WORKPLACE / MAR. 07, 2016
version 5, draft 5

How To Effectively Work For An Alpha Boss

don draper mad man
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You’d think humans would have long left behind their pack animal ways for a more elevated equalitarian societal structure, but I hate to break to you dearie, we still clique up, still remit people we don’t like and enjoy sniffing each other’s butts…ok, so luckily we dropped one ancestral habit. Oh, and about our topic we also still have Alphas: as in dominant individuals that are impromptu leaders voted not by their merits but by the gnashing of their teeth and beating of their chest. So how do you effectively work for an Alpha boss? Let’s take a look, feel free to howl whenever appropriate during the article.

See Also: Insane Career Paths: Working for the Mob

The Pack

 

So if you have ever seen a National Geographic documentary or a hilarious mockumentary, then you know that establishing dominance in the animal world is a vicious, fur flying affair and this hold true in the human world too. Expect an alpha to spit, cuss, scratch and bite if you try to assert your dominance in the workplace. To avoid such a confrontation (and the need for tetanus and rabies shots) you should take a page from canine world. When a less dominant individual of the pack wants to show subservience it lays on its back and exposes its most vulnerable part, its undercarriage thus avoiding conflict and injury. At best it will confuse your boss enough to leave you alone.

Shoot For Beta

OK, on a more serious note, much like the animal world the workplace has a certain hierarchy, and although you can’t be a chest-beating Alpha maybe you can aspire to be the next best thing…no literally the next best thing, become your Alpha boss’s Beta. If you don’t know the Greek alphabet or aren’t intellectually nimble enough to extrapolate what Alpha and Beta might mean, let me elaborate.

An Alpha is the dominant individual, and the Beta is the lieutenant, the second-in-command, the right-hand man or woman. Although you will never be the top honcho (unless your office Alpha is engaged in a freak accident…or at least what seems like a freak accident…just saying) at least you’ll have a solid spot to the right (or left) of the office King or Queen, making your life infinitely easier and that of your coworkers miserable, because as we all know you have a bit of an authority complex.

Taking It Personally

OK, so you struck out trying to be a beta how can you deal with your alpha boss now? First try to manage your emotions, alphas tend to be course, crude and sometimes offensive. Don’t take it personally they are like that with everyone and the reason your alpha boss is divorced and his/her kids want nothing to do with them. Although there is nothing like bitter, harsh criticism to help you evolve and develop…or make you a sobbing inconsolable mess. The distinction is yours to choose.

Standing Up

So, I wouldn’t recommend this if you would like to be left alone, but if you don’t make it a habit you can actually stand up to an alpha. There are a few thing you need to consider, though: first if you are going stick by an idea it better be good, alphas are results-obsessed, so if you have a good idea, and it delivers, this will give you more ground to stand on when you stand up for yourself again.

See Also: What It Would Be Like Working for a Disney Character

Do you have any other recommendations for those of us that work for alphas? Let us know your tips in the comment section below.

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