Like a Boss.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/208105703/im-not-bossy-i-am-the-boss-coffee-mug?ref=sr_gallery_4&ga_search_query=I%27m+not+bossy&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery

I love this quote.  LOVE. IT.  There is this notion that if you are in charge and tell people what they need to do (especially women, I think) then you are described as bossy.  There is a tremendous difference, though, between being a boss and being bossy.  

By definition, bossy means "fond of giving people orders; domineering".  There is such a negative connotation with the word bossy that borders on rudeness and being overbearing.  Anyone could be bossy from a manager to an intern.  It's a personality characteristic.  Whereas a boss is a person in charge who makes decisions and exercises authority- they get things done.  This can be done with firmness and fairness, making decisions that will benefit the overall organization, and by not putting up with nonsense.  

Indeed, sometimes being a boss means you have to tell people what to do that they may not like or agree with, and then in their mind you are being bossy, but that's a completely subjective opinion.  In order to run a business successfully, a boss is going to have to make decisions and stick with them.  I always hope that I'm seen as a boss and not as bossy.

Do you see a distinction between these two words?  Are you a boss, or are you bossy?  Have you encounted a bossy coworker?


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4 comments

  1. This strikes such a sensitive spot with me! At my old job, I was (behind my back, of course), referred to as the "Nazi of the first floor" - the only female manager, and the only manager who held people accountable, set goals, and made sure we were on task. That combination = bossy b***h, even though I double checked myself every day to make sure I was pleasant, thoughtful, and meaningful in my actions and delivery. There was no winning!

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  2. That is a HUGE bummer! It's exactly what I was talking about- and accountability is a huge piece of it. People do not want to have to have expectations set for them, or goals they have to achieve, and when you hold them to it, they push back and resist, and if you're a strong enough person, you have to stand your ground and tell them the way it is. It's so not fun to have to do, but so necessary to get anything done.

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  3. Paige @ Little NostalgiaFebruary 5, 2015 at 7:03 PM

    I'm kind of "bossy," but I'm proud of that characteristic and I don't see it as a negative at all. I've found that when most people say a woman is bossy, what they really mean is that she gets shit done and, like Melissa said below me, holds people accountable. I've never been a rude taskmaster to anyone, but I do have high standards and I think that catches some people off guard because a lady is supposed to be forgiving. It's not really much of an issue now since I work at home, but in college I was the Program Director at the radio station and my god. You'd think I told people they had to walk on the sun. Just be on time for your shift!


    Anyway. Whenever somebody gets bummed out about this, I always remind them that Hermione Granger was considered bossy, too, and look at how awesome she is.

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  4. I like to be in charge, so I'm sure I'm considered to be bossy, but I've tried to never just be outright rude to anyone. I agree- it's the person who holds people accountable that tends to get that title, and I don't understand why more people aren't just responsible for themselves and their jobs!

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