When Radhika Jones took over Vanity Fair as editor-in-chief, she succeeded a man who had been in the job for 25 years. And taking over a legacy like that isn’t easy - whether you’re EIC or managing a new team at work. You have to explain your vision, win over people who might not agree, learn people’s work styles…all on top of doing your actual job. This week, we asked Radhika how she navigated those early days at VF, and what she wants her legacy to be at the publication.
On Coming Into a New Team Environment
Radhika: You can't go in and expect everybody to be terribly excited or think that this is absolutely the right thing to do.It would be unrealistic. But you do need to create an environment where, you know, the people who are on board with your vision can start to execute it and start to help you execute it.
…. You have to leave yourself space to evolve. It's a two way street. You come in and a new team is learning about you and you're learning about them. And there's a dialogue there. I have never found it useful as a leader to be 100% top-down.
On Explaining Her Vision
Radhika: I had put forward a vision for Vanity Fair that I felt was true to the DNA of the magazine. I was a reader of Vanity Fair from way back, and I felt that there was an opportunity to make it more forward-looking and more modern.
And I just felt very confident not only that I could do that and put together a team of people who could do that, but that it would actually fill a space in the culture that I had felt was lacking, you know, as a reader. And so I just was trying to be very patient and dogged about kind of getting my ducks in a row in order to do that.
It doesn't happen overnight. So, you know, it can be a little frustrating when you have a vision in your head. It takes a little while for everything to crystallize and get there. But I was patient and confident and I had a lot of support…
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