Magazine article Talent Development

From Alpha to Beta: Coaching for Modern Leaders

Magazine article Talent Development

From Alpha to Beta: Coaching for Modern Leaders

Article excerpt

Flex: The Art and Science of Leadership in a Changing World

By Jeffrey Hull

TarcherPerigee, 272 pp., $26

In Flex, Hull provides an easy-to-read, straightforward approach to help leaders thrive in today's organizations. Through a wide range of real-world examples and stories, he presents readers with numerous opportunities to connect to their own individual experiences and situations. The book details the concepts of alpha and beta leaders. Hull describes alphas as traditional or "heroic" leaders who may be expected to swoop in to save the day, while the more introverted betas lead with expertise, consensus-building, and refined listening skills. Alphas seek to win, and betas seek to grow through collaboration, sharing, and engagement.

Hull suggests that although alpha leaders often still run the show, they are a dying breed. Qualities such as relatability and vulnerability are gaining favor among leaders over more traditional qualities such as being charismatic and strategic. Leaders who want to remain viable should value agility and flexibility over mastering one specific leadership style.

Throughout Flex, Hull describes six core dimensions of leadership agility he says are necessary to be successful and overcome the challenges leaders face in modern unstructured environments. The six dimensions of what he labels the FIERCE model encompass flexibility, intentionality, emotional intelligence, realness (authenticity), collaboration, and engagement. Each dimension also falls within one of three categories of power: mental (power of mindset), emotional (power of feelings), and somatic (power of the body). …

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