I was at the movies to see the Green Lantern and it was so bad that I broke down and actually opened another door and walked into the Rachel McAdams fan club. I stopped in to see the new Woody Allen Movie, Midnight in Paris. What happened was that there were 3 guys at the movies, deep into a discussion about what it would take to date Rachel McAdams. Now considering that I wasn’t really interested in the movie I thought I would play along. Here is part of the conversation that I can recall
Matt…John ,Silent Bob…me
Matt: Shes Hot and Tiny
John: I do dat…crazy laughter
Me: DO DAT ???? What
John: I would tell her the truth
Matt: F…K that That’s Selfish
John: How is the truth selfish
Silent Bob: Because if you tell forearm Girl the truth You aint a man
John; Who the hell is forearm girl
Matt: The Mean Chick
John: Can we please call my next wife by her name
Silent Bob: never call them by their names…I told you it only humanizes them
Me: Did you guys take any Drugs this morning?
Matt: Can I watch the movie
John: So if I tell her I want her …its selfish?
Silent Bob: Yea man you are just dumping some Guilt on her…inflicting her with some pain
John: So if I want her, doesn’t she have the right to know the engine is hot and working fine
Matt; My engine works fine
John: Your ship had left the building along time ago…. Matt
me: How the hell does a ship leave a building ?????
Matt: This is wrong….if shes like this in real life ….
Silent Bob; Dude its a movie
Matt: The mistake has been made and your punishment is to live with this secret , bury it for the rest of your life.
Silent Bob: This is wrong ….I am looking at a picture of her on a subway sitting next to some homeless guy….well maybe shes buying him a sandwich
Matt: Your driving the bus to the wrong world .. Bobs right …you can’t say the The t-BOMB
Me: The T-Bomb
John; tHE TRUTH BOMB The t-bomb kills every…thing….you..her ..the relationship…its nuclear
Silent Bob: So she needs a radioactive suit
Me; I am lost
John: What do you think.
Me: I think you guys need a whole team of good doctors….plus I think you guys need to be a little more Alpha
John: I don’t know what that means but I think I will friend her on Facebook
So John Matt and Silent Bob… this is what I meant
No.10 You let her pay for dinner
An Alpha Male provides for his pack. If she tries to contribute to this, he calmly takes the check and says, “I’ll handle this.” End of discussion.
No.9 You never apologize, even when you’re wrong
An Alpha Male has no hang-ups. He simply says, “I was wrong. I apologize.” And he rectified the problem if possible.
No.8 You suck up to leaders and seek their approval
An Alpha Male doesn’t suck up to anyone. He is the leader.
No.7 You gossip
About your boss. About your buddies. About your girlfriend. You don’t mind pointing out other people’s failings and weaknesses and having a good laugh. An Alpha Male never betrays his pack. He doesn’t need to build himself up by tearing others down.
No.6 You panic in a crisis
An Alpha Male’s natural element is change. Rapid change is simply an interesting challenge to him. He goes into a special kind of ice-cold, almost detached state, quickly sums up the situation, does due diligence if time allows for it, and acts immediately and decisively based on prior experience if there is no time to spare.
No.5 You act before you think
An Alpha Male may act with lightning speed, but he always thinks before he acts. He never runs to the corner and goes off in all directions like a type-A guy does.
No.4 You blame others
An Alpha Male takes responsibility for his own actions.
No.3 You lie
To your boss. To your buddies. To your girlfriend. An Alpha Male isn’t a liar. He’s a stand-up guy; he shoots straight. He doesn’t have to slither out of a mess he got himself into. He does what’s right, and lets the chips fall where they may.
No.2 You betray others to get ahead
An Alpha Male never betrays a member of his pack.
No.1 You bully people
An Alpha Male takes on a real fight when it is necessary, and only if it is necessary (Alphas are not “scrappers”), but he won’t think twice taking on someone far bigger/stronger/better-situated than he is if the matter being decided is serious. And due to his fierce drive, chances are good he will win.
Standard psychological definitions fail to do justice to the alpha male. He dominates history; his brilliance and charisma lay the foundations for every city and every civilization. He is self-made, self-serving, self-glorifying, and — often — self-destructive. You’re either with him or against him, he doesn’t compromise on the issues at hand, and if you turn out to be on the opposing team, he will break you before even considering your surrender.
A short list of those traits associated with him make for a vicious, combustible brew: High intelligence, unwavering confidence, arrogance, amazing leadership capacities, a results-driven mindset, a instinct for self-promotion, extreme charisma, and above all, fearlessness in a fight. His odds, his opposition? Unimportant.
Legendary alpha males offer plenty of lessons for the rest of us, ones we can reasonably apply to our professional lives without needing to conquer countries in the process. Here are but a few of the lessons we can learn from some recent yet legendary alpha males.
Native Scot Gordon Ramsay is one of the world’s most celebrated chefs. His restaurants have been awarded three stars by the culinary industry’s most influential ratings guide, Michelin, 10 times. Yet his success has nothing to do with wanting to be liked; he has no interest in winning a popularity contest. Watch him on Hell’s Kitchen and you’ll see why: He’s a monster of a taskmaster, indifferent to feelings and focused strictly on results. His attitude is that you do not have to like him, but as a chef, you must respect him. To that end, Ramsay’s restaurant staff is remarkably loyal. The chef himself claims to have an 85% retention rate since 1993. These are people that can go if they like. Why don’t they?
