It’s a natural inclination to want to control in order to get. However, I want to challenge that idea with the thought that being rude in the pursuit for it isn’t necessarily best. Allow me to elaborate… I still remember the first time I had the opportunity to manage my own team. I had just launched an online magazine and had acquired a team of writers. My childhood dreams of becoming an Editor-in-Chief of a magazine were finally coming true. It only took a couple of weeks for me to realize that I had no idea what I was doing when it came to managing other people. I remembered reporting to micromanagers in the workplace and due to wanting to avoid that I started by offering a completely lax environment. No rules, no guidelines, no vision. Tsk, tsk, tsk. And then, when I received the first round of articles I was, well, disappointed. Nobody had captured my vision, none of the formatting or writing was the same, and the topics were very sporadic. I was the only one to blame. Instantly, there was a desire to want to control; to want to tell people what to do and how to do it. I wanted everything to be perfect. I wanted to become a bossy-pants.
Have you ever felt that way? Perhaps, had a colleague, an employee, a friend not do things the way you think they should be done and then instantly want to control? I know I have. The trick is finding the balance.
Whenever I do unleash bossy-pants I find myself leading a team full of fear and from a place full of anger and distrust. Instantly I realize the negative consequences and the bitter and lonely road that can follow. I don’t want to lead a team that is afraid of me, I want to lead a team that is inspired by me. I don’t want to control, I want to guide. I don’t want to overpower, I want to propel. The trick is all in finding the balance.
Not giving my team a vision was my fault. Wanting to control that vision is also my fault. I have found that there are ways to lead well and successfully without unleashing the bossy-pants:
1. Lead out of Love
When you get down to the root of it, you discover that a bossy-pants is leading out of a place of fear. A fear of what? A fear of not getting what she wants or not having things go her way? Fear presents itself in the desire to control. Instead, lead out of love. Love for what you do, and love for those who want to help you accomplish it.
Creatives and entrepreneurs tend to be task-oriented. We see the vision, we see the end-result, and we want to get there. When we get too focused we can tend to put people aside. We just want to get that email out, get that project turned in, and get the work done. What about people? As human beings we seek community and connection. Start your email by asking about their day, spend time finding out about others personal life, build a connection. You’ll find that when you treat people well they will treat you and your business well. I want to encourage you to be bold, not bossy. To be loving, not controlling. To be inspiring, not fearful. You can be the boss lady you were meant to be without being a bossy lady. Then, you’ll find yourself being an inspiring leader instead of a Devil-Wears-Prada one. May we learn to lead out of love overcome the fear from bossy-pants.
Photos by Valerie Denise