Do you know why you are the way you are?
April 25, 2018

I was a Girl Scout for a year when I was nine. That’s also the year my mom had her eighth and final baby. Yep. Eight kids in nine years. And, yes. I was already being tapped for lots of babysitting.

Have you ever tried keeping seven little kids accounted for, let alone happy? You develop leadership skills quickly. It was probably inevitable another scout would notice. She didn’t mention anything about my “skills” as a “leader,” though. She said I was bossy.

I was so ashamed. Instead of embracing it the way my mother had suggested -- she’d supplied the “leadership” spin, after all -- I vowed to be the person no one would dream of describing with that adjective.

It worked. Fifteen years later I was at a professional development workshop for the management training program I’d joined just out of college. In one exercise we took a list of twenty project steps and put them in the right order. Then we got together in small groups to come to a consensus. “Almost always,” the instructor said, “group scores turn out better than individual scores -- and the lesson is obvious.” In our group, however, my score was much higher than the team’s. So we talked about why I was “underutilized.” It would’ve been easy to blame one gentleman in my group, who could best be described as a brick wall. But the real fault was mine, for letting that embarrassed nine-year-old run the show well into my twenties.

You know what’s worse? She’s still running the show. I’ll explain tomorrow.