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Analysing leaders, founders (& spotting rogues & scallywags)

Taking a closer look at credentials and capabilities


The client needed to find a Managing Director for their business in an emerging market. Appointing the person was time-sensitive, and a potential candidate came highly recommended by a trusted source.

Approach & outcome

On paper, the individual seemed to have the proper credentials and experience for the role with our client. He also had one of our client’s Senior Executives as a reference. But was he the right person for the role?

Interviewed the candidate using our proprietary methodology. The candidate’s track record, knowledge and experience seemed to be ideal. However, there was something that wasn’t right. It was very subtle, with no hard evidence at this stage, but enough to instil doubt and raise a red flag. We discussed the matter with the client, who looked into the issues raised.

The examples the potential candidate had shared were real, but the work he was taking credit for was done by someone else – a person already working with our client. This guy was an imposter.

Saved the client from the potential embarrassment and risk of having the wrong leader in place. Our insight and transparency enabled us to forge a long-term relationship with the client and we went on to advise them on several high-profile executives and founders.

Why it matters

Many biases can kick in when interviewing, hiring, and even investing. For instance, some assume that because someone they hold in high regard recommends someone, the person they referred must be good. A robust and consistent process goes a long way to mitigating the potential risks associated with your recruitment process, increases fairness and creates a more level playing field.

Rogues and imposters are more commonplace than you may think. Please get in touch if you want to know more about spotting rogues, how humans are hacked (and how to prevent it!)

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