It's better to just light a candle than curse the darkness...
It’s been a long and rocky road as I carved out my career. Like most I have had quite a few interesting jobs after graduating from undergrad. Of course none of them have worked out or lasted very long but the one thing that did last was my impression of the female bosses that I have had.
I remember working for a woman in the development office of a private school. My most memorable moment with her was when she called me in for a private meeting about my progress and then burst into tears for reasons unknown to me. I sat there quietly, unsure of what to do.
I remember working for a woman in the publishing industry. She explained to me that when she realizes that she has no use for an employee she doesn’t fire them, she merely sits them in a corner desk and gives them nothing to do until they leave.
I remember working for another woman in the publishing industry, she was truly beautiful and had lasted a long time in her field as a pioneer. Sadly, she wasn’t fond of self starters and when I came to work one day my computer had been removed with no explanation.
I moved on to work for another woman in the publishing industry as a reporter. She shaped me by giving me a book that changed my entire perspective on life. She was also very, um, hands on. Nothing I wrote was good enough for her, even though the editors would return my stories back with NO editing needed. Later I realized that she was trying to break me and mold me into her image so that I would not do things MY way, but her way. Of course this exchange didn’t last long.
As a women’s leadership coach I am always seeking good examples of female leadership in every job that I take. I am not a dominant woman. I don’t have to be in charge at all times. I gain no satisfaction from having things done MY way; I just want them done. I have no problem following the program of a person I deem to be headed in the right direction for me. I have yet to meet such a person so I have been leading myself.
But I have come close to experiencing magic and it was in the most unlikely place. Way back when I was a whee young lass I took a temp job at a retail store working for a woman I knew in undergrad. She was a teeny little lady with a hearty smile and warm eyes. It was my first day on the job and there were about 12 other employees in the store. We were charged with resetting the store’s stock, rearranging the merchandise and setting up new displays. While I only lasted 2 hours on the job before I felt dizzy and had to call it quits (doing rote work makes me ill), what I witnessed that day under her leadership has stayed with me until this day.
Her name was Genevieve.
And Genevieve was the best leader I have ever worked for. Genevieve was different from every other female leader because she took care of the people who worked for her. The entire time I was there I watched as she flittered from one employee to the next, providing tools, asking questions, responding to issues and ensuring that everyone was well equipped to carry out their tasks. It was a marvelous feeling to be supported by her. It was almost magical. I wanted to do well because I knew that she was on my side. She never made me feel like she was a warden or that she was looking for things to complain about or chastise us for. She was on our side. We were truly a team. Although mentally I could not handle the merchandising world I am so glad that I saw a true example of leadership in my lifetime.
So many people think being a leader is about dominance or control. It’s not. Being a leader is about empowering others to achieve their goals in any way necessary.
Being a leader is not about having your way all the time. Being a leader is about inspiring others to want to do their best for you because they realize that their hard work will make you look good and they want to make you proud.
When you are preparing to take on a leadership position in a Loving Female Led Relationship, be the type of woman that your partner feels proud to work beside. There is no need for a firm and brutal hand in a Loving FLR. The health and mental well-being of your partner is the first indication that you are an effective leader. Your partner represents you. If your partner is not happy and satisfied in the same manner that he is attempting to provide for you, then there needs to be an adjustment in your tactics. Yes, your happiness is the priority in a Loving FLR, yet, his happiness is also just as important. No matter how amazing you think you are, no man of power wants to stand beside a woman who is dismissive of his happiness. No true Gentleman will allow a woman to treat him as though he is irrelevant and his efforts are insignificant. His happiness matters too. In fact, his support of your happiness should enable you to support his.
A Loving FLR is a reciprocal relationship where the love is exchanged equally. He happens to be completely devoted to your happiness and you are devoted to leading the relationship in a direction that ensures the happiness of you both.
If you are a man preparing to choose your next leader in life, don’t settle for a woman who will scream and yell when she doesn’t get her way. That is not a leader; that is an immature child. Your next leader in life will be someone who wants you to represent her and walk beside her proudly and she also leads and supports you in such a way that you feel that you too can fly.