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The latest buzz about alpha males has spawned workshops and books geared toward both women and men who want to become more “alpha” in business. How can being more alpha help female entrepreneurs?
“Women need to stop waiting to be recognized and go after exactly what they want,” advises Christopher Flett, author of What Men Don’t Tell Women About Business: Opening Up the Heavily Guarded Alpha Male Playbook. “First, women need to stop competing to get on the ‘guys’ team. The only team in business now is profitability. Second, women need to stop attacking each other and speaking ill of others in the workplace. Finally, women need to stop inadvertently giving up their power to alpha male clients and colleagues.”
Alpha Males Call This Henning
Through his online program, Ghost-CEO, Flett offers guidance to women business owners, providing them with on-demand, downloadable coaching sessions. Women typically look to build consensus and make sure everyone’s included, he says. “Alpha males call this ‘henning.’ By having this focus, [women] make concessions intended to bring people together, but instead, they give up their power.”
“Women shouldn’t be victim to today’s business cultures,” says Maria Bailey, founder and CEO of BSM Media, a $2 million marketing and media company in Pompano Beach, Florida, that helps companies connect with and market to moms. “If you act [as if] there is inequality, then you get inequality.”
Bailey says two men can argue over business one moment, then be found on a golf course the next. “[But if] two women disagree, they both stew over it for weeks, taking it personally and getting emotional,” she says.
Bailey, 44, thinks women get too emotional about business in general. “We fall in love with our ideas and companies,” she says. “Look at how few women entrepreneurs have an exit strategy. So many women call their companies their babies. What woman would get rid of her baby?”
Nathan Kwast, managing member of BecomeAlpha, a global organization that “teaches the arts and sciences of social dominance,” believes that women don’t understand the “power of neutrality.” Says Kwast, “[Women] mistakenly believe that blind aggression and displays of dominance are necessary to attain power. They choose being perceived posi-tively over grabbing for power, when, in reality, they can have both.”
What can women entrepreneurs learn from alpha males? “Men are great at getting to the point and not internalizing issues,” says Bailey, who learned long ago never to cry at work. “[Crying is] a sign of weakness,” she explains. Instead, “When I feel upset about a professional issue, I always ask myself, ‘What would a man do?’ And then I ask myself if it’s me creating the situation or really a situation to worry about.”