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From THE SUNDAY TIMES 24/11/19 Kate Garraway’s husband on her I’m a Celebrity battle

Derek Draper’s wife is vying to win the latest series of I’m a Celebrity. Here he gives his professional tips on how to survive the mind games and come out on topSunday times article

The television ratings juggernaut I’m a Celebrity . . . Get Me Out of Here! is back for its 19th series. What is the secret behind its success? That’s a question that has long intrigued me as a psychologist. This year, my interest is even more acute: my wife, Kate Garraway, the TV and radio presenter, is one of the celebrities taking on the jungle — in fact a former banana plantation — in New South Wales.

We bought a humongous TV just before she left so the children and I could feel as though she’s in the room with us. We have cheered her on as she has dangled from a 300ft-plus building, and survived getting bitten by thousands of cockroaches and crickets, while 25 rats scurried over her. I hope the 11m other viewers have been cheering her on too.

But the allure of IAC — as its crew call it — is about more than prurience. At its heart lie fundamental psychological phenomena: those of belonging, challenge and change, the same universal dynamics that play out in playgrounds, families and in the boardrooms where I make my living as a business psychologist.

The first thing that happens on IAC is what psychologists call affiliation, the human equivalent of two dogs sniffing each other’s bottoms. Just like on the first day at school, or the first meeting of a new project team, the jostle for status and attachment begins. Who’s the top dog, and who’s going to turn out to be your ally, or maybe even friend? The alliances can seem unlikely — see Georgia “Toff” Toffolo and Stanley Johnson’s jungle friendship from two years ago. I’ve witnessed many such supposedly unexpected pairings in the workplace.

Rivalries develop, too, though the camp-mates know to keep that from the TV cameras. Watch out for the hints of passive aggression, though, such as when Caitlyn Jenner was asked, “You don’t know who we are do you?” and she replied: “Not really.” But didn’t she? If she was anything like Kate, she would have had a pile of printed-out research on her camp-mates stashed in her hand luggage.

In 1938 the US psychologist Henry Murray listed the eight secondary needs of human beings (primary needs being air, water, food and so on). It is fascinating to note how precisely these are served by the format of IAC:

1 Ambition: everyone desperately wants to be crowned king or queen of the jungle. Kate gave up sugar and got up even earlier than usual to work out with her fitness coach.

2 Materialism: the camp-mates crave creature comforts and covet their luxury item — Kate’s was concealer.

3 Status: the jockeying for position starts the moment the celebrities meet, false modesty hiding a yearning to have been recognised. Careers are compared, pre-jungle outfits carefully chosen.

4 Power: the producers play with this, arbitrarily making a camp-mate leader. This can cause resentments, just like in the real world. “Why did she get promoted and not me?”

5 Sadomasochism: played out clearly in the terrors of bushtucker trials. Next time you watch, ask yourself: are you identifying with the petrified celebrity or the guy pouring in the creepy-crawlies?

6 Social conformance: the need to fit in and not to appear to let people down. To this end, Kate packed two sorts of bikinis: some that cover her well, others that are skimpier. I bet if the younger women and guys are egging her on she will slip into the racier ones. (I had a sneak preview and she looks fabulous.)

7 Affection: the necessity of getting close to someone else or a small group to gain support and reassurance. My heart broke when the camp got some good news and Kate turned to hug someone, but everyone had already chosen someone else to hug. I wanted to jump through the TV screen and give her a hug myself.

8 Information: curiosity and the need to find out about other people. As the camp gets smaller, the intimacy increases and the camp-mates forget the cameras are there. It’s the moment the producers are waiting for. In response to being intimately invaded by some cockroaches on day two, Kate cried out: “They’re going up my noo-noo!” I am dreading what she might be sharing with the British public by day 15, if she’s still in there.

In my day job, I assess and develop executives’ potential. When Kate was asked to go on the show, I watched a few past series and did some research, looking for attitudes and behaviour that seemed to lead to people being crowned king or queen of the jungle.

The results were crystal clear. The winners all display three characteristics. First, authenticity: did they seem genuine and true to themselves, not posing or playing games? Second, niceness: did they show empathy and support their camp-mates? Third, hard work: did they pull their weight and really try at the trials, even if they didn’t do well?

Or, put another way, would viewers feel they’d enjoy going out for a drink with them? A heuristic, by the way, that could explain the outcome of the other big vote taking place in Britain soon.

