I have a 10 second challenge for you.

Name a winner of the X-Factor from any year except 2015.


10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…….STOP!

Let me guess how that went for you. Some head scratching. A few names of acts that came second. A winner from another talent show that wasn’t the X-Factor. Possibly one name? Well, if you got more than one name I would be very impressed. I certainly couldn’t even think of one when a friend asked me this questions recently.

And why is this important?

Because the X-Factor has become the Ex-Factor.

Declining viewing figures, a rusty program format and a marked tone of desperation in the marketing and advertising of the show all signal that the TV talent show could well be a thing of the past in the near future.

The reality is that ‘reality TV’ isn’t really reality, or at least not the sort of reality that people are interested in anymore. People are after something real that has substance and meaning.

And what does this mean for the modern professional?

Whether your role centres around the creative, the strategic or the functional it is important to remember that at the centre of your activity and productivity should be substance. It is all too easy to hide a lack of substance with flashes of colour, sparkly slides and pointless parts of presentations.

Cut the crap. Talk in real language about real things. Find real needs. Supply real solutions.

Be real in your role and carve out a genuine career for yourself rather than the appearance of a substantial work-life. You will have to work harder and smarter but it will generate something more satisfying and more effective – a truly powerful professional.
Have the X-Factor. Not the ex-factor.


Joff Alexander-Frye