The combative and grumpy Jeremy Paxman has stepped down from Newsnight, the flagship BBC current affairs programme. His aggressive style of questioning raised their own questions within the hierarchy of the BBC-known affectionately as “Auntie”- and the only surprise to many observers is that he managed to stay 25 years with the organisation. The reason for this is easy to see. He was as outspoken and derogative of his employers as he was withering in his assessment of politicians. He made few friends in high places.
You might think that having someone on your team who is as outspoken as Jeremy is a bad thing, but I would beg to differ. Having a “Jeremy” on your team is a great bonus. There are some (lots) of downsides too and I’m sure you can think of many right off the top of your head. Here are the top 3 benefits and one downside:
They will say what everyone else is thinking. For many leaders, being isolated from what their team thinks can be deadly. A breath of fresh air delivered without any political filter can be a great boon for leaders in highly political organisations.
They solve problems. They can cut through and get to the core of an issue because they are highly intelligent in their chosen subject and have great creativity to solve problems.
They hate inertia. They want progress. They want you to be bolder and take risks. They want to be the best. They want to be in a team that is the best too.
They disregard protocol. Politics and people’s feelings come a distant last in their thinking, if at all. They are abrasive to the point that it can be a constant source of conflict within the team and other departments.
If you are brave enough and confident enough to manage the enormous talent that this type of person has, then you are onto a winning combination. If you can manage them effectively and if they in turn look up to you as their leader, then you will reap the rewards of a quality talent within your team.
I reckon there are many “Jeremy Paxmans” out there and they are all adding tremendous value to their teams. You too should have a Jeremy on your team.
Have your best week ever
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