Why Sheryl Sandberg Wants Us To #BanBossy
Why would confident be a negative? Why would she use that story to embarrass me? What lesson was I supposed to be learning from that, other than that there was something unnerving and inappropriate about my directness?
Fortunately for me, I had a mother who ate fireballs for breakfast, and a father who thought that I had built the sun, so the affirming messages at home about my awesome kept those words from leading me to try to be a different girl, a quieter girl, a more invisible girl, a girl who would never say what she was good at, or say she was smart, or, god forbid, gifted.
So I am ON BOARD for #banbossy! And I know I am not alone. I felt those couple thousand women murmur and nod and say, "Me too" at BlogHer last summer.
So now is the time to tell those stories, to take those moments someone called your natural leadership skills into question, or tried to make you feel foolish for being confident, brave, sparkly, attention-getting, commanding, wise, bold, certain, in charge. We want to read those stories, and share them out to as many men and women as we can, to help change this largely unconscious damage that we do to girls' spirits. So please write and share your story! And spread the word far and wide with the hashtag #banbossy.
And if you tell you story, I beg you to please link to what you write here. It's important that we see and understand how accepted "small" behaviors can have such a huge, watershed impact on girls', and then later, women's identities. Seeing all these stories together is an amazing way to show the world—and each other—our strength both as individual women, and as a community.
But don't do it because I'm being bossy about it. Do it because I, and Sheryl Sandberg, and everyone at Girl Scouts of America and Lean In.org, believe in your power to lead the world and change it.
We are here to support you, no matter your personality and leadership style. Because that's what real leaders do.