The (overdue) death of the (unreformed) alpha

Overly masculine leadership styles are under siege like never before these days. Yesterday’s hard driving, high achiever with a sense of urgency and a ruthless streak has just two options – change or take cover.

(Mitch McCrimmon in How to Tame the Alpha Male Leader)

OK, I may not be the best barometer on this one, but I reckon there are few things more annoying in the workplace than other people trying to dominate and control.

It drives me nuts.

I don’t like being told what to do at the best of times, but least of all by an egomaniac enthralled with the cult of their own personality.

I am talking about the workplace alpha: an individual who needs to dominate and control other people at work.

That’s my definition, not the official one.

Continue reading “The (overdue) death of the (unreformed) alpha”

The evolution paradox, and what it means for the workplace

This is my hypothesis: humans will struggle to create the kind of society we know we need because we can’t get past who we are now.

This is because evolution has hard-wired our weaknesses into our nature.

Intellectually we understand that the short-term pursuit of fat, sugar and sex is not a great long-term strategy, but this doesn’t stop our economy and society being built around this counter-productive engine of short-term selfish gratification.

This is what I call The Evolution Paradox.

Any animal which is able to evolve into intelligent life is fundamentally unsuited to do so

Look, there is some logic behind this:

Any animal able to evolve intelligence must be in an environment that favours the evolution of intelligence, and these environments have inevitable negative consequences.


For intelligence to evolve, there must be a direct relationship between having more brains and having more offspring.

Continue reading “The evolution paradox, and what it means for the workplace”