Alphas, in all animal species, are selected for the same reason. To protect the group! In the human species it’s not necessarily the strongest physically but the Alpha, or leader, is selected by their ability to induce production of Oxytocin in those they serve. This increases the probability of success and propagation of the group.
This is very primal and we are all constantly subconsciously trying to determine who the Alpha is. In the end a leader has but two responsibilities, to create a “safe” environment and culture and to infuse it into the culture of the organization.
The leader must also discern who to allow into “the circle of safety”, who belongs with the group and how they can add to the culture and who doesn’t. Leadership can not be given by title or coercion, it can only be given freely by the group to the Alpha.
The group willingly allows the leader many advantages such as more pay, higher status and other perks. This social status is not given without responsibility however. The leader is the one who is called to protect the group in times of trouble and must be willing to sacrifice for the group. To be a leader is to serve. When leaders cannot protect their followers they pay a hefty price and can lose all rank in an instant.
When you’re the Alpha, your relationships with those you protect and nurture, is a precarious one as you’re playing by the rules of those that elected you consciously or not, not your own rules. This realization is a bitter pill to swallow, when external circumstances change, but it can be a very growth stimulating one!