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I really respect Nev.

I know I shouldn’t, but I do.

Or, at least… I think I shouldn’t.

If you’ve watched either series 1 of The Call Centre (where Nev runs an enormous cold-calling workforce in Swansea) or the currently-airing series 2, Nev’s Indian Call Centre (setting up shop from scratch in Delhi), you’ll know that comparisons to Ricky Gervais’ fictional boss-from-hell David Brent are pretty much bang-on.

Nev and Brent: The Epitomy of Modern Office Idiocy?

Both Nev and David Brent are larger-than-life managerial buffoons. They both embarrass staff left, right and centre, meanwhile making ridiculous business decisions that waste everyone’s time, money and energy.

Except… unlike Brent – who ends up being let go – Nev is a massively successful, self-made millionaire.

And despite the fact that he runs businesses that cold call us about PPI, debt services and energy bills, sometimes unlawfully, he actually seems like a really bloody reasonable guy.

Even the Daily Mail don’t seem to have found anything particularly wrong with him. They tried their best, in this article about his ‘criminal past’ (criminal = years ago, he argued with someone about a parking space, and kicked his own car in anger.) Presumably they couldn’t find anything worse.

Less David Brent, then, Nev turns out to be a bit of a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Top Bloke, Top Leader

In fact, as a leader, I love what Nev’s got going for him:

  • An absolute refusal to judge someone before they’ve been given a chance to prove themselves.
  • The ability to make light of literally any situation. Others seem to find it unbearable – they cringe first, but always seem to get reeled in.
  • A team around him whom others would have written off as ‘all-over-the-place’. Why would you? Because chaos keeps energy and positive flowing.
  • Masses of different ‘business hats’, a personality for every occasion. Salesman, consultant, motivator. He switches between the roles seemingly effortlessly.
  • The skill to do all this and more whilst portraying himself as a jester. Let them laugh!

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