#1. REAL OR FAKE, IDENTIFY AN ALPHA-MALE MENTOR AND LEARN FROM HIM.
During a 1993 Nike commercial, Charles Barkley stated that he was not a role model. As he said, it was not his responsibility to raise your kids.
He was wrong…sort of.
While it is not his responsibility to be a role model, he can’t make that decision for those viewing him. People naturally gravitate towards successful people.
Advertisers market figures that people can believe in and trust. That’s how they sell products.
Finding a role model is a similar scenario. Folks search for someone who embodies traits that they would like to possess or possessed at one point.
Normally, role models demonstrate some of or all of these traits:
- Athletic Prowess
- Social Skills
For lack of a better term, a proportion of role models tend to be alpha males.
The concept of the alpha male refers to a man that controls group activities, demonstrates a take-charge, low-tolerance attitude and one that other people to defer to.
Here are five figures that embody alpha male tendencies:
Alpha-Male Curriculum Vitae: Draper is a founding partner of the Sterling-Cooper-Draper-Pryce advertising agency on the epic 1960s based AMC television show Mad Men.
Body of Work: An advertising impresario…His real name is Dick Whitman…Stole the name “Don Draper” during the Korean War…Formerly married to one of the finest, meanest, and disillusioned women in television history, Betty Draper…Has slept with 95% of the women that have appeared on Mad Men….Married his secretary, Megan, at the end of Season 4…Has some sort of psychological hold on his former secretary, Peggy Olson.
Strengths: An impeccable dresser, who when clearly entrenched in the Don Draper identity gets what he wants…Persistent, stubborn, and cunning…Beds secretaries, models, teachers, doctors, and ad women on the reg…An inspirational, smooth-talker that often gets his way…Self-confidence borders on unrealistic levels at times.
Weaknesses: Drinks on the job way too much…A chronic drunk driver…Smokes like a chimney…Uses drugs on occasion…Depending on your perspective, may not apply the “half your age plus seven” rule when trying to score women.
Alpha Male Moment: Watch the Season 4 finale. When Don announces that he is engaged to his secretary, the other female employees become jealous. To their dismay, they lost out on the Don Draper lottery.
How does he woo the ladies? Let him explain:
What he said.
Alpha Male Curriculum Vitae: A lacrosse and football player at Syracuse, Brown was arguably the most ferocious runner in NFL history while playing for the Cleveland Browns from 1957-65. He retired from the sport and enjoyed success in Hollywood, starring in several films.
Body of Work: At one point, the NFL’s all-time leading rusher and considered by some to be the greatest footballer of all time. Starred in The Dirty Dozen, Slaughter, Slaughter’s Big Rip-Off, and 100 Rifles. Also, starred in the unforgettable film classic I’m Gonna Git You Sucka.
Strengths: Authoritative. When he talks, people listen…Toughness. Whether it was on the football field or on-screen, he didn’t back down from anyone…Low tolerance. He was a no-nonsense guy.
Weaknesses: Anger management issues. He has a sketchy track record involving physical confrontations with women. In 1968, he was accused of throwing his girlfriend from a balcony but he escaped charges because she did not name him as an assailant.
Alpha Male Moment: After Brown retired from football, he dove further into the Hollywood scene. The 1968 film 100 Rifles starred Brown, Burt Reynolds, and the scorching Raquel Welch. During the movie, Brown bedded Welch, which for that era was revolutionary. Interracial love scenes in movies were not growing on trees during the 1960s Civil Rights movement.
Following the film, Brown went on to star in several movies and television programs.
Alpha Male Curriculum Vitae: One of the great leaders in sports history, Riley has worn several different hats while in the NBA. He was a player from 1967-76; a head coach with the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, and Miami Heat; and currently, the president of the Heat.
Body of Work: Known in some circles as “Riles”, the creator of “Showtime” has succeeded at every NBA level thus far. He won an NBA title with Lakers as a player in 1972; won five titles and reached the NBA Finals nine times during stints with the Lakers, Knicks, and Heat. Amazingly, is four wins away from another NBA title after landing LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and re-signing Dwyane Wade via free agency last summer.