Whether it’s Jason trying to recover the golden fleece or a former soap star trying to win enough points to win a decent meal — or our own struggles to survive and thrive in challenging circumstances — the story of the hero’s journey taps deep into our human consciousness. IAC is stuffed full of such narratives.

Kate was in two minds about doing the show. She already has a successful career and doesn’t need any more work. But she liked the idea of being challenged and doing something new and different — and the children egged her on. She also, at 52, wanted to show how middle-aged women can, and should, be just as adventurous as those in their twenties.

But there was one particular thing that made up her mind: she spoke to a lot of people who had been on the show before — winners and losers — and not a single one regretted doing it.

The next two weeks are a chance not only to be entertained but to observe fundamental human psychology playing out — and to see if any of what we see might apply to our own lives. Do we challenge ourselves enough? Do we strike up fresh friendships? Do we show openness, agility and resilience at work? Do we get out of comfort zones?

You don’t have to be thousands of miles away, eating crickets and wearing an Indiana Jones hat, to push yourself to try something new.

Derek Draper is the chief executive of CDP Leadership Consultants and the author of Create Space: How to Manage Time, and Find Focus, Productivity and Success (Profile Books)

As well as tackling sexism women – and men – need to break free of their psychological chains.

Last week I assessed someone for a senior position at a FTSE100 company. I have spent eight years doing such assessments. They involve a half day interview and a range of psychometric tests that lead to a 2000 report in which I offer a recommendation about whether the candidate should be hired or not, and how they can better develop themselves either way. This most recent session was a slam dunk. The person was the most impressive candidate I had seen in all those eight years, having done around 400 assessments.

The person was a woman, I’ll call her Anna. Now, there is nothing surprising about that.  Despite the appalling statistics on women leaders in business (it is a ridiculous and embarrassing truism that there are more David’s than women serving as FTSE 100 CEOs (7 woman, 9 Dave’s). Yet, of course, there is nothing about being a woman that means you are less capable of effective leadership than a man.

I know, by the way, that even saying “woman” and “man” is controversial to some in these “woke” days but I am gong to assume that, while there is some gender fluidity, there is also a meaning to those words that 99% of us understand and appreciate. I also thing there are gender traits that ring true too, and that are not constructs but biologically based. I think, for example, that men do tend to be more aggressive and women do tend to be more caring. Not, of course, every man and every woman.

That’s why I started with the example of Anna. She is a specific example that goes against the general picture that I’m about to draw. For what was unusual about Anna wasn’t that she seemed to be the most capable leader I had ever assessed but her answer to the last question I always ask. ”Where next?”. She looked me straight in the eye and said, “Two years ago I would have said being in the C-suite in a FTSE 100 company, heading up my function. Now I want to be CEO”.

That level of confidence is rare in anyone but I think its rarer in women. (Most) men have a sense of entitlement that (most) women just don’t have. Research shows that the typical man, if a job requires five skills or experiences, will think, “Well, I’m great at two of those, OK at another two and shaky on the last” but he will say, “I am totally qualified across all that”. The typical woman will think exactly the same but she will then say, “Actually, I don’t have enough experience for this job”. They therefore might go down so well at the interview, or, more likely won’t apply in the first place. If the man does get the job he will likely be pressing for promotion and increased salary from the beginning. The typical woman, even if they get the job, will probably not. This gender “entitlement imbalance” is a major factor along with what my 12 year old daughter calls “everyday sexism” for the gender leadership and pay gaps.

There are also other factors too, such as the fact that women tend to have career “damaging” breaks to have children that interrupt their paths to the top, and which almost always lead to childcare responsibilities that far outweigh men’s, no matter how great Dads we are. Motherhood also, let’s be honest, leads some (again, not all) women to reassess their priorities and maybe deprioritise the immense effort needed to rise up the ranks to the top.

One study suggests that woman (as a whole) want to be really senior business leaders less than (the average) man “23% of CEOs felt that the decision not to pursue their career ambitions is made by the women themselves. They, no longer, stay keen to live with the stress inherent in the toughest leadership roles. Their aggression, drive and commitment to career growth slow-down as other personal priorities take centre stage”.

