Is Your Boss An Alpha Type?

New York, April 25, 2006 – Ambition, self-confidence, even a little bloodlust have pretty much been prerequisites for success in American business. Yet, while these alpha characteristics help execs rise to the top, their arrogant, defensive, manipulative, and malevolent behavior often leaves a tangle of confusion and unhappiness for an organization and its workers.


Alpha males and females come in four high-achieving flavors, each with dangerous weaknesses that can overpower their strengths. The May issue of Fast Company magazine (on newsstands April 25 – May 23) identifies the good and dark side of each alpha type. Where does your boss fit?

Type: Commander, such as Jack Welch
Good Side: Energetic, decisive, motivating
Dark Side: Domineering, intimidating, uncontrollable

Type: Visionary, such as Richard Branson
Good Side: Ambitious, creative, Inspirational
Dark Side: Overconfident, unrealistic, defensive

Type: Strategist, such as Michael Eisner
Good Side: Intelligent, objective, analytical
Dark Side: Smug, pretentious, unemotional

Type: Executor, such as Sam Walton
Good Side: Tireless, disciplined, demanding
Dark Side: Impatient, unreasonable, unappreciative

An editor from Fast Company is available to discuss alpha execs and other topics from the May issue.