Let me clarify before everyone cringes… In a Dominant/submissive relationship the submissive has all the power and is very strong, astute and intuitive. She decides to give up her power for the advancement and for the internal satisfaction of giving the gift of power to another. She still retains her strength and her own empowerment – none of that is ever truly given away.
In the business arena, some organizations and leaders prefer women to be more submissive, in that they are the backbone and the internal strength and through their power source, the organization thrives. They willingly share that strength and power with their leaders and peers. (Yes, men too can also be submissive!) This power exchange becomes a give and take or ebb and flow of strength between the SBW and the corporate executives.
This interchange becomes unhealthy when the organization concentrates its business soley on the shoulders of the SBW. Corporate creates a one-sided relationship. They take mercilessly without giving anything in return. By denying the SBW a leadership role in the executive offices, eventually, out of sheer frustration, the SBW realizes that she either must cease her role as power supporter or terminate her employment. All too often women (men too) find themselves in the “good girl” role, giving away their power and strength without realizing it, until it is too late. The SBW will struggle to take back what has been offered at first and then taken – often forced to leave the organization due to shifting the power paradigm and appearance of threatening the leadership (not intentionally). It is like waking up from a nap and stretching. If anything is on you stealing your body heat, it is quickly knocked off and not happy about it.
So what can you do if you find yourself in the submissive role for too long and wish to step out of it…?
- Recognize the role you were in, and acknowledge the beauty of it. Think of all the good being the powerful submissive brought to the leadership team. Embrace the inner strength you have and the ability to share it – submission is a beautiful gift.
- Begin to find your voice. Remember you gave the organization your strength, now discover what you wish to take back and tactfully find a way to do just that.
- Create a plan of action, begin to take charge of your ideas and share them with others, remember to empower those around you to help bring your ideas and dreams to fruition.
- Go slow; as a 180 degree change overnight is not only abrasive to the organization, it is shocking to your core as well.
- If you are struggling, reach out and find a thinking partner!
Are you a SBW who wants to take back some of your strength…Can you share a time when you were in this role and took back what you gave… Let me know your stories.