He who dares wins; the past doesn’t equal the future

For once, the very slow Saturday evening traffic on the London roads this weekend was most welcomed. It allowed me the luxury of a leisurely listen to the radio phone-in on the almighty furore caused by the recent appointment of the MP and sacked British Chancellor, George Osborne to the position of Editor of the influential London newspaper, the Evening Standard.  The appointment appeared to be controversial by the radio host and phone-in listeners for several reasons, such as:

  • He already has 5 other jobs- including an MP, a consultant to an investment bank, and an after-dinner speaker
  • The view that he would not be able to do justice to the role of editor whilst also discharging his job as the MP for a constituency 200 miles away from London
  • A risk of a conflict of interest
  • His lack of newspaper editor or indeed journalism experience- having never ever worked in journalism before

Unsurprisingly, there was no shortage of conspiracy theories for Mr Osborne’s audacity in going for, and accepting this plum role. This was not helped by the Evening Standard owner’s tweet (naturally), earlier in the day that Mr Osborne will use his editor platform to provide a better opposition to the British government (i.e. Mr Osborne’s Conservative party) than the Labour party, the official incumbent opposition party!

Fascinating as the listeners’ views were, I was particularly impressed by one thing- the absolute and unwavering self confidence that enables a person to go for something that they have never done before… and to do so very publically too. In a world where CVs are used to summarise the past achievements as the ‘gospel’ of one’s ability to succeed in the future, the absence of “relevant experience” in Mr Osborne’s CV for the Evening Standard editor role is a game changer. The fact that his self-belief afforded him the temerity and effrontery to apply for the job is impressive.

Research tells us that men go for 65% more jobs than women (regardless of whether they are fully qualified or not)- which is why they are more successful at interviews. Women are regularly told to be bold and go for bigger and more audacious dreams. After all, he who dares, wins. Mr Osborne has just shown us how it is done. If only he can bottle this ‘chutzpah’ and sell it, he would be unto a very lucrative job no 7!

Audrey Ezekwesili.

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Posted in Change Management, Culture Shock, Leadership & Development, Motivate for Change, Too Much Chage, Too much change, Why few women reach senior positions and tagged , , , , , , , .