Be The Boss (Part I)

This post is not for those who seek to improve on their already-established effectiveness as managers. This post is for readers who struggle with the basics of being a boss; specifically, struggling to secure respect from their male and female subordinates. Part I of “Be the Boss” focuses on the first step a struggling manager needs to take, which is a change in attitude. Subsequent posts will get into specific management techniques of establishing trust and authority among your subordinates.

A reader writes:

I’ve been a Gamma for most of my adult life, and now I am a boss. In my last job I had a real hard time keeping my female subordinates under control, even though I was starting to learn Game theory because the concepts were new to me. I’m still not very good at mastering Alpha behavior yet and I’m trying to implement it at a rate that I can maintain because it’s alien to me.  Can you direct me to examples of Gamma behavior in bosses to help me identify what to avoid?

A quick explanation of jargon. “Gamma” refers to a man who is, for a variety of reasons, low on the socio-sexual scale as outlined on Vox Day’s “Alpha Game” page HERE. Additional discussion about gammas picks up at Alpha Game earlier this year in a continuing series by his guest-blogger Delta Man. If you are interested, look for posts tagged “gamma” or “delta.” “Alpha” refers to apex-male position on the socio-sexual hierarchy.

First, let’s take a step back for a moment. If you observe interpersonal dynamics across a variety of classes, professions, and social milieus, you will come across ordinary men, some of whom may be intelligent — sometimes brilliant — or otherwise interesting. Others may be unassuming and not good conversationalists or not come across as having ever been an honors student. Some will be nice, pleasant guys, others will be brusque or gruff. But those men will have one quality in common: while they are not exceptional as leaders, they are liked and respected by others. They are called deltas.

A delta can be an engineer who can lead a technical team. He can be a Marine in a “band of brothers” combat unit. He can be a middle manager who keeps a department running, a competent foreman or a mechanic, a successful musician, a waiter who does his job well. Most men who are trusted, whose judgment is respected by other men, and who are satisfied with their place in this world are deltas. The difference between deltas and the minority of men who are higher on Vox’s socio-sexual scale (alphas, sigmas, betas) is that deltas are not gifted with a dominant personality or extraordinary sexual charisma.

And now, on to gammas. The dividing line between a delta and a gamma is that other men respect deltas but not gammas. Likewise, women are comfortable around deltas (sometimes too comfortable) but are uneasy around gammas.

So what the hell is this gamma? My shorthand for them is “alpha ambition without the alpha goods.” They are restless, depressive, introspective, sarcastic, snarky, visibly bitter, passive-aggressive, cowardly in confrontation, and deluded about their rightful social status. You will find gammas among condescending nerds as well as in high places like law and politics. If you get involved in left wing/progressive activism — especially feminist politics — most men you’ll come across are going to be gammas.

And now back to the reader. This is part of my response to him:

Key is, don’t try to be an alpha outside of the dating arena. Aim for delta.

He responds:

I gotta say my first thoughts about being Delta is “that is so not me”. I could settle for Beta (in context of the Vox hierarchy, not the binary descriptor), but “Delta” seems like “sheeple” to me by what I understand of the concept. To be successful in my position I have to at least pass myself off as “Beta” in the hierarchy.

This is textbook gamma. The reader, as he admits, lacks the basic ability to function as a manager and despite that, considers himself already ahead of the average man who can do the job of managing subordinates at least in a rudimentary way. He want to leapfrog good for great. He wants to “settle” for beta, something that is completely out of reach for him at the present time. That’s like an impatient beginner guitar student leapfrogging basic scales and chords lessons on an acoustic guitar for shredding it on an electric — it’s gonna sound like shit.

He continues:

Deltas are my subordinates. I’m uncomfortable and weak in my authority and I have to come to terms with it

First part of that comment: nobody at the office walks around with a “delta” insignia on his collar. What managers and subordinates alike walk around with, is respect they get from others up and down the corporate hierarchy. Or lack of said respect. Second part of that comment makes no sense. It’s saying “here are my questions about a problem I am trying to fix but I am just gonna come to terms with the fact that I won’t fix it.” Flippancy is another gamma tell. Flippancy, like inappropriate self-deprecating humor, is a façade a scared boy hides behind.

