On one hand, alpha women are all we see in the media world today. Alpha women are presumably in control, career driven and are not as lovable as beta women. They are either difficult, evil or unhappy.
On the other hand, beta women are supposedly not career-driven. They would use their job to fill a void until a man comes along to improve their lives.
In reality, beta women are not necessarily timid or introverted. They just don’t push their own agenda, intend to fit in at work and bypass their own ego. They also tend to reserve their opinion for themselves, give constructive criticism, and take time to make decisions. In addition, they are emotionally intelligent, flexible, pragmatic and are able to work with different personality types.
Most of the time, if the male counterparts watch these movies or conform to popular beliefs and if women don’t exhibit leadership traits as seen on TV, then they don’t believe that women possess any leadership traits.
Furthermore, according to recent studies, alpha women who participate in meetings are seen as dominating when being dominating is a key component in alpha men leadership style. Beta men who are relaxed leaders are seen positively whereas beta women who exhibit the same trait are not even seen as leaders.
To overcome these biases, popular culture needs to be updated.
2. Success for women in the workplace
As hard as it is to quantify success, both women and men generally get confused about what success really looks like.
Often, a job and the level of success are directly related to a personality even though the personality doesn’t do the job.
Women generally set the bar too high for themselves and are unable to emulate the standard of perfection. For instance, successful women are expected to be in charge of the room, of the conversation and meetings.
Moreover, the only two women in the workplace are usually pitted against each other because men decided that there can only be one successful woman in the room.
Understand what success actually looks like and take steps towards success.
Watch their presentation, protect their identity and don’t let their workplace define them.
Check the standards set by employers, themselves and others.
Beat to the sound of their own drum.
Stay authentic. Authenticity allows you to retain a sense of self. Authenticity has allowed many people to achieve success and connect with others.
Take time to do nothing and don’t spread themselves thin.
Quiet Girls Can Run the World : Owning Your Power When You’re Not the “Alpha” in the Room by Rebecca Holman is exploring the various ways that women can deal with different types of environments without compromising their sense of self.
The roles of women in the workplace lack so much nuance. Rebecca Holman is attempting to figure out if beta women can be as successful as alpha women in the workplace by comparing the traits of alpha and beta women without placing one above the other.
Quiet Girls Can Run the World : Owning Your Power When You’re Not the “Alpha” in the Room is also a hilarious guide on how to embrace who you are, how to find out what works for you without faking it, how to navigate office politics, various bosses without suppressing your identity, ambitions, needs and wants.
Being an alpha or beta leaders does not matter. What really matters is that you get to know yourself and what works for you.
Let me know below what you think about this book!
Success at work only looks one way. And a successful woman? She’s shouting louder than everyone else in the room. She’s stubborn and argumentative because these are signs that she’s passionate about the project at hand and cares about its success above all else. Ergo, she’s good at her job.
“the media is selling the idea that girls’ and women’s value lies in their youth, beauty, and sexuality and not in their capacity as leaders. Boys learn that their success is tied to dominance, power, and aggression. We must value people as whole human beings, not gendered stereotypes.”
It matters because women’s voices simply aren’t being heard on their own terms. Numerous studies have shown that women are interrupted far more often in meetings than men, as well as in the classroom—as a 2004 study from Harvard Law School demonstrated. And, according to a study by Princeton and Brigham Young University, if women talk 25–50 percent of the time in a professional meeting, they are seen as “dominating the conversation.
Similarly, studies show that while men in leadership positions are seen in a positive light when they demonstrate traditionally Alpha leadership traits (such as being decisive, dominating the conversation, being dogged and dogmatic in the pursuit of goals), women who demonstrate traditional Alpha leadership traits are viewed negatively by both men and women. And while men who have a more relaxed or Beta style of management are still seen in a positive light, female Beta managers aren’t considered at all—because Beta women can’t be managers. But why are we so unwilling to compare the relative merits of different personality types in female managers?
[…] our view of what a good leader looks like is limited, which can leave women feeling boxed in.
