Are you Girl Boss?

Do You Like this Phrase?

Recently, there’s been a surge of popularity around the idea of being a “Girl Boss.” From books and memes to T-shirts and travel mugs, women are loving this phrase and this idea.

Here at Impactivity, we love it, too.

But let’s make sure of a couple of things, as we put this idea into play in our own lives…

First, are we perhaps trying a little too hard? Feeling like we have to justify being in charge, or fight for it somehow?

Imagine if you had a man as a boss who was always reminding you of his position with wording on his coffee mug and desk knick-knacks.

You’d probably think less of him, because it would feel like he was arrogant. But somehow, we women are permitted this king of swag. Let’s not get carried away.

Let’s make sure we’re not using it because we feel a little insecure in our leadership.

We want to be strong, confident, unashamed leaders at the same time that we have a gentleness that is godly about us.

It can be a challenge to figure out what is truly biblical vs what is cultural, and it’s probably the greatest challenge of this generation of women, to separate these two things.

We know that Jesus gave great respect to women while he was here. And we know that God calls ordinary people and does extraordinary things through them.

We must fully take hold of our worth as women, and of the way God wants to work through us. When we do, we can both let go of the need to impress others or reinforce our status, and we can shine and lead with confidence that doesn’t need to keep reminding people that we’re leading them.

servant leadership

The idea of “servant leadership” has been popular among Christians, mostly men, for years now. It’s been a good reminder to men that they need to adopt a servant-heart in the midst of the leadership.

That the best way to lead is to serve their clients, customers, colleagues, and employees.

Women probably don’t need that message as much. We often gravitate toward service, and have a harder time stepping up to leadership.

And so in our insecurity, we feel like we need to keep reassuring ourselves, and reminding others, with wording like “Girl Boss.”

It’s reminiscent of the school bully whose insecurity causes him to bully the other kids.

We put on a persona that dares anyone to question us. It’s a chin-lift and piercing look that says “I’m the boss, and nobody’s gonna tell me otherwise.”


's a balance Again, we probably do need to remind ourselves of our worth and our calling every once in a while. We do need to remember that we’ve been given gifts and are meant to use them. So a little bit of “Girl Boss” reminding is a fun way to give ourselves permission in that area, to think of ourselves as the boss, and stop apologizing for being leaders.

But let’s not take it so far that we begin to resist the idea of serving all together while we assert our independence and leadership. An attitude of “I’m not going to take anything from anybody” does not need to be part of our leadership style. Just like we ask our men to develop a servant’s heart as they go about their natural leadership, we ought to be able to develop a leader’s heart as we go about our serving, and not remove the idea of service altogether.

And on the other side, let’s not hide from leadership.

Often we do hide, because we want everyone to like us. We want to be their friend. We don’t want them to think of us as… ironically… bossy.

So we’re tempted to avoid conflict, we’re tempted to let situations go to places they shouldn’t rather than step in and take charge to make it better, and we’re tempted to avoid delegating so people don’t feel like we’re arrogant. And then sometimes we wait so long, that when we finally get in there to take charge and solve problems, it probably feels like we are that stereotypical Girl Boss who is… not nice.

None of that is good leadership.

bonus thought

Some of us don’t claim the word “boss” (and wouldn’t have “girl boss” on a mug) because we don’t have anyone who works for us. Can we still claim it?

Maybe you’re your own boss.

If so, how good a boss are you to yourself? If you had a boss who treated you the way you treat yourself, would you quit? If you had a boss who wasted your time the way you waste your own, would she get fired? If an organization spent the amount of time developing its people that you spend developing yourself, would it go under?

If you’re going to be your own boss, be a good one. Be authoritative with yourself. Expect great things from yourself and don’t be afraid to demand that you perform well.


've got this You are meant to be an awesome Girl Boss.

And while we’re putting together the idea of Being the Boss with the idea of Being A Girl, let’s also blend in there the idea of Being a Jesus-Follower, and think about the ways that we can still preserve our servant’s hearts, as we step up to be the leaders we’re meant to be.

  • If you want to explore the story of four women who became the Boss Ladies, check out the “further” section below.

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