To the reader who sent those comments: I respect your willingness to appraise yourself realistically. I mean it. I want this blog to be helpful to you, to me, and to other readers across the range of subjects I cover. You are way ahead of most gammas, who will never take that step of looking at yourself with frankness and instead will continue to live in the fantasy of being secret kings. They will spend the rest of their lives delusional and unhappy with the cards they were dealt and frustrated by every social interaction they engage in.

So here is my advice at the high level that this post covers.

  • One:  let go of any pretense of being above the sheeple because there is no such thing as sheeple. The arrogant dork who made my coffee last Wednesday thinks I am sheeple. Enough said.
  • Two: see if you can get your employer to pay for leadership coaching sessions. You can frame it in terms of seeking to improve your presentation/sales interview skills (if that is part of your job). They are expensive but with the right coach, you can tell him in a one-on-one pre-consultation exactly what you’re looking for in terms of coaching. The good ones get it. I’ve seen them bring the best out of dynamic naturals as well as from insecure, nervous hopefuls in a single group session.
  • Three: If your work won’t pay for it and you can afford it, pay for it yourself.
  • Four: if you are dead-set on leapfrogging over deltas, this may work out if you are sufficiently Machiavellian. But that’s not a vibe I am picking up from you and I do not recommend it. But go ahead, consider it, and either reject it as a ridiculous fantasy or devote every ounce of your commitment to becoming something so out of reach from where you are now, and accept the failure if you don’t make it.
  • Five: as Vox Day counsels, aim for delta. As a movie character once said, don’t try to be a great man; just be a man.

In an upcoming post we’ll get into specifics of being the boss.

Part II of this series is HERE.

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13 thoughts on “Be The Boss (Part I)

  1. I was gonna sleep on this before responding, but we’re confused here on something I failed to elucidate correctly.
    I “have to come to terms with,” e.g. “deal with,” my internal weakness and discomfort with being judged on my merit as a leader of others, e.g. as opposed to denying the problem; we have a disconnect by the time you get to “refuse to do so”. Flippancy absent there. I came here asking sincerely for what I am getting. Giving proper thanks for your time and effort later to avoid redundancy, and acknowledging I am an example for inductive theory and your blog is not meant as a free personal counseling session.

    But if Game is for Deltas to fake Alpha to get puss, why can’t a Gamma fake Beta or at least Delta to get job security? It’s true I don’t want to fundamentally change who I am; I want to know how to go undetected. I don’t want to abandon my secret kingdom, or to start having to hang out in a group of dudes pretending I like watching negroes on a screen crash into each other in polyurethane body armor. Or to be around people I can’t talk to about anything meaningful when I’d rather be alone after I get off work where I suffer the chore of being in public all day. I just want everyone I work with to be happy I’m a reasonable person who tries to be fair and does what I have to do, and not stab me in the back for some bullshyt resentment about how I come across without realizing it.

    Leadership coaching? Not in this job, or anywhere in this town even I bet. Next thing I’m planning to learn on my own is CBT to learn to correct weaknesses and defective behaviors in myself, merit being the most meaningful prerequisite for respect. I’ve already gotten myself psyched for that in addition to the severe learning curve for this position. But I’ll think about that for my next step.

    Also I’m agreeing with you now that becoming Beta doesn’t work for me. I’m not good enough of a networker. I instinctively perceive social circles as a threat, not a resource. I’ve never had the luxury of hiding behind others. I was the kid who lipped off the teachers in class but was afraid of my classmates because I couldn’t penetrate their groups.

  2. But if Game is for Deltas to fake Alpha to get puss, why can’t a Gamma fake Beta or at least Delta to get job security?

    Because the sexual market is not the job market. Confidence can be faked, competence cannot.

    The sexual market value is status determined by women, and the job market value is status determined by men.

    There is a discrepancy between these two indicators of value because society is a mess. And society is a mess because …

  3. Heretic, are you simply in the wrong line of work? An introvert can be miserable in the job of an extrovert and vice versa. That said, I will continue with this series for the sake of a wider audience. If you are determined to stay with what you do, you will find my upcoming posts helpful.

    Also, there will be a post that analyses the relationship between Heartiste’s and Vox Day’s hierarchies.

  4. I like what I do and I’m quite competent in my field. Learning curves are slower for me though so I lag behind in some ways. Thing is, I invested a huge amount of lifetime and debt to get into a field where the main thing I wanted was job security so I could focus on other things. Then the market for the cushy jobs where I go do my 8 hours and go home and collect benefits was flooded with candidates from turdbucketstan who barely speak English, so the only jobs left for crackaz like me are the higher stress management ones in remote locations they can’t/won’t do. I seem to be a natural fit for management according to the observation of people around me as I have gotten more mature with time. I have to do it, as between student debt and outrageous taxes I swear I’ll never get out.

    I mostly do fine dealing with the Brown men a level below me, but its the White women below them that screw me up. I really need to be careful about those.

    “Because the sexual market is not the job market. Confidence can be faked, competence cannot. The sexual market value is status determined by women, and the job market value is status determined by men.”

    Thing is when you’re stuck in middle management, the ability to have women respect you and not form little groups with effeminate men to burn you is a form of competence. I have trouble surviving in larger companies, not because I’m incompetent, but because of politics and power games, because I’m alone and there’s an invisible mob of them. I’m talking about the new reality where game is now necessary to survive in the job market.

  5. I’m talking about the new reality where game is now necessary to survive in the job market.

    Fair observation regarding the new reality. I don’t have the answers.

    What game has meant to me, is basically knowing about what women are after. Which is a high status man, and they can be fooled in that, by confidence.

    But as far as faking confidence. It is simply a fact that for many people, that is not an option. Some personalities are more malleable than others. Some people are more able to project an image. It may be the case that those more able to project an image have less substance to who they are. But what are people anyways? They are somewhere between their own thoughts and feelings (on the one end), and an idea or image of what they might be (on the other).

    I had some experience with women at an office job, and they were terrible. It seemed to me they wanted to get slapped around. And of course that is exactly what they did want. It is pretty crazy. Everyone needs checks on their behavior. Men get checked by other men, but women get away with murder. So they need to be gamed, and that requires confidence. Some people can fake that confidence, role play it until it becomes a learned habit and part of who they are, and some people are not able to do that.

    The simple fact is that there are winners and losers, and not everyone can be Donald Trump. A person can’t go out and all of the sudden be king of the world. Most people walk around with their heads down, and for good reason.

  6. Interesting. I left a comment to your request on Heartiste but it may be stuck in moderation.

    In writing my book I made a conscious effort o avoid sounding gamma but did not have that name in mind. While I initially complained about the problems of workplace feminization it seemed important to strike an upbeat tone throughout and try to provide useful tools men can use to find work.

    Blurbs from the book preface :

    Men are being pushed out of the labor market

    The conventional work search approach promoted by our female-centric media and corporate Human Resource advocates is designed to provide security for them and to keep you on the outside.

    You need effective tactics to beat your competition

    To attain work you must identify influential men in your target industry and contact them directly to present your marketable skills. That is the essence of Employment Game and this book provides a flexible work-search system for you to tailor to your situation and skill set.

    This book tells you why and shows you how

    While most job-hunting books tell you to follow rules and submit obediently to corporate employment screening channels, this tract shows you how to turn the system which discriminates against you to your advantage and get a true chance at the job while your competition is waiting for their next instructions from HR.

    I have also started a blog where I will share tech tips and take an occasional swipe at our favorite punching bags.

    https://employmentgame.wordpress.com/2015/10/31/hes-writing-ebooks-now

  7. Amazing how much this guy sounds like me. I just took the plunge into management and I’m dealing with the same basic respect issues with my underlings. I’m very well loved and respected by people outside my department. I’m a very smart programmer and who’s heads and tails above the rest of the people below me and I’m resented for it(my own fault). I’ve done very well dealing with groups outside my department, planning projects, and getting things done, but my underlings are unhappy with me. I’m a natural introvert with the fucked up Gama swing back forth on my status that seems to create the problems with people.

    I took the job because I saw you either move to management or you get replaced by Indians once you hit 40. Being a delta will just get you fired in the tech industry once you get too old. It’s move up or die thanks to HB1 visas. I would have been happy being a fixer programmer for the rest of my days but that’s not possible anymore.

    All I want is some basic respect from my staff and for them to enjoy working under me.

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  10. Your underlings are not your friends deal with it. They don’t have to like you they just have to get sht done and punch the clock on their way out. Don’t waste energy burning your brain on how to be likeable to your staff. It socks but that’s the way it is. Please don’t become their friends outside work you’ll thank me later.

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