Practical Philosophy

The insufferable Alpha Geek

For a large part of my 20’s, I definitely believe I partly was an Alpha Geek. After some early entreprenerial successes in my late teens, I was setup to become a proper nightmare to work with. At my first digital marketing job, I got reported to HR, not once, but twice, for my conduct in working with agencies. I wasn’t afraid of speaking my mind about poor strategies and I probably worded things insensitively.

The Alpha Geek mentality is not practical. First, it makes you incredibly difficult to work. Nobody likes to approach an Alpha Geek because they fear being criticised, or called stupid. This means the Alpha Geek has a tendency to be ostracised – and certainly not promoted. If you have ambitions, you have to drop the Alpha Geek mentality.

The Alpha Geek mentality is also not sustainable. Everybody gets humbled eventually. I certainly did, several times. The first time was when I lost my client base as a freelancer. The second time was after I made a series of poor decisions which nearly collapsed my e-commerce business. Both instances made me think “Maybe I’m not as good as I think I am”. And that’s a healthy thought to have because hubris is really a form of self-deception. Opening my eyes to my own fallibility and breaking out of my fixed mindset was the first step in really making personal and professional progress.

The Alpha Geek is a concept introduced by Camille Fournier in The Manager’s Path.

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