A common proverb attributed to male-female attraction and relationships includes the old cliché that, “Behind every successful man stands a woman.”
However, to reach the top normally requires what in Nature is called “the killer instinct.”
In modern Western human societies, relatively little actual killing takes place and thus the phrase isn’t literally true these days. But it still refers the willingness to set aside your state of mind to achieve a specific and very challenging goal.
The top spot will go to a guy who can fire workers whose wives are eight months pregnant and not miss a beat while doing it. That will also be the guy who won’t think twice about closing down factories if they can be relocated to a third-world country where wages are low and benefits are non-existent.
Loyalty means nothing to him. He has no real friends. Ice flows through his veins.
But the real trick is to seem likeable at the same time. Many politicians and business leaders common have both these traits and it’s the foundation of their success.
But very few guys are that ruthless by nature. Most of us are nice guys. We’re decent human beings. We’re compassionate.
That’s because most societies try to control us from a young age by instilling guilt or shame if we don’t sublimate our own desires to “the greater good” (this most definitely includes the dynamics of attraction and relationships).
The paradox is that men who learn those lessons well won’t usually go all the way to the top, whether it’s in politics, business, or romance.
And let’s face it: that’s most of us! We want to be liked. We worry about what others might think of us. And we’re loyal to those friends and co-workers who have supported us on the way up.
That’s where women come in. We may not be cold, calculating or ruthless. But, women can summon up those qualities more easily than you might realize.
And they reward those qualities more quickly than you’d like to admit: guys who actually have the killer instinct tend to attract lots of women. But there are not enough of those guys to meet the female demand.
So women do the next best thing: they develop their own “killer” man in-house. They find and marry a very smart, talented guy with a solid education and then proceed to hone his killer instinct.
She’ll make sure he “dresses for success.”
She won’t allow him to leave for the office with five o’clock shadow visible.
She’ll regularly prod him into asking for raises.
And when he comes home with a tale of woe about how his nemesis “Fred” is angling for a big promotion at the office, she’ll kick into high gear and coach him on how to ace Fred out of the running with an assortment of dirty tricks.
Like the Drill Sergeant who barks, “Get down and give me twenty!”, she’ll whip her recruit into a lean, mean, fighting machine. He’ll claw his way up the ladder, because she’ll not let up on pressuring him.
But just to be sure that he doesn’t begin to coast, she’ll also ramp up her spending as his compensation grows. And that’s why you’ll see many married couples earning six-figure incomes who seem to be just scraping by. He makes an awful lot of money, but her tastes are even more expensive.
In the past when it was still legal to do so, it wasn’t unusual for companies hiring men for the fast track to interview their wives also, to see if the wife had expensive tastes. If she did, the company knew her husband had the potential to rise to the top some day. But if the wife seemed to be frugal, her husband wouldn’t get the job, because his motivation to do “whatever it takes” would not be there.
If you watch the corporate scandals that emerge every few years and you wonder why guys who are already worth millions of dollars would risk it all on shady schemes that will end up with some of them going to prison, we’ll wager that every one of them was married to a woman with expensive tastes. The next time you see one of those “perp walks” on TV, take a look for his wife walking just behind him and you’ll usually see a very expensively attired woman.