Thursday, 20 May 2010

Have you got what it takes to be an alpha male or alpha female?

Research seems to indicate that around 75% of the world's high-flying, testosterone fuelled, high achieving executives are "alpha males".

They take charge, dominate, conquer and generally make things happen. Although they are generally clever and effective they can also cause serious damage to themselves and those around them, as their persistence can become stubbornness.

So their strengths and weaknesses are simply opposite sides of the same coin.

Surprise, surprise, there are fewer alpha women, and their powers of usually empathy lead to them doing less damage than their male counterparts. They are also (allegedly!) less angry and impatient.

Let's see where the readers of HR Case Studies fit in on the alpha scale.

Score each of these items from "strongly disagree" (zero) to "strongly agree" (10)
  • No matter what, I don't give up until I reach my goal.
  • When I play a game, I like to keep score.
  • I sometimes rant and rave when I don't get my way.
  • My opinions and ideas are usually the best ones.
  • When others don't agree, I lose my temper.
  • I am accustomed to being the centre of attention.
  • People have described me as a natural born leader.
  • I believe the end usually justifies the means.
  • I only collaborate with peers when I have to.
  • There are a lot of people who are just plain stupid.
0-25:     Total and utter wimp; buy shares in Kleenex
26-50:    Bit of a pushover
51-75:    Ambitious, but not really prepared to stab others in the back
76-100:  You've got what it takes to be an Alpha. You haven't really got time to be reading this blog, have you?

(Adapted from the rather excellent new edition of Organisational Behaviour by Buchanan and Huczynski)

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