Lora Hogan > Uncategorized  > Let’s not #banbossy, let’s #passlove

Let’s not #banbossy, let’s #passlove

Right now the word bossy is trending thanks to Sheryl Sandberg’s campaign to make bossy a bad word–the other “b word.”

I am going to say something that may risk the roar of negativity from women around the world.

I don’t think bossy is a bad word.

I think Sheryl is MISSING THE POINT. We are focusing on the negative and missing the wondrous positive and a world of possibility.

It is not the fear of being called BOSSY that holds women back in business, I am sorry.  You are looking for a SCAPEGOAT Ms. Sandberg and I am not buying. The issue is bigger than you are allowing it to be.

Bossy Kid. Yes, sometimes this was ME! (Including the pink ensemble.)

I was called bossy as a child.  And you know what? I turned out just fine.  Bossy was just a word. It wasn’t an insult. It didn’t stunt my growth, make me afraid to raise my hand, make me afraid to be smart.

I was raised to know that I was beautiful, smart, and capable of greatness.

In fact, if I was called BOSSY it was a good thing.

It brought me back down to myself. It made me considerate of others.

I was never called bossy by men or boys.

I was called bossy by WOMEN and GIRLS.

And justifiably so. Because I was trying to lead unfairly, unjustly, without considering the big picture.

When I was bossy it was, in general, BECAUSE I wasn’t considering how my words and actions were AFFECTING others.

You do not learn to be a good leader by being bossy.

You learn to be a good leader by listening, by being considerate, by being brave.

A word only gives you power if you give it power.

Bossy is just that–a word. It only has power if you GIVE it power.  And by blaming the problem with the word BOSSY? We are missing the bigger picture.

I don’t think bossy is a good word. Or a bad word. Bossy is just a word. And sometimes, we need to be told we’re being bossy–because the bigger issue is how we are affecting someone else and making them feel.

Good leaders, strong women, changemakers–we need to be in tune with how we are affecting others. And not just women! Men too! We all need to find the bigger picture.

As a female, I am able to be assertive, decisive AND kind and nurturing. And I am okay with the word “bossy.”

Isn’t that a better leader? One who accepts her strengths and weaknesses? Who doesn’t look for excuses, look to place the blame, but accepts things at face value?

Without the fear.  Sometimes, I want to be demure. And sometimes, I put my bossypants on.  And that is the beauty–to be okay with both ends of the spectrum.

Where’s the balance Sheryl?

A word is just a word. This is getting out of control. We are finding every excuse, creating a media frenzy–to try and place the blame where it does not belong. Because we are so comfortable focusing on the negative and what we DON’T WANT. That we forget what the real conversation is supposed to be about. We forget what we DO WANT, the positive, the love.

I have not felt that men have kept me down or prevented me from succeeding.  I do not think that women are inherently weak. This is not about us vs. them.

It’s about insecurity. And a greater inability to love.

We women are an insecure bunch.

And clearly we are still insecure. The very need to create a website to ban the word “bossy” shows you just how INSECURE we are. How riddled in negativity and doubt we let ourselves be.

Please, women, LET GO THE FEAR!!!! It is not the words, but the fear you are giving to the words that makes them powerful. And only you–the individual–can decide whether or not the word has power over you.  YOU ARE THE MASTER OF YOURSELF, not someone else.

Aggressive, bossy, assertive, ambitious.  All of these things can be good at times. And all of them can be bad in excess.

We need balance.

Sheryl…. I’m a strong women AND I’m different than you. I bet I’m not alone.  I played in mud puddles and I had the best doll collection ever. My favorite color is pink, but if I were to be a super hero I’d want to be one like Buffy the Vampire Slayer–who looks cute but also throws a mean punch.

I want to be girly AND I want to lead. And I want to do it all from a place of love and compassion.

Where do I fit in Sheryl?

I think bossy is ok. I think being girly is ok.  I think being strong is good. I think being demur can be appropriate at times. But I also love to make an impact, to chase strong ideals. I want to make the world a different place and I want to do it by making people more loving, more accepting, more tolerant, and more kind.

And I just feel that I don’t fit into your version of #BanBossy Sheryl. Words are just words.  Let’s cut behind the words and look at the real emotions. And the real range of women. Because the issue is so much deeper.

Can’t we be feminine and strong at the same time? Can’t I be good at math AND want to be a good mother? Can’t I love to shop and cook but also love to command a room, to make a strategic plan, to be in charge of my finances?  Can’t I have BOTH? And can’t I do it all positively, optimistically, from a place of love?