“Because, actually, if you’re looking at this volatile, complex, ambiguous world, where everything is so unpredictable, the only thing you can do is work on yourself and your own resilience to be able to cope and keep up and roll with the punches.”
How do you show the world how Alpha you are? You talk a lot and criticize everyone else. It’s a ruse as old as time (probably) and, often, it works. Most people are busy dealing with their own stuff, so they tend to assume that if people are busy dealing with their own stuff, so they tend to assume that if someone is vocal, self-assured, and sounds knowledgeable (read: has a loud voice), they must know what they’re talking about.
It’s hard to realize when you’re in an office environment that has a steep, sometimes toxic hierarchy how much time people spend trying to shore up their own positions, rather than focusing on the task at hand. When you grasp that the vast majority of office interactions are nothing to do with you, it can feel incredibly freeing.
And always remember the golden rule of office politics, which will stand you in good stead through most work crises: it’s not you, it’s them.
You just know as a black girl that you’re not allowed to be outspoken, you just know. When I had my first job, I worked for a magazine and I learned very quickly that the girls that were my age who were white were allowed to speak out. But when I did the same, there would be a throwaway comment like, ‘You don’t need to have that attitude.’ That was when I was twenty-one and I just learned very quickly that I’m not allowed to have the same sort of opinion as my white female counterparts.”
Powerful leaders remain in communication with their authentic self, are honest with themselves, reveal their true abilities and have developed their personal power.
They are confident enough to have achieved success on their own terms.
Wondering which strategies are mostly used by powerful leaders to achieve success?
Strategy 1: Powerful leaders set intentions
Powerful leaders decide what they want even if they don’t know how to get it.
Then, they do whatever it takes to get it.
Basically, they declare their intentions and commit to them.
To set the best intentions possible, they get to know themselves and learn to deal with their strengths and weaknesses.
Strategy 2: Powerful leaders take risks
To achieve success, powerful leaders tend to let go of what is safe and familiar.
They learn that they have to give up the good for the great and chose what is right for them along the way.
Strategy 3: Powerful leaders focus on winning
At some point, powerful leaders take risks, play the game and play to win.
They focus on winning no matter what.
Strategy 4: Powerful leaders speak up
Powerful leaders speak up for themselves when something goes wrong or something is bothering them.
Speaking allows them not to play victim.
Unfortunately, in modern society, women who speak up still hold a negative connotation. Most of the time, outspoken women are seen as bitchy and are punished for speaking up. Whereas outspoken men are seen as assertive, direct and forceful.
Strategy 5: Powerful leaders stretch their abilities
Powerful leaders don’t stop at what is doable or at what they think they are capable of.
In addition, they take risks, stretch themselves, feel the fear but go after their goals anyway.
Consequently, they often bite off more than they can chew but still manage to succeed.
Strategy 6: Powerful leaders seek support
Powerful leaders surround themselves with people who can individually and collectively believe in their abilities, who can guide them, and who can show them how to succeed.
Last Words Of Advice!
Powerful leaders don’t wait for opportunities to come their way, they create them. Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!
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Even if this job requires a sense of humility, some leaders can get ahead of themselves, let their ego run their world, crave and abuse their power.
Unfortunately, without even knowing it, the best leaders can also get consumed by ego and power.
Wondering if you are ego-tripping or if you are a power-hungry leader?
We have all worked in environments where leaders have completely lost their minds, letting their ego drive their decisions, searching for power or being completely drunk on power.
These leaders are said to be ego-tripping, power-tripping or power-hungry.
Below are the 11 signs revealing whether or not you are power-hungry or ego-tripping.
1. Power-hungry leaders are bullies
They bully their team members to ensure dominance and to kill any potential that would threaten their sense of power.
They overtly criticize others, take cheap shots and undermine the success of the entire team by creating chaos.
They are known to sabotage their team members because they think that they will move forward without them.
2. Power-hungry leaders are empty individuals
They are not whole individuals.
Truth is, they have a heightened sense of self, very low self-esteem and need to constantly feed their ego.
Furthermore, they are not self-aware, mindful of their actions, have low self-esteem and an unhealthy work-life balance.
