The Strawberry Patch

Enrichment and Inspiration for Beta Sigma Phi Sisters from Marilyn Ross

Bossism vs. Leadership

 The author of this article, Mrs. Gano Senter, is an International Honorary Member of Beta Sigma Phi and a noted authority on parliamentary procedure.

 It was a merited compliment a national president paid the president of a local group when she said, "Mrs. X is a most unselfish president. She brings her officers and chairmen forward and effaces herself."

 This is a quality of leadership that is rare and should be understood and appreciated. A true leader considers her duty to the membership and strives to accomplish the most effective good for the organization. It is a real accomplishment to train others to carry forward the ideals and purposes of an organization.

 Also in chapter work it is wise to recognize and appreciate the qualities of leadership. It is well for workers to develop these qualities that serve to increase the interest and active work in organizations. Only by intelligent effort and a desire to carry out a program in a correct manner can harmony be obtained, and this is requisite for accomplishment.

 All too often, in some organizations, we see characteristics of "bossism" mistaken for leadership, and their bad effects linger long after the active influence of the boss is forgotten. Examples of this are persons who rely on the bylaws to settle a question when it will help them to have their way, but who will insist that the bylaws be ignored or violated when it hinders their personal ambitions. A leader would persuade the group to amend the bylaws if they are a hindrance to a constructive work and would never set an example of lawlessness.

 Dale Carnegie once published an article on "The Boss and the Leader" which we would do well to consider and endeavor to adapt to our chapter relationships, that we may avoid traits of bossism and increase the qualities of leadership:

The Boss drives his men,
The Leader coaches them.
The Boss depends on authority,
The Leader on good will.
The Boss inspires fear,
The Leader inspires enthusiasm.
The Boss says "I,"
The Leader, "We."
The Boss says, "Get here on time,"
The Leader gets there ahead of time.
The Boss fixes the blame for the breakdown,
The Leader fixes the breakdown.
The Boss know how it is done,
The Leader shows how.
The Boss makes work a drudgery,
The Leader makes work a game.
The Boss says, "Go,"
The Leader says, "Let's go."

 A true leader never stoops to pettiness and secret jealousy, which stems from a sense of inferiority that prompts a fear that others will receive undue recognitions. The leader has equipped herself to meet situations and knows that eventually her sincerity will be understood and appreciated, because her efforts will benefit the organization not just today but in the future also.

 The leader does not alibi her failures by blaming others, but is honest and sincere and never uses the opportunities of office to glorify self or offend others. She recognizes the right of others to differ with her in opinions and respects their sincerity while not always agreeing with their ideas. She also realizes that those who always agree with her may do so because of indifference or hope of personal gain. We grow in mental stature by association with courageous thinkers rather than with "yes" people.

 A leader is tolerant, tactful, kind, generous, intelligent, honest, courageous, and just. Do these qualities seem humanly impossible? No. We all have latent qualities of leadership and as we develop them we make an individual contribution to a peaceful world. Perfect leadership was demonstrated to man by the Prince of Peace over 2000 years ago when He gave His life to prove the indestructibility of Good.

 Copyright © 1998 - 2002 Marilyn Ross & TIKI Services Corporation All Rights Reserved.
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