By Chris Flett
I have to admit something to you. I've been a big fan of this show since it first came on
By Chris Flett
because it talked to the entrepreneur like nothing else on television. I've seen guests that I loved, guests that I hated, but every time I watch the show I learn something new. I'm looking for that nugget to take into our coaching practice (the Ghost CEO) and I'm never disappointed. The show today may have looked like a him vs her type of scenario, but look beyond that at what was really going on. In my book there are suggestions for women to consider when dealing with an Alpha Male. I'm going to layout the highlights of the book here and you can decide if the ladies on the panel supported the stereotypes or broke them. This in itself is going to be debatable.
#1. Taking things personally
#2. Wearing masks
#3. Ideas in the form of questions
#4. Making Excuses
#5. Declaring open war
#6. Not keeping secrets
#7. Professional issues to work
#8. Seeking external affirmation
#9. Expecting fairness
#10. Accepting poor treatment
#11. Trying to be liked and selfless
#12. Asking for what you want
#13. Having a Plan B
#14. Understanding business endorsement
When you look at the panelists, did you notice anyone doing any of the above and giving up their power? Some of the women on the panel didn't want to be referred to as "Alpha" even though that was exactly what they were. Donny suggested, and I agree, that maybe it is a vocabulary thing. Some of the women outlined how powerful they were only to give up their power in this situation through personal attacks and taking things personally. This isn't directed towards me, rather to the topic. My question is, why get so fired up if you don't buy into it? What is it we aren't talking about that is striking a nerve for them?
In, "What Men Don't Tell Women About Business", there are things said that that women have never been privy to because this information in this language hasn't been shared previously by men. When a woman says, "It's us against them, I don't need to know what men think", you know that at some point in her past, she has been excluded from the conversation and is not happy about it. One guest said that she couldn't "get into the board room so she left to form her own company". Having knowledge like we talked about today IS only available in the board room, but some are so furious about past experiences that they disregard it and refuse to even listen to what is being offered.
When a secret is laid out into the light for everyone to see, it loses its power. The power of the "Old Guard" is that they do business in a different way than others do and they keep that process private so as to empower it. By turning on the lights to that process, it stimulates great debate like we had today (without taking it personally), and we all benefit from the information. It isn't easy to swallow, but neither is having half the story.
You are in control over the outcome. You have two options:
Option #1 Look for any information that is relevant to you and take the parts that support you.
Option #2 is to pretend that things are going to change on their own and avoid any information that might be uncomfortable to you.
In my world, it is better to know what is happening then to be in the dark and hope for the best. I believe you share this mindset with me. There are hundreds of books written by women for women on how to succeed in business. These are great but they miss one major piece, they don't honestly share how to deal with Alpha males in business. Women have written books for women; men for men. This book shares the Alpha Male mindset, in authentic language, with a female audience.
Why are some women empowered by the message and others feel like it is an attack? The information is the same (words and sentences) to everyone, but the reader brings their own unique experiences to the pages as they read it. Maybe I'm wrong in your mind on some things. Make the decision for yourself and approach every author, speaker, guest, with the same focus, what's in it for you and what can you take from it to enrich your business life. Become selfishly selfless and you can give freely of yourself without resentment. If you don't buy into my whole approach, I would ask you to just be aware of the 12 things I've listed. Look at them in others and then look at how others react when one or more of those things is done at work.
- Are coworkers respected who cry at work?
- Is not having childcare a reasonable excuse for missing a presentation?
- Is it okay to be walked over by male colleagues and not stand up for yourself?
- Do female colleagues ask for what they want? Do they know what they want? Or are they hoping that the one deciding 'who gets what' will be fair?
- Do women you work with make statements, or put their ideas forth in the form of a question?
- Do you see anyone wearing masks at work?
For the rest of this week, be 'aware' of your colleagues and look at their actions. My coach once told me, "Once you know, you can't un-know. That is the gift and the snare to being a professional."
As a big proponent of 'walking the walk", my direct email is: firstname.lastname@example.org This goes directly to me, not through some service, administrator, or anyone else. If you have a question we didn't cover or want to clarify any topic email me. I will do my very best to answer your question/concern/comment as quickly as possible. With knowledge is power. Make your own decisions and do what is right for you and your business or career.
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