3. Power-hungry leaders hide deep insecurities
Ego tripping and power-hungry individuals are weak-minded and will give anything to fill that inner void. For most, ego-tripping and power-hungry people are people who have felt powerless while growing up.
Deep inside, they are weak, are cowards, fear their own shadow, don’t have real power and they know it. They are unstable and easy to break.
To the world, they act tough and search for the weaknesses of everyone.
4. Power-hungry leaders jealousy has no bound
They get jealous when other people do better than they do or hold the position they want. They want to be the only one to shine and won’t hesitate to dim the light of others.
5. Power-hungry leaders think rank is enough
They think that their rank and role in the organization is enough to command respect.
Indeed, they pull rank whenever they feel threatened. Unfortunately, they tend to lose all the respect that they so crave.
6. Power-hungry leaders shut down dissenting voices
When you are a leader, you go head first into battle, experience joy, success, hurt, failure and disappointment.
Contrary to popular belief, being prone to forgiveness does not make you a weak leader or doesn’t mean that you have forgotten.
Forgiving someone who has harmed you is some way is difficult because you might think that you are giving them a pass, that you are being weak, you are giving in too easily, giving them your power, you don’t love or respect yourself.
Actually, by not forgiving they are holding power over you because nursing negative emotions is only harming you.
Wondering how important is forgiveness in leadership and how to forgive?
The benefits of forgiveness
Forgiveness is a powerful and efficient tool.
Forgiveness is an often overlooked, undervalued gift but it requires strength, character, emotional intelligence and self awareness. Forgiveness is an active process.
It allows you to reach a state of inner calm to put negative memories at rest and get rid of negative emotions. Indeed, after forgiving, you feel re-energized, empowered, free and present.
In addition, forgiveness helps to resolve conflicts, move forward, promote creativity, build trust and relationships.
Lack of forgiveness in the workplace can heavily affect employee morale, retention, productivity, satisfaction, innovation and cohesion. It can create a toxic workplace.
How to forgive?
People have different values and motives in life. They would not hesitate to hurt you to get what they want, to shift blame and judge. To forgive:
Avoid shifting blame. Take accountability for your actions and take back control of your emotions. When you forgive, you are no longer a victim nor do you become a persecutor.
Acknowledge what has happened, be compassionate with yourself and give yourself time to recover.
Own and learn from your mistakes before you make them again.
Remember that you cannot control the behavior of others and you can only control yours.
In the words of Don Miguel Ruiz in The Four Agreements, don’t take it personally. It is hard to cope when someone’s anger is directed at you. However, their bad behavior has nothing to do with you but everything to do with their insecurities or they are doing the best with the tools that they have.
See an opportunity to grow and see this as a challenge.
Understand that all situations can be resolved. Do what you can, if you can, to repair the situation. If you need to talk it through, have an honest conversation.
Envision what will happen to your emotions, mind, self esteem if you don’t forgive.
As a leader, encourage forgiveness in the workplace and be a model for forgiveness.
Don’t let this negative event or negative emotion define you.
Focus on the positive. When we are pushed in a negative situation we can only see the person in a negative light.
Create new positive memories. Leave the past in the past.
Personal power is essential, removes fear, quiets inhibitions, protects you against your negative emotions, allows you to forgive easier and fluctuates in time.
In addition, your personal power makes you fearless, gives your more freedom, and makes you less susceptible to external pressures.
However, it can be acquired using different tactics. For example, you can use breathing techniques and power poses to trigger personal power.
When we have personal power, we tend to remain calm, to have more control and to expand ourselves in order to take place.
Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges by Amy Cuddy revolves mainly about managing your nonverbal cues to induce Presence, identifying your best authentic self, nurturing your boldest self, and creating personal power.
In Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges, Amy Cuddy:
Aims to help people with imposter syndrome, who are in difficult challenges, who feel powerless and distracted.
Gives advice on how to handle conflict, how to stay optimistic, to act confident, even when you don’t feel confident, until you become confident.
Wants people to gain more control over their lives.
