Sunday, June 27, 2010

Alpha Male Syndrome Syndrome

This is what happens when you go to the library thinking you have three hours until closing time, it turns out you only have ten minutes, and you grab and check out the first book that you see.

Alpha Male SyndromeAlpha Male Syndrome is a book about dealing with alpha males in the workplace, written by self-described alpha couple Kate Ludeman and Eddie Erlandson. Which I thought was one of those things, like being cool, where if you're saying it about yourself, it doesn't count. But these two bring a lot of evidence to the table to prove that they both are, in face, seriously alpha, and have been since as far back as the first grade. Seriously, these two are alpha as fuck:


Even as a child, Kate exhibited the ambition and drive of an alpha female. She was also fascinated by the alpha males she encountered growing up in South Texas.
I like to imagine that she was already using that jargon while growing up, too.
In the first grade, she figured out how to beat the strongest boys at the game of red rover, using direct eye contact and a smile to break through their supercharged strength as approached the line.
That is solid alpha material.
Later, she found a way to entice alpha boys to attend a summer school she organized in her small town,
and in the fourth grade she bit the wrist of a bully to get him to quit bothering her friends.
Kate's husband, Eddie, is also very alpha, even though there is no evidence in the following biography that he ever bit anyone.
At age 29, Eddie was a surgical resident at the University of Michigan, holding down two outside jobs and trying to live a normal family life with his two young children. But that wasn't enough for an achievement-obsessed alpha.
Which he was.
He decided to become a marathon runner. After 50 marathons, the 26-mile run wasn't enough of a challenge, so he took on ultra marathons, becoming so obsessed with each 100-mile race that he ignored medical advice and ended up with stress fractures and a broken leg.
So alpha it hurts.
When he became chief of staff, he learned how to use his own alpha strengths to corral the energy and egos of other alphas,
I hear that corralling alphas is like herding cats, so that's pretty impressive, as well as pretty alpha.
who were waging turf wars at the hospital.
Not LITERALLY, of course.
He also learned valuable lessons from his patients: of the approximately 10,000 surgeries he performed, about 75 percent were on alpha males.
That statistic is from page 6, just five pages after Kate and Eddie admitted to not knowing a damn thing about statistics:
Although there are no hard numbers to support this approximation, we estimate that alphas comprise about 75 percent of top executives.

To paraphrase a friend of mine, I am somewhere between 14 percent and 97 percent sure that I will finish this book.

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