Beyoncé Said It Best, Women Need to Get in Formation! Harnessing the Power of Women in Leadership

"Okay ladies now let's get in formation (cause I slay)
Okay ladies now let's get in formation (cause I slay)
Prove to me you got some coordination
slay trick or you get eliminated"
-Beyoncé, Formation

Queen Bey's epic video, Formation, unapologetically reminds haters why she is the Queen. In under 5 minutes, she addressed a host of criticisms and political injustice, and rumors while looking fabulous! Queen Bey also spoke out against Queen Bees--the women who put other women down rather than supporting them--and urged women to harness the power of solidarity and coordination. Beyonce's deliberative oratory accompanied by a dope beat and mesmerizing choreography dropped three precious jewels:

1. Be true to who you are.
2. Freely give people the middle finger.
3. Women need to work together to go forward together.

Women can be each other's harshest critics. Whether we admit it or not, we compare ourselves to other women. Much of our self-esteem comes from our relative thinness or fabulousness or jewelry or clothes or hair or whatever. Whether we fail or succeed as leaders, wives, mothers, or friends sadly depends on the relative success or failure of some other woman. We all have a queen and handmaid in our lives. The queen is the woman who excels. She has what we want. She has achieved what we desire. Deep down inside, we feel inferior to her. We follow her lead. The handmaid is the woman who makes us feel better about ourselves. She is less than or lacking. She is the level to which we do not want to descend, yet we love her because she makes us look better. But you are who you are. Your best is not relative to another woman's worst.

Your best is your best. Period.

Whether you love Beyonce or not, she does not care. She is going to slay regardless of your approval and gave you the middle finger to emphasize that point. While not every woman has the platform to freely give the middle finger, we all have the power to embody its powerful message! Bey said it best, "Always stay gracious best revenge is your paper." Be a walking, talking, slaying middle finger! To slay, by definition, is to succeed in something amazing. So do that! You are the most power middle finger ever!

The most potent message in Formation is the need for women to work together. Women are powerful individually, but we are invincible collectively. Not all queens aspire to be queen makers while some actively and deliberately work to destroy other women. This attitude is often exhibited by so-called, "Queen Bees"--successful women who have achieved their success by actively and deliberately disassociating themselves from other women. The Queen Bee syndrome occurs most often in environment where opportunities are limited and women have an underlying fear of competition. In social settings, the Queen Bee is usually the leader with the greatest insecurities that manipulates others to do her dirty work. Unfortunately, the Queen Bee has been glamorized and elevated to diva status in popular culture and the myth perpetuates reality.

Queen Bee behaviors often include social and relational aggression. Relational aggression includes gossiping, spreading rumors, social exclusion and manipulation of relationships. Very similarly, social aggression includes alienation, ostracism, or character defamation. Queen Bees rarely resort to physical aggression such as violent attacks and fighting, but they sometimes carry out physical acts that cause harm to the victim, directly or indirectly. The irony of the Queen Bee phenomenon is that its occurrence perpetuates gender discrimination against women, yet it is gender discrimination perpetuated by women. Queen Bee behaviors can create female rivalry that impedes women's career advancement and creates negative perceptions of women's abilities to lead. Queen Bees may even promote men ahead of women. This can be perceived as disloyalty to women and create a negative impression of working for female bosses and with other women. This is a case of when it is not good to be the Queen!

Rather than reverting to rivalry, derogation, and "hateration" that dissolves our collective ability to slay individually, we need to get in formation:

1. Be authentic. Be your best without regard to how good or bad others are. True self-assurance empowers you to know that what is for you is for you and for no one else. You don't need to slay others to slay!

2. Be the woman you want others to be. Be a great leader! Leadership at its heart is using influence to motivate others to action. Use your powers for good not evil. Be a model for healthy relationships with other women.

3. Be courageous enough to stop gossip and degradation in its tracks. If you hear gossip, don't repeat it. Be really courageous and affirmatively stop gossip by confronting those who perpetuate it. Like a virus, gossip needs an environment where it can thrive. Be the disinfectant that removes the nastiness that allows gossip to multiply.

4. Be an advocate for other women. If you hear another woman being talked about, find something positive to inject into the conversation. Even if there are genuine deficiencies that need to be addressed, redirect the conversation to be a constructive discussion of how the woman can add value. Be the voice of reason.

5. Be a catalyst for the promotion of women leaders! When you reach success, you inherit the honor of creating success for others. Period. Your success is a message to other women. Your power is multiplied when you actively use your success to bring others along with you. Don't be fooled by thinking that helping someone else decreases your power. You become more powerful when you create a critical mass of allies! Be the Queen Maker!

When one woman wins, all women win. When one woman is castigated for her leadership and success, all women are derogated and demoted. We don't have to like each other, but we should always respect each other. When a woman disrespects another woman, she disrespects herself. When one woman slays, she creates the possibility for us all to slay. Okay ladies now let's get in formation!

Stephanie Barnes Taylor is the CEO of The Fruition Group, LLC. A former corporate attorney and executive, Stephanie works with women to help them find their inner leader through her transformational coaching program, Fabulous University--where women learn to lead with brilliance! Stephanie helps women to have a fabulous career, business, and life! Being fabulous is to live and lead boldly, brilliantly, and vividly.

Stephanie Barnes Taylor can be reached at Stephanie@fabulousuniversity.me or call (855) 7-FABYOU. Visit www.fabulousuniversity.me for more information. Follow Stephanie on Twitter and Periscope @crownedatbirth or www.facebook.com/StephanieBarnesTaylorAuthor