A few weeks ago I read several books by women who have developed techniques to effectively work with dominant men.
When I got those books, Amazon recommended that I also consider getting What Men Don’t Tell Women About Business: Opening up the Heavily Guarded Alpha Male Playbook by Christopher Flett. I finally read it this evening.
Have any men read this? Is it accurate? Do you really feel this way? Oh wait, I’ve just lost all of my credibility by asking. Darn.
I found this book to be simultaneously both incredibly illuminating and highly disturbing. On the one hand, the author states multiple times that (alpha) women are the perfect people to become the leaders of today’s companies. And yet, within his framework, these same women will always be subordinate to not only the alpha males but also the beta males in the group.
In spite of my discomfort with some of the theories and recommendations put forth in this book, it is written in such a way as to be actionable. Further, it gives very specific examples of behaviors that undermine one’s power or will cause one to be “deep sixed.” What does it mean to Deep Six someone? “This is the process we use to sabotage your credibility and your career. It comes from underwater (you rarely see it coming), and it has a devastating effect on your position in business.”
I need to reread this book, and take notes, as there seem to be two major themes. The easy to swallow theme deals with productivity, professionalism and providing superior value – core ideas in any business book. The other theme seems largely built around loyalty, trust, keeping secrets, and not damaging the surprisingly fragile egos of the alpha males. It seems like the primary cause of getting yourself deep sixed is apparently a careless word that cracks the foundation of the fragile male ego. And woe to the woman who inadvertently provokes the wimpy beta male. Let the games begin, only the woman must wage her war ever so cleverly. Actually perhaps she should just start looking for a job out of state. It seems men can dish out and take criticism from each other, but a women who offers up constructive feedback to a man even when asked, even to a subordinate, risks provoking war and paying the price for damaging the male ego.
Fascinating. I always thought alpha men were hardier creatures than this.