Her true power comes from unexpected places.

By Beate Chelette

What would you guess women said they wanted most in 2013? A recent survey suggests we’re seeing the rise of the alpha woman who chooses to be independent and aggressive when it comes to seeking out and getting what she wants. Such good news and among the findings: nearly half the women surveyed
said they would prefer to be single and more than 40 percent have no hesitation asking for a raise. The GIY (get it yourself) mentality is gaining momentum, the study found, and more moms are choosing to tackle full-time jobs while balancing parenting.

In nature as we know, the alpha leads the pack, sets the rules, and often maims or kills competitors. In business, in the past, women assumed that to get ahead they had to adopt the behaviors of the alpha male because there wasn’t any
other model of leadership to follow. Think Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada, an outdated type of female alpha who thinks her power comes from being tough and unyielding, and shunning traditional female traits--sensitivity, creativity,
nurturing. It’s as if a zebra covers-up her stripes in order to appear more like a lion.

Almost daily, in my career and business consulting practice, I interact with dynamic, determined women who are working hard to succeed and get what they want. Many of them have alpha traits, as do I, and I appreciate a woman with a
strong opinion and spirited personality. You cannot build a business or climb the corporate ladder being a wallflower. You have to be pack leader of your own goals. But there’s a new twist with the contemporary alpha. Something happened
on the way to becoming powerful. The term suddenly changed to empowered and women now seek a new way of being in business that feels right, natural and is based on “women-centric” qualities.

The New Alphanista

Call us alphanistas, strong women who bring our individual values to the table.

Women who have come to realize that we can be as powerful as men by utilizing, the full range of our innate power, which comes from within. We can feel free to show our stripes because therein lies our compassion, uniqueness—and empowerment. In The Women’s Code we call this Leadership on C.U.E.

For the longest time, most successful women have adopted one of two main business leadership styles because, until The Women’s Code, there have been no other models. The Alpha Woman Leadership Style embodies the person who wears suits and heels. They are power-hungry and often mean and ruthless.

There is another kind of woman who follows the Tend-and-Befriend Leadership Style. That’s when you want to be everyone’s BFF in order to be liked. Avoiding confrontation is not beneficial to your advancement. It’s very difficult to be a good leader when you want to be friends with everyone. These are the women who will remain stuck in management positions and never advance. Instead of moving
forward, they just defend and protect what they have.

Neither leadership style is congruent with who we are as women. One focuses on male traits and the other outdated. Somehow, emotional and intuitive traits have never been valued and yet both are valuable forms of intelligence. We can only succeed if we embrace who we are and support other women in their climb.

I often wonder: what ever happened to sisterhood?

Good news

The old-fashioned charismatic but ruthless chief executive is fading as a new generation of business leaders favor consensus-building, personal credibility, professional ethics, showing support and compassion. I call it Leadership
on C.U.E., meaning a style that incorporates compassion, uniqueness and empowerment. Compared to ego-driven leaders, bosses on C.U.E. lead by good example, admit their mistakes, and recognize team members’ strengths.

It’s time we set our own course that is based on what we know, what we care about, and who we truly are. All of it. Not just the tiny fraction of skills that we have come to believe is socially and professionally acceptable. Returning
to nature for a moment, if you need validation, look at elephants. They are matriarchal, female-led societies in which humanity, wisdom, support and guidance are essential alpha female traits.

Author's Bio: 

Beate Chelette is a respected career coach, consummate entrepreneur and founder of The Women’s Code, a unique guide to personal and career success that offers a new code of conduct for today’s business, private and digital world.
Determined to build a community of women helping each other, after selling one of her companies, BeateWorks, to Bill Gates in 2006 for millions of dollars, Beate launched The Women’s Code to reach women everywhere.