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Searching for Great Clients is Sometimes Muddy Business

The Brief

We are occasionally approached by potential clients who leave us wondering whether we actually want to partner with them or not. And sometimes, we turn them down. Here is an example of one where we made the right call, despite some real concerns:

The consumer finance industry (you already get why alarm bells might have been ringing) has been tarnished by unscrupulous lenders offering loans to already cash-strapped consumers, so a call from a global unsecured lending organisation made notorious by some rash business decisions, had the team both wary and excited. Wary because, as a firm, Jack Hammer has a strong conscience, and excited because our team relishes the challenge of identifying strong leaders willing and able to confront difficult businesses and turn-around situations head-on.

And they were going to need a leader amongst leaders!

Challenge and Outcomes

After being convinced that the organisation was invested in cleaning up its act, we decided to take the plunge. And landed right in a murky pond, which at times threatened to leave mud on our faces.

Because even though our team had bought into the vision of this role, which was to lead the South African business into a new era, it was initially a real challenge convincing potential candidates to hear us out.

Fortunately, the project team was unfazed by the prospect of mud, and engaged with authentic passion and energy – resulting in a process that ran much more smoothly and quickly than expected.

And the result is a superb appointment – a CEO who has embraced the challenge and, with the help of an equally strong and courageous CFO, is leading the company into a future where others fear to tread!

The moral of the story? You can figure that one out.

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