Welcome to The SHAPE of a Leader. I write this blog with the SHAPE leadership development program (for women pastors) I lead in mind, but it is for all who are interested in leadership, faith, and the intersection of the two.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Mean Girls

I had a conversation today with a group of women who were talking about bullying in middle and high school. It wasn't long before the conversation turned to women behaving similarly. Not quite bullying perhaps - words like conniving, competing, back stabbing come to mind.  It's surprising the number of women who don't quite grow beyond the middle school mean girl stage.

I've watched women leaders compete with each other, withhold power rather than empower, lie to lift themselves up over their female colleagues, practically trample over other women to be the one who comes out on top. I've had women work for me who just can't handle having another woman in a place of authority above them.

If you've been the victim of this erratic, inappropriate, and downright childish behavior, take heart - it isn't you! And if you see a glimpse of yourself in the mean woman mirror, ask yourself - what's really going on here? Where am I so weak that I have to do this to lift myself up? 

A couple weeks ago, I was speaking with a colleague on a related topic. She told me that her daughter just had the privilege of hearing Madeline Albright speak. Ms. Albright said, "there's a special place in hell for women who don't support each other."  

Can I get an AMEN?

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