2 minute hate

“I am a born leader. I lead by example, being quick to make decisions. It’s all about solutions, it’s not about problems”

This is Jade Nash. You know her, she might sit opposite you. She might be your boss. Heaven forfend that she is you.

Jade is a contestant in The Apprentice, and those words above are how she describes herself this week when just appointed project lead for a task.

I love The Apprentice. It’s like turning over a stone and seeing scuttling creatures beneath. Disgusting but fascinating. The people and attitudes displayed are cartoon versions of command and control, for me it’s like the two minute hate in Orwell’s 1984 where I let off steam in a controlled environment at the dupes on the telly, figureheads for all I despise in command and control management.

Jade is typical, certainly no worse than the others, but she is selected for this weeks 2 minute hate due to her fine choice of words at the top that perfectly capture the thinking of the dynamic C&C leader. Let’s look at what she says.

“I am a born leader.”
Aren’t you all though dearie? In the realm of the C&C person nobody is ever simply a manager, God no. Same as being a born leader. As 95% of performance is down to the individual, what could be more individualistic than the skills of leadership being a trait you are born with and don’t simply acquire.
Bit like royalty. If anybody could learn those skills, then that lessens the specialness. Better to be born to leadership. Like the Lion-King!

“I lead by example”
“Follow me lads! Over the top! Quick march in step towards the enemy trenches, we’ll soon be through no-mans-land! Ignore the machine guns. And I’ll shoot anyone who hesitates”

I don’t want someone to model myself on. I don’t want to be you.

Why else would you want to be an example? Surely not as a warning?

“being quick to make decisions.”
-You’re a fire chief in a burning building with a team of fire fighters looking at you for a decision.
-You’re in an operating theatre, something has just gone wrong with the patient, his blood pressure drops and heart monitor alarm goes off. Your team look at you as Head Surgeon for the decision.
-You are a manager reviewing a PID for a project.

Two of these need quick decision making.

“It’s all about solutions, it’s not about problems”
The problem is the external reality. The solution is what is inside this ladies head. One is her special unique clever gift to the world, the other is mundane shared dull old reality.
Of course it has to be all about solutions. She is a solutioneer. I’d wager she has never met a problem she couldn’t solve with a snappy solution. If she has she wouldn’t know, as she’ll have moved on. Dynamism see! Only losers ponder. It’s not rocket science is it?

This post isn’t about Jade Nash. It is about what she represents and the system that created and rewarded her to be who she is. She could be any Jade, but happens to be this Jade.

I wish Jade Nash well in all her endeavours, but I suspect I know what Field Marshall Moltke would do with Jade.

This entry was posted in command and control, leadership, psychology and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to 2 minute hate

  1. I would love to have retweeted this, but I don’t believe that hate is ever an appropriate response (goes in the same bag as blame and criticism).

    – Bob


  2. ThinkPurpose says:

    No, I hate them. I love hating them. Then they appear on the after show on BBC2 when they are interviewed and turn out to be intelligent charming self-deprecating and thoughtful. Nothing like the monster that the situation and clever editing make them appear to be. Its never a surprise. That’s the point. You watch it to see people as extremes, I don’t want to spend an hour watching a thoughtful, considered and successful approach to running a market stall. That would be very dull indeed. I could just go to a market stall and watch that. I watch it for people setting themselves up for a fall, seeing the worst cartoonish extremes of arrogance and conceit, then enjoy seeing it fall apart. Lovely. I don’t believe in any of it. It is WWE for adults. Like 8 year olds boo the villains, whilst knowing somewhere in the back of their head that its not real.
    I don’t care. Its good fun and I look forward to my 2-minute hate next Wednesday.


  3. Great article. I agree with your response to Bob’s comment.
    Do you know the work of Irene Ng? She’s Professor of Marketing & Service Systems, Service Systems Group Initiative, Warwick Manufacturing Group, University of Warwick.
    This is taken from her post, Outcome-based Contracts are NOT the same as solutioning.
    1. Diferent capability. Ability to achieve outcomes on Outcome based contracts means a capability to co-create, partner, collaborate and work together with your customer (see blogpost on value co-creation). That means you recognise that you need to keep your customers engaged and working with you and you develop your capability to do that. Solutions imply a passive customer. When you deliver ‘a solution’ it implies you do everything, and everything is under your control and the customer stays as a passive ‘consumer’. Companies that don’t really know how to collaborate, co-create and partner often prefer solutioning. Why? Because they want everything under their control. Co-creating and partnering is hard because they lose control. The ability to achieve outcomes on OBC is therefore a different capability from solutions. It’s a capability of managing customer autonomy and complexity.

    2. Different system.
    3. Paradox of solutioning.
    4. Sometimes more expensive.
    5. Complex outcomes vs functional complicated outcomes.
    6. Variety.
    Full post:
    Most likely you’ve already seen this, but some of your other fans might enjoy reading it.
    Looking forward to more of your purposeful mischief.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s