Kick the “B” word to the curb: 5 Ways to lead like a boss!


Relentless.  Resilient.  Ruthless.  Good traits radiated by many strong women.  Ruth Bader Ginsberg is one example!   The problem is that women are often deemed “bossy” when they stand firm for what they want to achieve.

Despite the “Ban Bossy Campaign”, founded by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg in 2014, the word still exists in the workplace today.  In a survey by the Center for Creative Leadership, they found “33 percent of women and 17 percent of men reported that they have received feedback that they are bossy at work.  In other words, women were twice as likely to be branded as bossy in the workplace.”

Being clear on what you want and being aggressive to get the results you want can often be the best thing for your company, but it takes a bit of finesse to get those results without the negative connotation. What is essential is to not damper your vibrancy or commitment to get where you want to go.  The key is in recognizing you don’t have to be “Bossy” to get there and instead shift your focus to be the type of “Boss” you admire.

So how do you stand out and lead strong without overstepping the line?   Here are five ways to Lead Like a BOSS.

  1. Be a leader worth following.

People watch your actions, your attitude and every little detail about you.  The way you do anything is the way you do everything, so be who you are and be a leader worth following! This means LEAD, don’t dictate.

Leaders inspire others by marking a course of action they believe in and empowering others to help them reach those results. Help others around you to hone their skills and thrive all while helping yourself accomplish your goals.

When people see a leader worth following, worth investing in, they naturally start to pick up the style and traits of that leader.

Expect this: people will try to emulate you in various ways.  The ways they consciously or unconsciously think will help them achieve the success that you have achieved. When that happens, it is a clear indication that you are a leader who people respect. They want to work with you, in your organization and help you, and the team, reach new heights.

  1. Integrity – Do what you say you will.

We all know people who make big promises and don’t follow-through. It is one of the quickest trustbusters out there.  If you want to stand out in the right way, do what you say you are going to do.

One of my favorite workout shirts has a quote from the movement “because I said I would.”

When you make a commitment, stay in integrity with yourself and follow through. Every. Single. Time.   Those around you will notice, and they will again want to emulate you.

This will help reduce the number of times you will need to follow-up with someone about a project which can lead to that “bossy” descriptor.  If you do need to follow-up, acknowledge the person has been working on the project and ask what you can do to support them, so they complete the project on time.

  1. Know your craft and do it well.

Your knowledge, skill, and confidence in what you do speak volumes to others.

When you are comfortable with the material, then you can be more focused on the delivery.  When others see you walk the walk, not just talk the talk, they will be inspired by your depth.

If there is an area you don’t know, take some time to learn at least the basics so you can better show your appreciation for what is happening around you.

Successful leaders know that you are never too cool for school.  Showcase this trait by taking courses or engage in activities to help you further hone your skills.  Others will notice.

  1. Understand your audience in the workplace.

While the culture of your workplace creates a synergy to how people work when you are not there, each individual on the team has different workstyles and personalities.

It is important to acquaint yourself with their internal and external motivators so you can understand how to best position each employee for success each and every day.

“Great bosses don’t motivate employees, they help employees motivate themselves,” explains Jill Geisler, author of Work Happy.

Take the time to understand your team, and you will find communication increases, productivity increases, and workplace happiness increases.

  1. Be clear about what you want.

If you want to accomplish those goals and get the results you want, you must learn to clearly articulate what you want done and why.  This is what allows you to build up your team, so they resonate with the project and do a great job the first time.  Honing your communication and delegation skills goes a long way to reducing the perception of being bossy.

When you approach a project, mentally review the following so you can better delegate the task:  what is the scope of the project or task, why are you selecting this person, what is their level of authority, what tools and resources can they use, what is the ultimate deadline, what are the milestones that coincide with check-ins, and what is the final format you want from the project.

When you are clear about what you want and fully communicate your expectations, this will allow your team to be successful every time and will enable you to achieve the result you want.

So when someone calls you “Bossy”, smile and remember, this is just a compliment that from the outside they see that you are driven to make things happen and you are willing to lead your team to where they need to go. Meanwhile, as you transition to being a leader, those on the inside will admire your leadership skills and recognize you as the BOSS you are.

About Kristen David'

Kristen David, upleveling your business coach, author and international speaker helping business owners grow and scale their company into thriving profitable business Kristen David is a former trial lawyer and partner. She went from working 85 hours a week and being a slave to her law firm, to building a million-dollar-plus business. She then sold her shares and pivoted into a business coach and guru, now empowering other business leaders and entrepreneurs to build thriving and profitable businesses that are self-managed by leveraging her proprietary system: The 4 Pillars of Successful Business Management. Kristen’s no-nonsense approach and results-oriented methodology have allowed her to help more than 1,500 business owners — from small companies to large organizations — double and triple their profits annually. Twitter: @kdavid12 Uplevel Your Business, Uplevel Your Life: 4 Pillars of Successful Business Management. Click here to order on Amazon.

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