The other "b" word


The COO of Facebook, Sheryl Sanberg, has decreed that the word "bossy" is not politically correct. She has labeled it the “other b-word” and wants to put a stop to its use. She says when a young, assertive girl, is described as bossy she feels bad and her confidence takes a hit. This leads to her not leading and Sanberg wants us to lead.

I’m a little unsure how to move forward in describing my own personal style now that “bossy” is off the table. But in a world where bald is now follicle-ly challenged and shortness has become a vertical deficit it was only a matter of time that I would have to adapt to a new nomenclature that describes my personality.

I have several ideas rolling around in my brain. Perhaps instead of bossy I am” leadership enabled?” Instead of bossy I am “logic enhanced.” Instead of bossy I am “results focused.” Instead of bossy I am “command comfortable.” Instead of always right I’d like you to say I’m “decision-ally assertive.” Refer to my style in meetings or on projects as “successatism” or “overtly directional.” Please describe me as “prone to excessive guidance” and “consistently insistent.”

I’ve decided to really make this work I have to turn it around. Instead of all this positive verbiage maybe we diagnose my proclivity to take charge as disease of some sort. Perhaps I have “follower deficit disorder.” Maybe I’m “minion impaired” or “lemming intolerant.” Better stated, let it be known that I am “apathy deficient.”

None of this means that a leader should be mean or rude, oh wait, that’s mean, you should not be “polite deficient,” “devoid of all human empathy and kindness,” or “the south end of a donkey headed north” when you are in charge. Leaders like that don’t have many followers.

Speaking of leading, I volunteer to lead, uh, no, not lead, I’d like to support any young girl who feels victimized by the term bossy. If your daughter is described as bossy, she has an open invitation to be in my new Bossies Anonymous Club. I can guarantee you this will be the best, most focused, under budget, on time, problem solving support group in all the land. Not that a support group is a competition or anything, heavens no.

I have utmost respect for Cheryl Sandberg and her accomplishments. But I do wonder if her decree that all people from playgrounds to corporate America to everywhere Facebook reaches ( the Earth) should henceforth refrain from using a particular word she doesn’t like in their everyday lives, is, I don’t know, a little bossy?

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