Uses stories from people around the world who have seen her TED Talk to inspire and convey her message.
I have to say, I enjoyed the topic of personal power the most. Often, we see leaders who are afraid of going against the grain, try to fit in and to please their team, only to find out that it’s an impossible task.
Some lead using their social power, leveraging salary for work but lack influence and personal power.
Needless to say, their success will depend highly on how they carry themselves, on their verbal and non verbal cues.
Let me know below what you think about this book!
Presence stems from believing in and trusting yourself—your real, honest feelings, values, and abilities.
Presence, as I mean it throughout these pages, is the state of being attuned to and able to comfortably express our true thoughts, feelings, values, and potential.
A truly confident person does not require arrogance, which is nothing more than a smoke screen for insecurity. A confident person—knowing and believing in her identity—carries tools, not weapons. A confident person does not need to one-up anyone else. A confident person can be present to others, hear their perspectives, and integrate those views in ways that create value for everyone.
Power makes us approach. Powerlessness makes us avoid.
The feeling that arises from personal power is not the desire to have control; it’s the effortless feeling of being in control—lucid, calm, and not dependent on the behavior of others.
Today, millennials expect validation, recognition, rewards, a more deconstructed workplace that is fun, relaxed, motivational yet productive and structured.
They want to understand their role, the impact of their contributions at work, to be involved in the decision-making process, to learn continually and to own their work.
#9. New leaders don’t cater to their past and present relationships
Some leaders stop valuing people, start ignoring their teams and their past relationships. Instead, they tend to:
Disconnect from their teams. For instance, they don’t listen to their team and don’t measure their words.
Avoid conversations, small talk and nurturing new relationships.
Avoid collaboration and do everything themselves.
Focus on the results.
Leaders who don’t focus on people are seen to be snobs, insensitive, inattentive.
Dismissing relationships can easily create misunderstandings and conflicts because people have no barometer to measure your intentions, speech or behavior.
#10. New leaders run away from conflicts
New leaders aim to please at first. They sugarcoat, don’t address awkward dynamics, avoid conflicts, run away from difficult conversations, want to be liked and not respected.
They don’t speak up when they have to. For example, they don’t communicate expectations don’t correct employee mistakes when they have to, are no longer transparent because they are afraid of judgement and of losing their position.
In addition, they comply too often because they are not confident about their abilities.
Even if it is sometimes wise to avoid conflict, this strategy is not sustainable.
#11. New leaders shut down dissenting voices
New leaders must get comfortable with people who cause dissent even though the latter are natural catalysts, and easily take risks.
Dissenting voices within the organization usually have a bad reputation.
They are not welcomed in groups, go against the grain, are seen as not playing by the rules, are stifled, are the ones that end up being fired.
#12. New leaders don’t delegate
At entry level, we want to control people, do everything ourselves, be on top of everything all at once and find it hard to delegate.
Some leaders don’t know how to delegate, don’t want to delegate or just find it plain hard to do so. Indeed, it is a hard task because it requires that they:
Give instructions to their employees.
Have faith in the workers, be comfortable depending on others and believe that the work will be up to standards.
Have confidence in their personal abilities and do not be afraid of being upstaged.
Do not feel guilty that they are giving too much work to their employees because they were once in their place.
#13. New Leaders fail to navigate office politics
They don’t fully understand the politics at work and don’t take time to grasp it.
Stay aware of the new power struggles. Indeed, they will be compared to previous leaders and compare themselves to previous leaders, have to deal with jealousy and insubordination at first, have to face judgement and backlash from their coworkers.
Avoid talking negatively about the previous leader, gossiping about their coworkers with the coworkers.
Do not try to belong to a group in particular or try to be friends with their former colleagues.
#14. New leaders don’t take accountability for their actions
They don’t take accountability for their own actions.
Instead, they tend to shift blame, find a scapegoat, are afraid of the words “I don’t know”.
Furthermore, they take credit and don’t shine light on their high performing employees.
Last Words Of Advice!
Mistakes are inevitable, are a factor for change and for: