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alpha male

Wow Impressive! Your blog is very informative. However, it is pretty hard task but your post and experience serve and teach me how to handle and make it more simple and manageable.Thanks for the tips… Best regards.

Deborah Preuss

Any chance the shift came from a pheromone shift? I mean - maybe all the alpha males were high-testosterone, and incited the troop simply thru smell?


RE: "I think there are clear lessons to learn from this."

Don't trust your next PR campaign to baboons?

Cecelia Ghezzi

That is funny how the no asshole rule applies even in the animal kingdom. The group got along much better after the alpha assholes were gone, just like in a work enviornment. Overbearing, aggressive people (and monkeys) will have detremental effects on others that surround them.


I think the baboon troop that I used to work with mellowed out once they got rid of their "alpha male".
And ironically, this alpha male was the instrument of his own demise.


I think there are clear lessons to learn from this. Having said that, there is a big difference in the missions between a tribe of baboons, and an organization that delivers world class products and services. All the mechanisms that promote survival in a hostile environment (baboon case), is not suitable for a company that wants to deliver products of high standard. My own thesis is that these old mechanisms of survival mess things up when we try to build great computers or great societies. The things that were suitable for 100 000 years ago, are not that suitable today. There are different threats to us today in the form of constant stress, brain deceases, and not getting child care, than survival amongst predators on the savanna.


The really key, nay critical, question (at least imho)is to relate a more socially resilient organization to higher and sustainable performance. It's one thing to argue for a more congenial environment but the missing magic ingredient seems to be what's the result? We wouldn't be having these little chats if we didn't all suspect that better performance results. Now can it be explicitly linked? And then can it be designed?
On the answers to those questions rests the value of better workplace environments.

marc cenedella

The question might be "why do jerks arise in the first place?" Presumably other troops at other times throughout the ages have had their Alpha males die off, leaving the kinder baboons to mellow.

The continued presence in modernity of jerk baboons implies that, in the wild, there are benefits to the behavior that outweigh the costs.

So I think the larger lesson here is that even when selection favors it, jerk-ness can die out, at least temporarily, among primates.

Interesting implications for us...


I think it's ironic that the alpha males were the instruments of their own demise.

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