How Can We Build an Alpha Clan?
By Nkemngong Efuetji Mary
The expression Alpha Female’ is thrown around unconcernedly, with very little knowledge of what it actually depicts or represents. Women are often stereotyped as the weak, vulnerable, and dependent gender whose sex and gender roles of child birth, family care and house chores, restricts them from occupying leadership positions, in the professional sphere. Often, the traditional woman is considered professionally unskilled, who would not leave her comfort zone, and whose integrity could be bought or compromised. Sadly, this means, males have been given more opportunities in the corporate world than females. As such, men become proud of their alpha nature, and women become apologetic for their alpha-like tendencies.
During the 2021 edition of the Corporate women in Leadership summit, we had an A-list speakers from top brands in Cameroon such as Marie-Rose Daya, eneral manager Customer experience and services, Carole Epee, managing Director of Willis Elizabeth Burns, Evelyn Martins and Helen Mugob, the moderator focused on; who Is an alpha female and how can we build an alpha clan?
An alpha woman is someone that takes “the lead whether or not they are the identified leader or subject matter expert. They are bold, courageous and optimistic ladies, whose every activity is guided by strict principles and models. They confidently face life’s challenges, are keen to identify their strength and weaknesses, and are willing to support each other grow.” Marie-Rose Daya told the panel. Alpha female in general, are important though often neglected.
“I am part of the board of directors of a multinational company. Majority of its members are males. They take major decisions irrespective of its gender implications. Being part of the board gave me the voice to contribute in decision making and slightly change the narrative. Through me, women’s voices are heard and the need to have more collaborative, and naturally communicative board member was felt.” Elizabeth Benz said.
This confirms the notion that a female alpha is aware and adaptive. It’s critical that we accelerate their path into leadership roles with positional power. If women can own their inner alpha, they have the opportunity to be more powerful and influential and take on positions that matter to them and their communities.
Four Ways Women Can build an Alpha Clan
Learn To Say No
I know nothing so I am willing to learn and impact the change. However, if I disagree or have a diverse point of view, I should comfortably voice it without compromising the other person’s opinion. Many women are stereotyped to be “YES” stooges who never have a contribution nor an opinion in decision making. This weakens the argument. Rather than say YES to what you are not in harmony with, recognize what has been said, and then state your view. You can be collaborative and clear at the same time with an objective “NO”.(Everlyn Martin)
Create Alliances with Both Influential and Weak People
Relationships are crucial to success. The more diversified your network is with the haves and the have not, the more positive impact you can have. An alpha woman is naturally an influencer. Use this influence to build alliances with powerful opinion leaders, so you can objectively accomplish what you think is important. Treat people differently from your experience. Interact with people void of positional power, understand what is important to them and advocate for them. Value those around you, acknowledge their differences, and devise ways to incorporate them into your strategy. Be your sister’s keeper, help them strategize a successful path by this, you will build a loyal partnership and accomplish more together; The Alpha clan. (Elizabeth Burns)
Know Your Subtle Strength
Aim for the moon if you cannot get it, go for the stars. Alpha women are so ambitious and sometimes their ambitions are so high that they don’t pay attention to others. Alphas take charge because they have a high-performance and innovative motive pertaining to their motivational currency. A preeminent performance should be sensible with either a purpose or people motive. This permits alphas to avoid solely focusing on getting the results they want and focus more on what matters most to their corporate community. Mastering subtle strength can help you leverage your ambition while bringing others along. Subtle strength is an intentional influence that demonstrates calm, confidence, support and respect.
When it comes to success in work and life make your family your premier mentor. The family is the society’s basic unit of socialization. Your ability to treat every stranger as family, builds a subtle optimistic strength in you. If you can ensure their growth, then you can ensure societal growth. You are who you are. Though it is important to note the adaptive and intentionally influential strength of an alpha woman. While men and women differ, the best tactic for alpha women, is being able to integrate the natural strengths of both genders. The more women are comfortable with taking charge and are flexibly adaptive, the better chance we have of closing the gender gap and achieving more business and more social good together. It is not about you or the money you make, but about your inputs and the change you can impact. Family is bigger than our direct family. (Marie-Rose Daya)
Advocate for Innovative and Diverse Initiatives.
Women are often tempted to advocate solely for women relate issues. This becomes redundant and limiting. I’m not saying we should not advocate for women. I am saying get involved in diverse actions and have bearings on a variety of issues. Businesses are fun of expecting women to lead women advocacy groups. In my experience, that can sometimes take them away from their work or unfairly brand them as gender equality activist. I stand more for gender equity because the world is andro-centric and can hardly be equal. Just like women, other groups like the albinos need advocacy. Albinism negligence and marginalization is becoming a norm in our community. The alpha clan should be able to incorporate everyone irrespective of their gender, race or color. (Carole Epee)
HOW PRACTICAL CAN AN ALPHA CLAN BE BUILT
· Define your objectives
· Small commitments matter.
· Take the initiative to indulge in small commitments that makes the difference. Be committed to make the desired change.
· Ensure that you are coming with others. Always know your strength and weaknesses, share your expertise. Mind the people you get close to, target the people you can learn from and identify the people you should uplift.
· Learn from your failures and grow stronger from it.
· Strive to be the best where ever you are.
· Your integrity and uprightness should not be bought.
· Endeavor to leave a legacy.
Successful people are the ones who are able to articulate what they want for their lives. Success is deeply rooted in having a solid plan that is tailored to what you want A woman who has embraced her leadership ambitions, is talented, highly motivated, self-confident and can build a sustainable network with both the powerful and powerless represents an integral part of the alpha clan.
Mary is a Masters of Science student in Journalism, University of Buea