Person Specification by Jonathan Taylor

You will be a high achiever

who knows everyone else is not.


You will be the kind of person who leads

by accepting a new company Audi

on a morning you announce redundancies.


You should have wide experience

in eating previously healthy organisations

from within. In terms of qualifications

you will hold a grade A in Asset Stripping

and Parasitism.


You will have the skills necessary to tie

in knots of regulations anyone who needs

tying up. Deep down, you will believe

people rather like it. Leadership is bondage.

Remember, it’s all about those acronyms:

BDSM – Bondage, Domination, Sado-



You will enjoy making jokes about bondage

to your personal assistant, as well as

relevant sexist or racist or ageist

(delete as appropriate) comments

and will be an expert at clarifying afterwards

that any offence was the employee’s fault

for not having a sense of humour.

After all, tone is everything for a leader

when faced with a tribunal.


You will like suits, football and golf

and you will have a family incarcerated

in a frame on your desk.


You will be happy to make difficult decisions

while dressing them up in frilly tutus.

Your cross-dressing decisions will curtsey,

pirouette, grand jeté, plié faster and faster

until all the mesmerised audience can do

is gasp and applaud and then file

out of the auditorium in an orderly fashion,

switching the lights off as they go.


Jonathan Taylor is an author, lecturer and critic. His books include the novel Melissa (Salt, 2015), the memoir Take Me Home: Parkinson’s, My Father, Myself (Granta, 2007), and the poetry collectionMusicolepsy (Shoestring, 2013). His website is

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