Description Of Coaching The Alpha Male
Coaching the Alpha Male, Harvard Business Review Online. Highly intelligent, confident, and successful, alpha males represent about 70% of all senior executives. As the label implies, they’re the people who aren’t happy unless they’re the top dogs-the ones calling the shots. Although there are plenty of successful female leaders with equally strong personalities, we’ve found top women rarely if ever match the complete alpha profile. (See the sidebar “What About Alpha Females?”)
Alphas reach the top ranks in large organizations because they are natural leaders -comfortable with responsibility in a way nonalphas can never be. Most people feel stress when they have to make important decisions alphas get stressed when tough decisions don’t rest in their capable hands. For them, being in charge delivers such a thrill, they willingly take on levels of responsibility most rational people would find overwhelming. In fact, it’s hard to imagine the modern corporation without alpha leaders.
But alphas require a certain kind of coaching. The executive coach best suited to alphas has lots of experience handling superstars and standing up to bullies. The coach doesn’t have to be an alpha, but it helps to share characteristics such as an analytic orientation and a direct style of communication. When executive coaches fail to help alphas and their organizations, it’s often because they fall into one of three traps-each of which can stop the process cold. – Kate Luderman
About Kate Ludeman
Kate Ludeman is the founder and CEO of Worth Ethic in Carpinteria, California. Eddie Erlandson is a senior vice president at Worth Ethic, and the former chief of staff at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Together they have coached more than 1,000 senior executives. They are the authors of Radical Change, Radical Results (Dearborn Trade Publishing, 2003).
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