your goals. So while I don’t think that effective leadership comes just from the title of being the Boss, I do believe that we each must claim our own ability to call the shots in our lives and take control of our goals rather than waiting for things to happen to us.
What areas of your life are you surrendering to other people? Where could you grow as a Boss? What things make you a better Sergeant than General? What things make you a better General than Sergeant?
Like this topic? Here are some great articles that dive into the issue on a deeper level:
Followership: The Other Side of Leadership
15 Keys to Success: How to Show Life Who’s Boss