How New Alpha leaders are transforming company culture

by Nicola Brassington

We look at the New Alpha leadership style to see why communication is critical when building culture in your organisation.

You may know the type. The domineering character who's loud, outspoken and arrogant. The traditional Alpha leader exudes power – just not always in the right way.

But expectations are changing. GenY, for example, has a completely different view on the skills and attributes that they want from their leaders.

And with one in five British workers saying that their boss is the single worst thing about their job, perhaps it's time to ditch the egos.

New Alpha. New leadership

There's a growing movement of 'New Alphas' doing just that. Turning the outdated approach on its head to redefine modern leadership.

But what exactly is a New Alpha and what does it mean for your organisation?

The term comes from author Danielle Harlan in her book, The New Alpha – which presents a new take on the traditional idea of power and influence.

Leaders who take an Alpha approach often lack other key leadership skills

Traditionally we think of 'alphas' as people who are confident high achievers who get things done. That's all well and good, says Harlan, but those who take this approach to leadership in the workplace often lack other key leadership skills.

The New Alpha model attempts to add key communication skills to the ideal of power and influence so it is relevant for today's workforce.

Here's what that could mean for your organisation.

New Alphas…

…value the fulfilment of others

They want to connect with their work in a way that gives them purpose and meaning, and they want others to find it as well.

Only a quarter of people think that MDs treat employees well, but New Alphas enable team members to manage their own tasks and solve their own problems. They then reward them for outstanding performance to encourage positive behaviours.

They reward people for outstanding performance to encourage positive behaviours

…motivate and inspire

New Alphas believe in themselves. They lead by example and use self-assuredness and energy to generate excitement, spark ideas and make things happen.

They also listen and use the right tools – such as Workplace Groups – to help them gather feedback.

…want to be a force for good

Like traditional Alphas, New Alpha leaders want to get to the top, but they don't do it by treading on other people's toes. Their definition of success goes beyond personal achievement and they want to be a force for good in the world.

Their definition of success goes beyond personal achievement

Platforms such as Workplace can help aspiring New Alphas to do this. Using multi-company groups, for example, is a powerful way of building relationships with charities.

And using Workplace makes it easy to share community updates and encourage employees to volunteer.

…prioritise health and well-being

Back in the 1980s, lunch was for wimps. But today's leaders realise that getting the best out of people involves looking after their health. That means giving them enough breaks and the right tools so that they can work smarter not harder.

They give people the right tools to work smarter not harder

Like Workplace Chat, for example, which can significantly reduce the number of emails that people send, so they have more time to concentrate on the important tasks they like and are good at.

…build relationships with everyone

From the office cleaners, to the warehouse workers and sales teams out in the field, New Alphas value every single person they come into contact with. They also take the time to find the best way to communicate and engage with them in meaningful, effective ways.

…collaborate with others

And they don't use their energy, connections and resources to establish dominance over others. Instead, New Alpha leaders use their communication skills – and their communication tools – to find better, smarter ways to collaborate with everyone.

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