Tuesday, December 2, 2014

How To Lead Your Team Like An Alpha Wolf

Want to dominate your market? Then cancel your next change management seminar and read this on the alpha wolf.

Great leaders recognize that, like it or not, humans are animals. And like the wolf, we organize into tight-knit, family-like units that must be run in an optimal way to thrive. The best, smartest CEOs, like Zuckerberg, know intuitively how to tap into their animal instincts to lead.

Here’s what you can learn from the alpha wolf to make your leadership more legendary.

Be A Master Communicator. Alpha wolves are social animals known for using their howl like a sophisticated instrument to keep their pack synced. But don’t start barking orders at your team. Instead as an alpha leader, keep your pack aligned with focused, emotionally-charged communication. Research published in Harvard Business Review found that the best leaders circulate actively and have short, high-energy conversations with team members. They communicate equally with individuals in the “pack” and make sure each one has a chance to contribute.

Build The Pack To Mass. Once a wolf pack hits five or more members, even lone wolves within it start to share a collective calling. The same is true in your company. Attract enough talented people who embrace a big vision you set, are mission-oriented, align with the values you design–and your leadership will make everyone want to contribute even more.
Go predator on them. In a wolf pack, you hunt for food. You work as one to find it and survive—or die. In your firm, you face a wolf-like,  zero-sum game: There might be X number of clients you can get, but not if your competitors bag them first. Your version of prey may be the things that kill customers’ bliss or a sense of uncertainty that keeps them from buying. A great leader shows the team that by working together to kill off and nail your prey, you survive another day—and win.

Track Down Your Beta. In a wolf pack, the beta wolf enforces the rules and reminds all the alpha is king. To free yourself to lead your company to the next level, you, too, need a great number two. Invest in hiring a great chief operating officer if you want your company to run more efficiently, be predictable and rise.

Value Your Omegas. In a wolf pack, the lowest-ranking members can rise to the top—fast. But when they’re on the bottom rung, they give the group an important safety valve, by absorbing the stress of the pack. Your front-line employees play the same role.  They make the first impression on your customers, collect important information, and show your company’s values. Trust them, with the right guidelines, to make on-the-fly, real-time choices to serve your guests. Make sure you support them. If you screw up in your alpha role, you’ll be working for them someday. Run hard.

Click here to read the full article.  Courtesy Fortune Magazine.
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    Kevin Minton
    Chief Executive Boards International


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