Monday, October 3, 2011

Alpha Beta Better?

Back in school I was captain of soccer and cricket, and throughout my career, I’ve assumed the leadership position in any team automatically, whether appointed or not. As you’d expect this can quickly lead to face offs or head butts to decide who’s top monkey.

The scientific question as to whether or not this tendency is a healthy trait is getting answers. Enter this piece Are Alpha Males Healthy? which discusses a new study (on wild baboons, naturally) indicating that betas have one over the alphas health-wise due to less stress. The good news for alphas is that the risks can be managed. Studies also show that being at the bottom of the social hierarchy is more stressful than being at the top.

Take the Masters of the Universe test in the article, and decide where you sit. Two footnotes: 1. ESPN Coach of the Century Vince Lombardi said: “Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is.” 2. Rise of the Planet of the Apes is playing at a theater near you.


Deena Syed said...

love the juxtaposition of this Vince Lombardi's quote to the one you quoted yesterday :) I have put them both on my status on FB

Iskandar said...


I was like you too, in school. Somehow, I take leadership. That was almost 30 years ago. But, past few years, that taking on leadership has severed some relationships. That hurts a lot.
However, past few months, I have been telling myself, what the heck!
It's them who has issues. Not me.


Iskandar said...


I was like you back in school, some 30 years ago. Always taking leadership. Somehow, a few years ago, that has taken its toll with many colleagues and friends.
Felt depressed. Felt I did something wrong.
Then, past few months, I realize, it's them who has issues. Not me.
Not sure that is healthy though.