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How to Lead Stars and Mavericks with Darren Cassidy | Episode 172


In this episode, we are talking with Darren Cassidy, the Managing Director for Xerox UK & Ireland and senior vice president for the Global Document Services business across Europe, the Middle East & Africa (EMEA).

With an incredible 33 years at Xerox, he knows the business inside out, yet seems as hungry to grow and open to new thinking as the company’s newest team member.

Episode Highlights

  1. Leading Stars and Mavericks. Effective leadership involves not compromising on teamwork, values, and behaviours. It’s crucial to communicate with openness, humanity, and empathy when addressing team members who may be off base. Learn strategies for guiding high performers and mavericks while maintaining a cohesive and value-driven team environment.
  2. The Benefits and Risks of Long Tenure. With 33 years at Xerox, we explore how to capitalise on long tenure, mitigate associated risks, and ensure a continuous influx of fresh thinking within the organization. Discover practical approaches for balancing the wisdom of experience with the innovation of new perspectives.
  3. Lead for Tomorrow Instead of Managing Today. Darren and I share our respective experiences from business and the military, emphasizing the importance of focusing on tomorrow’s tasks instead of today’s. Once a well-planned project or mission is underway, a significant part of a leader’s focus should shift to anticipating future challenges and opportunities, ensuring sustained success.
  4. Understanding How to Play the Game of Business. Success in business isn’t just about the results; it’s about mastering the tactics, skills, and behaviours that lead to those results. We discuss the importance of focusing on processes and dialling up the intensity of activities that maximise the chances of achieving desired outcomes.
  5. How to Step Off the Hamster Wheel and Find Time to Think. Creating conditions for your team’s success is a fundamental leadership component, yet many leaders struggle to allocate sufficient time for this. Darren and I discuss the mindset, management, and structural shifts required to step off the hamster wheel, find time to think, and strategically foster an environment conducive to success.

Chapter Makers

(03:39) Darren’s first leadership experience

(09:14) Teamwork and the risks associated with ‘star’ performers

(13:15) Leading a ‘Brilliant Jerk’

(17:00) Managing pp

(18:00) The risks and benefits of long tenure

(19:18) How to maintain an external perspective as a leader

(25:15) Why leaders must be looking ahead

(26:00) The link between sport and business at Xerox

(34:41) Darren’s 3Ds of leadership

(35:20) How to step off the busyness ‘hamster wheel’

(38:09) The difference between responding and reacting

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More About Darren Cassidy

Darren Cassidy is the managing director for Xerox UK & Ireland and senior vice president for the Global Document Services business across Europe, the Middle East & Africa (EMEA).

With 33 years of experience at Xerox, he has held various roles across Xerox Europe and Global, including direct sales management, channel leadership, learning and development. Darren’s expertise lies in delivering document services and digital transformation solutions.

He is a sports enthusiast, having played national league rugby and semi-professional football, and in recent years, he has embraced Transcendental Meditation (TM) as a practitioner.

Darren has won many awards within Xerox, including multiple CEO awards, and has been recognised externally for channel and services leadership.

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