Leadership Vs. Bossy

girl second coming heavenI have a daughter who is probably a bit bossy. But I think and believe that God has endowed her with that “ability” in order that she learn to lead.

Leadership is different than being bossy. Bossy is when a person simply takes charge and begins commanding others after themselves whether they have been given the right to do so, earned the right to do so, or is respected in a way that allows them to be in charge. Leadership on the other hand is something that is earned and respected.

How do you teach leadership to a bossy child. I will tell you that it’s not by telling them, “Stop being so bossy!” Rather, leadership is taught by giving principles that s/he can do and teaching her/him how to take charge of the situations s/he finds themselves in.

Some of those principles I’ve been trying to teach are:

  • You can’t lead by yelling
  • You can’t hit people and expect them to keep following
  • Take charge of the things you’ve been given charge over
  • learn to be an encourager, not a complainer
  • Let go of the little things others do
  • Take a look at the big picture and point the direction there

So now the question is…. Did she learn how to be bossy from me? And am I rethinking my own leadership issues at church and at home?


One thought on “Leadership Vs. Bossy

  1. Interesting perspective, and thought provoking for me, as I’ve been labeled “bossy” a time or two.

    Some people have insight and perspective on what needs to be done, others are not always perceptive of those same issues. I agree that tact – especially without yelling and hitting (obviously) – is important, but I’m uncertain that permission will always be granted. (I’m thinking this through)

    Two examples come to mind:

    1. Jesus.

    2. A parent places certain responsibilities and expectations on their child. Sometimes it is direct, as in, “go clean the kitchen with your younger siblings.” or, “you are the foreman of my construction company.” the child has a strong desire to please their parent(s) and to excel in the task before them. The parent is busy, stressed, or tired and just wants the kids to “handle it.”

    The bossy child may not have the personal skills to properly supervise their siblings, but their need to please is strong. In this case, they have been given permission (implied or actual – perception is reality).

    Like the example of Jesus, her was given permission, but those that killed him didn’t recognize that authority.

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