Strengths: Leader of men. As a head coach, won titles with a wide cross-section of NBA stars including Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bob McAdoo, Wade, Shaquille O’Neal, Alonzo Mourning, and Gary Payton…A master motivator…Well-spoken…A historian. His book The Winner Within, is one of the great leadership books ever penned…Of course, the look. Riley’s slicked back hair and designer suits made him a trendsetter and icon. It was a far cry from his shaggy 70s look.
Weaknesses: Riley once said, “to have long-term success as a coach or in any position of leadership, you have to be obsessive in some ways.”…His obsessive nature and desire to win may have lead to him bailing out on the Knicks in search of a more desirable and potentially, winning environment. While he won in the long run, he alienated a fanbase (if you care about that sort of thing). Faxing in your resignation will often do that.
Alpha Male Moment: After the Lakers defeated Boston in the ’87 Finals, Riley had another trick up his sleeve to motivate the troops heading into the ’87-’88 season. When he approached the podium at the Laker victory parade on June 16, 1987, his plan went into motion. Before the city of Los Angeles, Riley guaranteed they were going to repeat. No team since the 1969 Celtics had pulled the trick. By the end of the ’88 Finals, Riley’s prophecy came true.
Riley’s Lakers made it back to a third-straight Finals in ’89 but were swept in four games by Detroit.
Alpha Male Curriculum Vitae: Worked the Miami beat as James “Sonny” Crockett from 1984 to 1989 before splitting town in the series finale of Miami Vice…Partnered up with Ricardo “Rico” Tubbs after discovering his previous partner was a dirty cop.
Body of Work: The hard-boiled cop arrested bad guys of all kinds from drug dealers to pimps and even helped take down the cross-dressing, serial-killing woman (played by David Bowie’s wife, Iman).
Strengths: A versatile performer who could be Sonny Crockett by day and his alter-ego undercover persona, Sonny Burnett, by night. When properly focused, could score any woman he targeted (see Roberts, Julia)…A former wide receiver, Crockett could use his athleticism to track down the bad guys on foot if necessary…Drove cool cars and made wearing pastel colors widely acceptable for men during the 1980s.
Weaknesses: Personal life leaked into his work too many times…Poor choice of women. His failed marriage with Caroline set the table for other romantic failures. During Season 3, he experienced failed relationships with a madam and a junkie. He followed that up in Season 4 by marrying rock star Caitlin Davies, who was killed by one of Crockett’s greatest enemies, Frank Hackman. Relationship Crockett was a total failure…Possessed an air of gullibility. After an explosion, he got tricked into thinking he was a dirty cop. This led to him shooting Tubbs and killing a cop in the Season 4 finale.
Alpha Male Moment: A cavalcade of selections to choose from but we’ll go to Season 4 in perhaps Crockett’s biggest gangster moment in the history of the show. As mentioned earlier, Hackman killed Crockett’s wife and unborn child. Soon after, Hackman went into hiding in the Caicos Islands. Crockett found him and promptly put a bullet in his chest.
Even though Hackman was shown with a weapon, Crockett assumed he shot an unarmed man to avenge the murder of his wife and child.
Alpha Male Curriculum Vitae: After his days a North Carolina Tar Heel, became the legendary shooting guard for the Chicago Bulls from 1984 to 1998. He finished his NBA career with the Washington Wizards but by that point, his legacy as the greatest basketball player of all-time was cemented.
Body of Work: Jordan won an NCAA title with the Tar Heels in 1982. He followed that up with winning five NBA MVPs, six NBA world titles, and two Olympic gold medals with the United States basketball team.
Strengths: The ultimate competitor. Jordan did not rest until you were not only beaten but humbled at his feet. Patrick Ewing, Reggie Miller, Charles Barkley, and Karl Malone would agree…Persevered through numerous professional challenges including the “Jordan Rules” and head coaching changes. The Bulls had three different head coaches during Jordan’s first three years in the NBA…A teachable figure. Whether it was Dean Smith or Phil Jackson, Jordan molded his personal talents into their systems…One of the greatest winners in sports history.
Alpha Male Moment: Utah. Game 6. 1998. Jordan scored 43 points in Chicago’s last world championship clinching victory.
Other notable figures to study:
All of these figures prove something. Being the nicest or meekest guy in the bunch does not always yield long term results.
Don’t completely follow their model. Especially in the case of Brown, learn from their mistakes; don’t necessarily repeat them.
These gentlemen succeeded in their chosen field because they had the desire, drive, and opportunity to do so.
Follow suit accordingly.
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