Lesson: In team-building, do not tolerate mediocrity
Simply put: Ramsay’s employees don’t leave because they know they’re working for the best. They know that whatever his defects, in the end, the man wants to be the best at what he does. Others who want the same thing realize that the abuse he shells out is insignificant compared to the greater achievements. Ramsay’s refusal to accept mediocrity on his team is an apt lesson to apply to your professional life. Doing so weeds out the weakest links, and it strengthens the team by erasing any doubts in anyone’s mind about any other member. In the end, it creates a tremendous amount of confidence.
Muhammad Ali was a master of self-promotion and surely ranks as not only one of the greatest boxers of all time, but also the smartest trash-talker in sports history. Ali was supremely confident in himself, loaded with charisma and never feared a fight. He openly declared himself the greatest and often predicted the round in which he would knock out his opponent.
In the early days of Ali’s career, opponents read his brag-and-boast routine as nervous bravado, but few knew how prepared he was, how hard he trained and just how much he wanted to win. By the time Ali got to the ring, he had every reason to believe he was invincible because he had pushed himself beyond his limits, beyond what he believed any other man could endure.
Lesson: Always come prepared
Whatever impression they might give off, alpha males never enter an important situation unprepared or deluded with the belief they’re already good enough to handle it. To them, this is a careless attitude for someone intent on winning at everything they do.
We’ve all seen one rather minor example of the unprepared man; he gave the toast at the last wedding you attended. He thought he could glide through the toast because he knew his buddy so well and because he’s a competent public speaker. But not two sentences in, he’s fumbled and maybe said something dumb or inappropriate. By preparing for all their challenges with intensity, alpha males leave nothing to chance.
There’s no question that Wilt the Stilt’s accomplishments are directly related to his incredible size. Yet for much of his life he was regarded as a freak of nature. As a high school freshman, he was already 6’11” and entered the NBA at 7’1″ and 250 pounds, an absolute behemoth. Unpopular wherever he went, teams began to triple-team him and commit so many egregious fouls against him that he worried he would endure one too many and kick someone’s ass.
For many years, Wilt Chamberlain carried his team on his back, setting scoring records that have yet to be topped. He failed, however, to win a championship until he changed the focus of his game and began to use his skills not to pad his own stats but to get the most out of his teammates. The result was swift: His first NBA championship.
Lesson: Embrace your superior skills and use them to elevate those around you
No man is an island, and even the most confident alpha males learn this eventually. Napoleon’s appointed marshals were brilliant military men. More often than not, George Steinbrenner has been wise enough to rely on his executives. The point is that your skills and talents have a greater chance of serving your goals if they aren’t focused directly on your achievements. Redirecting those talents to elevate those around you will almost always better serve your aims.
Hugh Hefner has always been a staunch libertarian and has consistently opposed laws or restrictions on sexuality. These views may or may not have been ahead of their time, but his confidence and arrogance in expressing them in public certainly was. A high school essay of his attacked America’s puritanism, and a grad school term paper praised the recently released Kinsey Report “Sexual Behavior in the Human Male.”
Lesson: Personal convictions don’t mean personal restrictions
Living life according to your own beliefs and convictions is one thing, but putting that to your advantage and using it as a guide to your success, quite another. Personal beliefs are sometimes regarded as restrictive. Hefner’s decision to launch a magazine promoting his beliefs exhibited a capacity for putting them to work and obtaining results, as opposed to passively sitting behind them.
MacArthur had a long association with the Philippines, including three separate tours of duty prior to World War II. In 1941, he was made Allied commander in the Philippines and when the Japanese invaded the islands, he managed to hold them off for only so long, retreating onto the Bataan Peninsula before Roosevelt insisted he flee to Australia. The army surrendered to the Japanese shortly thereafter, suffering horribly as POWs. From Australia, MacArthur vowed, “I came out of Bataan and I shall return.”
He never lost sight of this promise, triumphantly fulfilling it three years later. Not only did he reclaim the entire Commonwealth, he would enjoy the ultimate revenge in 1945, when he personally accepted Japanese surrender aboard the USS Missouri.
Lesson: When you give your word, always deliver on it
There are few more unappealing traits than being all talk and no action. People come to regard people with this habit as unreliable and impotent, and begin to look past them when they need a go-to guy. While you should never promise to deliver the impossible, you should also never fail to deliver on your promises.
The Duke was such an American icon that when Japanese Emperor Hirohito visited the U.S. in the 1970s, he asked to meet him. Despite never technically serving in the military, countless men enlisted for service having been inspired by his rugged tough-guy image. It was a persona Wayne was interested in maintaining as he got older, insisting that his characters never do anything ignoble, such as shoot a man in the back.
The result was a man with a powerful presence, and part of this presence arose from something simple, something many of us take for granted: posture. He never slouched or hung his chin, his back was straight, his shoulders cocked and wide. It wasn’t something he overdid, just something he did. The wider result was an imposing presence that commanded respect.
Lesson: Don’t underestimate the power of presence
Not everyone can be an iconic 6’4” movie star known for his ass-kicking prowess, but you can learn from the manner in which Wayne carried himself. Through body language and demeanor alone, Wayne was always the baddest man in the room. People read body language both consciously and subconsciously, and few unspoken things can make people lose confidence in you quicker than seeing you slouch at a meeting or give a presentation with hunched shoulders. Such displays of indifference breeds more indifference, while the perception of strength breeds respect and power.
the alpha male academy
As I mentioned in the entry for Gordon Ramsay, alpha males aren’t concerned with being liked. This is true in part because they already get enough love from themselves. But they aren’t the only ones who love them; I came across numerous blogs that featured women tangled in a heated discussion concerning the alpha male. Allow me to paraphrase the overarching female opinion on such men:
“Alpha Males are jerks. I can’t stand how attracted I am to them.”