Alpha Male Syndrome

( 2 )

Overview

The business world swarms with alpha male powerhouses who take charge, produce astonishing results, and bring enormous value to their organizations. But many alphas also leave a path of destruction in their wake. Competitive, belligerent, and impatient, these hard-charging leaders can run roughshod over colleagues and employees, to the detriment of their careers and the bottom line.

In Alpha Male Syndrome, Kate Ludeman and Eddie Erlandson build on their Harvard Business Review ...

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Alpha Male Syndrome

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Overview

The business world swarms with alpha male powerhouses who take charge, produce astonishing results, and bring enormous value to their organizations. But many alphas also leave a path of destruction in their wake. Competitive, belligerent, and impatient, these hard-charging leaders can run roughshod over colleagues and employees, to the detriment of their careers and the bottom line.

In Alpha Male Syndrome, Kate Ludeman and Eddie Erlandson build on their Harvard Business Review article "Coaching the Alpha Male" to sound a wake-up call to all alphas and the companies they work for. The authors show alphas how to leverage their unique strengths while confronting their destructive flip side risks. They describe the distinguishing dynamics of the alpha male syndrome and identify four breeds: commanders, executors, strategists, and visionaries. By understanding each type’s nuances, alphas can transform themselves into more effective leaders. And those who work with alphas can transform nightmare work groups into collaborative dream teams. Exercises, checklists, and tips enable readers to harness the enormous power of the alpha personality while minimizing the downside of alpha behavior.

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Editorial Reviews

Globe and Mail
It's a practical book on an important workplace issue, with a solid research foundation and many illuminating examples from the authors' consulting work.
Washington Post
...an intriguing book packed with serious research, quick quizzes to determine your alpha quotient and hints for moving from negative alpha to positive.
Australian Financial Review
...takes a stab at persuading alphas they need to temper their behavior, and offers advice on how to seek help.
Diane Brady
Emphasizes the importance of coaching, particularly so-called 360-degree assessments, where executives get feedback from peers and underlings on the impact of their behavior....targeted at both alphas and their sometimes apprehensive co-workers, [it] offers some useful if commonsensical tips.
BusinessWeek
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591399131
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
  • Publication date: 10/10/2006
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 276
  • Sales rank: 820,543
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Alpha male syndrome 1
Ch. 2 The variety of alpha males 37
Ch. 3 The alpha commander 65
Ch. 4 The alpha visionary 65
Ch. 5 The alpha strategist 119
Ch. 6 The alpha executor 149
Ch. 7 The alpha male team 173
Ch. 8 The care and feeding of the alpha male 199
Ch. 9 Coaching alphas 225
App. A Sample alpha assessment report 235
App. B The alpha scale 247
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2006

    Handy pop-psychology guide to coping with alpha males.

    Executive coaches Kate Ludeman and Eddie Erlandson do a lively job of presenting the pitfalls of the brilliant but overbearing boss who manifests the 'alpha male syndrome.' However, sometimes they wield a pretty broad brush. Take the statement, 'We¿ve observed that many leaders who fit the dysfunctional alpha male typology fall prey to sexual predation, becoming womanizers who use conquest and control to assert their dominance.' This kind of wrap-up could leave you wondering who is the predator and who is the prey. Rounding out such proclamations is tricky, since the alpha male syndrome is not a standard psychological diagnosis, but the authors¿ discovery and coinage. With those caveats, this sobriquet might help managers who need to understand why they abuse the people around them - and how to stop. Perhaps it is better for the alpha to see himself not as a vicious bully, but as a man burdened and blessed with a syndrome that has some positive features. Abused employees also may find some helpful coping mechanisms in this popular-style psychological analysis of their overbearing bosses. The book¿s best advice is that alphas should manage stress with exercise and deep breathing - good counsel for anyone. Another good piece of advice is that alphas need, at least, executive coaching. We say they can start here.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2007

    Healthy Alpha Key to Success in Life

    Kate Ludeman and Eddie Erlandson have made an important contribution to the field of human resources management with their examination of the Alpha Male Syndrome. (Business) history is made by alphas, most of them being male. Ludeman and Erlandson sub-divide the alphas in four categories that are not mutually exclusive: Commander, visionary, strategist, and executor. The Alpha Male Syndrome represents a mix of positive and not-so-positive behavioral patterns. Ludeman and Erlandson point out that the talent, drive, and energy that make alphas so effective become their downfall when they are overused, excessive, or misplaced. Ludeman and Erlandson conclude from their research that hard-driving competitiveness, interpersonal impatience, and difficulty controlling anger are the three major risks against which alphas have to be guarded. Ludeman and Erlandson also discover in their study that the difference between alphas who progress and alphas who regress is most pronounced in the area of interpersonal relations. Family, colleagues, and companies can pay a heavy price for the dysfunctional behavior of alphas. More conscious of the emotional climate, female alphas are more likely than their male alter egos to search for consensus and buy-in rather than impose their will. This finding is not so surprising when one knows that on average, women are better at empathy and men are better at systemizing. To their credit, Ludeman and Erlandson give alphas and those who work for alphas tools to polish the sharp edges existing in their relationships. Finally, Ludeman and Erlandson make recommendations about the well-being of alphas. Alphas can be their own worst enemies if they do not know how to properly channel their talent, drive, and energy. Qualified coaching can help alphas make the necessary changes to their benefit and for the well-being of the people around them.

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