I believe I can. Moreover, I can have both BECAUSE I won’t ban the word bossy. Because I will be in tune with both sides of myself. And because, over all, I will listen to others and remember and see how my interactions affect them.  If we want to ban something, let’s ban insecurity.  And that can only happen when we accept all walks of life, all types of emotions, listen to others, and figure out what makes people uncomfortable–and why.

And stop being fearful, attacking, and anxious. Let’s stop being negative.

Let’s find the balance together.  Let’s work together. Let’s love together.

And teach our daughters and young women to LOVE first.  Because only when you lead from a place of kindness, humility, and love (all very “feminine” traits I may note)–can you truly succeed.

And then you will never “be bossy.”  Because true leadership defies such words.  True leadership comes from the heart.

Let’s teach girls to be in touch with their hearts instead.  And not just girls. Everybody. The time for gender comparison needs to end.  Let’s teach all our children to be love leaders.

Get to the heart of the problem.

Don’t just talk about words.

Let’s not ban bossy.  Let’s pass love.  Universally.


Thank you.


A strong yet feminine woman, who believes in the power of positive thinking


  • Run DMT

    March 13, 2014 at 6:46 am

    Good point! I hadn’t heard about the campaign but read through it just now. I agree. Someone (and yes sometimes it’s a girl wearing pink) has to take the lead and hold onto the reigns but when doing so, you need to remember compassion for others. Sometimes when I call my girls bossy, it’s not because they are helping their younger siblings, it’s the tone and the words they use to “help”. I will still use the word because I believe their is some value to it. Boys can be “bossy” too. It’s not necessarily a gender thing.

  • Chrissy

    March 13, 2014 at 9:59 am

    I hadn’t heard this campaign either. Some people are born “bossy”. As the oldest child I was bossy as a kid and now my oldest child is too. Bossy isn’t always a bad thing. Someone has to step up and take charge or then nothing would ever get done. But you are correct that there is a nice way to go about being a leader.

  • Orangespoken

    March 13, 2014 at 10:01 am

    Great point! Never really thought of it that way. I was ALWAYS a bossy child. I think it’s what has made me a good teacher. lol! 😉 But yes, agree, spread the love!

  • Stacey Merrill

    March 13, 2014 at 10:02 am

    First I’ve hear of this (seems like there is always a new hashtag brouhaha, doesn’t it?). As always, enjoyed your thought provoking posts & agree completely

  • Running Betty

    March 13, 2014 at 10:46 am

    It always makes sense to use the positive form of language! I remember way back when… I was watching “who’s the boss” and they made Tony go to anger management class. They had a lesson about positive language. The instructor tried to get him to reword a No Parking sign with no negative words. He couldn’t do it. He finally said something like “don’t park here”, which is of course still in negative form. The teacher said, “Park elsewhere.” That stuck with me! Maybe I was 13?? And then when my girls were little, Shana Banana had a song on her kids yoga DVD called “Positive Words”. “Words that make me feel so goooo00OOood,” she sang. “Positive words make the world all shiny and bright”. So yes, pass love and joy and smiles and hugs! Thanks for the reminder, Lora!

  • Flower

    March 13, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    I agree with you completely and I too played in the mud and also played with dolls, maybe still do 😉 A word is a word is a word but knowing right from wrong and living positively is invaluable and that’s coming from someone who was also called ‘bossy’. Great post!

  • christinea

    March 13, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    Great look at this! Funny, how when we are condition to so much labeling from growing up in the West, mostly the “American” outlook to things. There’s always two sides to the story or even more in some cases. Yes, loving yourself first is important & showering it onto others from it is amazing! Thanks for the beauty here!

  • Misha

    March 14, 2014 at 2:43 am

    Sheryl talks about how insecure we are as women in Lean In, and I think that has a lot to do with the messages we received when we were girls. When exhibiting exactly the same headstrong attributes, little boys are called “leadership potential” or “the next president” with a chuckle, while girls are called “bossy.” And I have no doubt that women are calling young women this…it’s a culture-wide gender type-casting. But while reading the book, I never felt a Man vs. Woman, Us vs. Them, or “waahhh, it’s not fair!” kind of a feeling…I thought she did a good job avoiding that flavor. But I agree with you that abandoning fear and passing more love will undoubtedly make things better. I just wonder if not speaking a word that could potentially hurt someone’s feelings is a tangible way to start passing that love…Anyway, as always, thank you for your thoughts, ideas and general positiveness and light! <3