The "Ban Bossy" debate

Mar 14, 2014 at 7:45 p.m. ET

The “Ban Bossy” campaign has gotten a lot of attention and a lot of flack in recent days.

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Photo credit: Piotr Krze?lak/iStock/360/Getty Images

While I love the concept of promoting leadership in young women, I agree (on some level) with the naysayers who feel the approach may be a bit warden-adjacent.

I am not, by nature, a big believer in “banning” per se. It feels a little too reminiscent of the days of book burning and inequality for my taste. Those are the very things campaigns such as these are designed to protect against.

However, speaking as a woman who became a leader early on in her career and was largely resented for it, I heard a variety of colorful “B” words throughout my life. Personally, it didn’t particularly bother me. Rather, it often drove me to achieve even more throughout my career.

Further, I firmly believe whatever negative connotations we have assigned to the word “bossy” are our own. It is only an insult if we make it one by villainizing the word. I truly consider it a compliment to be thought of as bossy. I am the boss; mission accomplished!

So, ladies, I am thrilled to join you on this crusade but, please, let’s not imply that “bossy” is somehow a bad word because it does not have to be.

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