Dylan Jones OBE, long-standing Editor of British GQ, author and general pillar of British Journalism. We spoke to him about the future of British Journalism, good leadership skills and what men will be like in 10 years’ time.
Since taking over as the editor of GQ in 1999, Dylan Jones has grown the magazine and its digital counterpart sizeably. GQ is now one of the most recognisable magazines in the country.
Jones has made forging a successful career in the media industry and gaining a renowned reputation as an influential leader look easy. We wanted to ask him if it really is. So we did.
Hi Dylan! What qualities do you believe makes a successful boss and leader?
“A clear vision of where you want to go and the ability to take your team with you. I always end up listening to my gut, even though I occasionally try and tell myself I’m wrong. I’m not, I’m always right. I still worry that I’m being arrogant, but if you don’t believe in what you do, no one else will. So you should stop worrying about that immediately.”
Many of our readers are global investors – what would you say to them about investing in the British media? Are the greatest days still to come for us?
“British media is still the best in the world, and the technological challenges we face are faced by everyone in our industry, not just the Brits.”
Speaking of industry challenges, the boundaries of news, politics and celebrity are being blurred. With the constant competition between publications for views, SEO and real-time social media – is everything classed as news now?
You have written a lot about the changes in your publication, in particular how GQ is now more like a newspaper than ever before. Do you feel that this is a trend in the industry?
“We are certainly not alone in operating in this way, using our office as a newsroom. Although we still focus on the areas of expertise that make us stand out from everyone else, not just in terms of lifestyle coverage, but also regarding our long form journalism, which, increasingly, becomes our USP. It is dispiriting to see so few other people doing it these days.”
Men’s Lifestyle magazines have changed a lot. Over the last few years, we have seen most of the so called ‘lads mags’ removed from the shelves. This was partly blamed on the attitudes of modern men evolving. Dylan penned numerous books on the role of the modern man, so the concept of masculinity is on his radar.
Where do you see the idea of masculinity heading in the next 10 years?
“The concerns are always that this will move to a binary position, like politics or religion. I see snowflakes and I see Neanderthals, and the sweet spot is somewhere in between. Generally though I see men becoming more sophisticated, more like women, although there is always the danger that this can go too far…”
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