You’re fired!

Sunday, June 7th, 2009 - career change, career coaching, economics, rich & famous, sunday thoughts

You’re fired!

Victoria Tower Gardens
Creative Commons License photo credit: MairiMcCann

A man in UK politics need to be fired this week!

After an interesting week in Westminster and UK politics, it is pretty obvious that a man in UK political circles needs to be fired. He is not performing at the level either required of the position, or he himself is capable of. Having replaced a long standing owner of this coveted seat, his problem has been both replacing him with style, communication, delivery and direction – simply, he has failed on all levels. It hence comes as no surprise that the polls show the inevitable result, with public supporting still falling for a man who has lost his way.

You thought I was talking about Gordon Brown? No, the BBC need to fire Andrew Marr today!

It is fairly obvious that in the next day, week, month, quarter, year – insert/delete your own choice – this Labour Government will need to come to the electorate. Not wishing to pre-empt a result, at that time it will be the media’s duty to grill all seekers of power to the gunnel’s. Frankly, I don’t think that the BBC national-level Sunday morning programme is capable of attempting such a task with Marr as its front man.

Talent to Results

Marr is still a great political commentator – I greatly looked forward to him replacing Sir David Frost on the Sunday sofa. Yes, he wasn’t going to be Sir David, but he was as intellectually capable and could apparently very well communicate to a camera. However, like many a great film actor asked to perform on stage, it is fairly obvious that the great mind of research who could prepare a piece and read an auto cue speech, is not adapt at live and interactive political grilling. Compared to Adam Bolton on SkyNews, probably the best live UK political commentator around at present, he sucks and requires support from his guests to far too great a level.

This morning he interviewed Lord Peter Mandelson, who has turned around what could only be described as a soured personal and public reputation as he headed for a well paid job in Brussels, into a political coup this week by saving Gordon Brown from having to face melt down by at least 48hrs. Mandelson is without doubt, whatever we may think of him, one of the greatest political spin-doctors who has ever walked this earth – even Machiavelli and Karl Rove could learn from him, and I have no doubt he learnt from them. So could Andrew Marr get out of Mandelson what he wanted, or did Mandelson get all of his points across? It wasn’t a no contest or a massacre, but to say that Mandelson had won in the first two minutes would not be an under statement. No longer thanks to his efforts in applying his skills in a new role can we say that Mandelosn is reformed, but he is wholly performing to his ability – wish the same could be said of Marr.

Starting New Job

What are the lessons for job seekers from the stories of both Andrew Marr and Peter Mandelson, both men who had difficult jobs in which they had to perform: Marr in filling an old seat, Mandelson in reforming a tattered reputation. The key strategy is to get engaged with your team and customers in the first quarter, to stand any chance of outperforming your targets from quarter two onwards

  • Firstly, set realistic expectations of performance. Don’t go in promising miracles, but agree sensible targets. Mandeslon did this, Marr never did
  • Secondly, communicate and get involved with your team. I have no evidence Mandelson did this, but I know Marr didn’t – the evidence os on the screen, in the quality of production and thread-bare guest list
  • Thirdly, listening to your customers. Mandelson clearly did with the car scrapage scheme, fighting hard internally with the need for something from the Treasury, but delivering the final scheme to the car industry which required them to put £10000 worth of skin into the game – brilliant! The fact that Marr has to turn up at 08:00 every Sunday to be “interviewed” by Charlie Stayt and his later news reader Susanna Reid to stop their audience switching off or over is testament to virtual TV cold calling

This mornings interview was evidence that Mandelson has not only returned, but having been given an 18word title is now more powerful than ever he was under Blair. Personally, I think it was also the final act of someone who needs to be replaced – can someone get Lord Sugar away from the ermine fitters, to utter his immortal words to Marr ASAP?

Good Luck!

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