If I were a different person and flexed my inner b*@#h would I be more successful than I am today? Many women who have climbed corporate ladders have had to fight the good fight to get where they are but have been deemed the b*@#h in the office because of their hardcore strategy. But when you start your own company and have to fight for recognition in your niche do you have to take on this label?
This question goes back to our definition of leadership and the different variables at play. First there is the woman who works for someone else and has to compete with others in the company to obtain a higher position. Second there is the woman who has started her own company and has to compete with other business owners. So either your at the top of the ladder or at the bottom of the ladder in the business world.
Leaders possess different qualities in different quantities that make them successful in different ways (what a tongue twister). As a woman living in a capitalist society driven by masculinity does being a b*@#h mean that you are a leader? My answer is NO. Women that assume this term are controlled in a corporate environment and if you feel you must be a b*@#h it means you cannot control your environment, you must assume a negative role. And as a sensei once told my son, "those who cannot control themselves are destined to be controlled by others."
Leadership is about being assertive and being able to communicate in a positive way that will encourage cooperation. If you own your own company you have no one else to answer to but yourself. You delegate tasks to your employees to make your company successful and have to be assertive and matter of fact to get the job done but there is no room for a b*@#h in leadership. Have a pleasant and open demeanor is important to your success. If you know how to communicate with others then others will want to work with you. You want your employees to work with you (although they are technically working for you) because their cooperation and happiness in their position is important to your success.
So I think being a b*@#h in business is a cop out. Don't allow society to control you. Make your own path and do it being the best leader you can be.