Article by Danielle Harlan, author of The New Alpha: Join the Rising Movement of Influencers and Changemakers Who are Redefining Leadership.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever worked with a terrible leader. If so, you’re not alone—psychologist Robert Hogan found that up to 75 percent of people believe that their boss is the worst and most stressful aspect of their job. Moreover, research suggests that, more than just making us miserable, ineffective leaders affect everything from employee absenteeism to organizational productivity, resulting in hundreds of billions of dollars lost each year in the U.S. alone.
Given the dire state of modern leadership, and the incredible opportunities before us as we evolve toward a more global, diverse, and interconnected society, it’s time to rethink our ideas about power and influence. The “traditional Alpha” approach that’s shaped our notions of leadership for so long simply doesn’t jibe with a changing workforce that increasingly values integrity, emotional intelligence, employee engagement, and health and wellbeing.
Fortunately, a rising movement of leaders is turning this tired and outdated approach on its head and redefining leadership for the modern world. These “New Alpha” leaders are different in a few important ways.
For one, their primary focus is on being good human beings. New Alpha leaders build positive and productive relationships with others, prioritize their physical and mental well-being, and strive to act with honesty and courage. More than just wanting to hit their bottom-line goals, or have a fancy title and a big paycheck, these leaders care about what it means to be successful in the long run.
Also, New Alpha leaders don’t feel the need to fit into a cookie-cutter mold of what a “leader” should look or act like. They come from a variety of backgrounds and fields, and are self-aware enough to recognize what makes them different and special, and smart enough to harness these talents and qualities to make an impact in the way that only they can.
So if you’ve had it up to here with horrible bosses and uninspiring role models, I invite you to join the New Alpha leadership movement as we work together to enliven a new and better model of leadership that’s all about becoming the best version of yourself and using your power and influence as a force for good in the world.
About the Author
Danielle Harlan, PhD is the Founder & CEO of the Center for Advancing Leadership and Human Potential, an organization devoted to helping individuals, organizations, and institutions be exceptional and maximize their impact. Named one of Silicon Valley’s 40 Under 40, Danielle completed her doctorate at Stanford University and has taught courses at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and U.C. Berkeley Extension’s Corporate and Professional Development Program. She’s also a TEDx speaker and has been featured in Fast Company, Forbes, and Women’s Health. Harlan also operates a popular blog on leadership (www.leadershipandhumanpotential.com/blog).