Even if there was some truth in that it doesn’t really matter. Because for sure, enough women want those top jobs. Even if there is a slight difference in hunger for the most senior jobs between the genders that would explain why there might be 45 women to 55 men serving as FTSE100 CEOS not the pitiful 7 to 93 we see today. That gap is obviously down to other factors.

At CDP, the leadership consultancy I run we use psychology to work on a deep level when assessing and developing people and organisations. One of the ideas we use is that of core pathogenic beliefs (or CPBs). These are false assumptions, often unconscious, about ourselves and the world that might have made sense once but don’t know. My book “Create Space” tells 12 stories of such CPB’s and how they sabotage people’s success. An example would be the woman whose parents let her down badly and who grew up not being able to trust people. Later in life that fear is not so appropriate and yet she keeps a barrier between herself and others and treats her colleagues as if they are always about to let her down, constantly being vigilant and being perceived as untrusting and controlling by those around her. (You can read more about CPBs in our thought paper).

At CDP we have discovered that teams and even whole organisations can have CPBs too, like when Travis Kalanick put “always hustle” at the heart of Uber’s values. A statement that is, at best, ambiguous about how ethical one should be. The CPB? “We need to sometimes cross the line to succeed”. In fact, of course, it led to his failure.

So, and here’s the interesting idea: Could genders have CPBs too? Not, as I’ve stressed throughout, every man and woman, but the typical ones?

Here’s my suggestion of what these might be:

Typical male CPB?

“I feel confident, I can do this, in fact I’m entitled to it, and more, and its OK for me to push for what I want.”

Typical female CPB?

“I am not always so confident, maybe I can’t do this. What will people think? I better be grateful for what I’ve got.”

Incidentally I think that the opposite train of thinking can co-exist with each of these. So often, in my experience, men, deep down, also have “imposter syndrome“, they are just better at repressing it and not letting their internal states be reflected on the outside.

Importantly I also think there is a third CPB at play, one that society as a whole shares (or at least a sizeable majority), on an unconscious level, at least to some extent.

Typical society CPB?

“Men can be bold and ruthless, women shouldn’t be like that. Men who demand things are ambitious, woman who do the same are pushy. Maybe men are more natural leaders?”

Absolute nonsense of course but deep rooted nonetheless?

I think this faulty thinking comes from ancient times when physical strength (a largely male characteristic) was vitally important, literally a matter of life and death. As a psychologist with an interest in evolution I can see how there would still be unconscious traces of that in everyone’s minds today. This, of course, is reinforced by the thousand of years of patriarchy that ensued.

As well as everything else that is rightly being done, of which great mentoring and sponsorship seems the most effective, (the Centre for Creative Leadership have some great resources to support this) I think we also need to examine and dismantle these CPBs.

That is what we do at CDP; Help identify and tackle people’s CPBs about themselves and the world so that they can maximise their potential, whether those CPBs be about their gender or anything else.

The good news?

I showed my 12 year old daughter this article and when she came to the suggested CPBs she laughed and said, ”That’s bullshit… and those guys that think that, they don’t really. Woman just admit things more and then get on with it”.

Does she really believe that deep down? I hope so but better still I really think so.

The best business books for your Christmas stocking

Christmas stocking

I have just suggested some reading to an advertising executive that I am coaching. It made me to think about the business books I’d most recommend for anyone wanting to become a better business leader. One of the advantages of writing your own book (Space: how small leaders become big leaders which you can read about here) is that it forces you to read a lot. In the last year I’ve come across 3 books that really stand out. Buy them for yourself, or as an inspiring present for someone else. So, here, in no particular order, are my top 3 business books for you to consider adding to your Christmas stocking:


Buy here


Buy here

Good to Great

Buy here

Let me know what you think of these or suggest your own favourites via twitter @derekdraper

Five Years Ago This Week – Remember Jade?

Occasionally on this blog I shall delve back into history and take another look at something interesting I was involved with in years gone by. I’ve chosen the first one pretty much at random, although I wanted to start with something moving and I think you’ll find this is. It’s an interview I did with Jade Goody for Now Magazine just a few months before she discovered she had what would turn out to be terminal cervical cancer. I think its worth re-reading not just because Jade became such a prominent – indeed archetypal – early 21st Century celebrity but because it illustrates something that is very true in all of the therapy work I do today – that what happens to us as children can have a huge impact on our happiness as adults. Here’s the full interview that I wrote up. RIP Jade.

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