As managing partner at Boyden, one of the world’s top executive search firms, Roger Duguay has interviewed countless people with big egos.
The headhunter says he’s developed a keen sense for distinguishing bravado from earned confidence. But when he met one of his heroes, Tibetan Buddhist monk and Dalai Lama confidante Matthieu Ricard, he was expecting a deservedly bold answer to one of his favorite interview questions: “On a scale of 1 to 10, where are you versus the person you want to be?” Ricard responded with, “Oh, maybe a 4 out of 10.” Duguay was shocked. The reply further enforced his idea that a senior executive referring to himself as a 9 should be a major red flag.
Duguay spoke with Business Insider ahead of the announcement that Boyden CEO Trina Gordon named him, in addition to his current role, leader of the firm’s Global CEO & Board Services Practice. It was a recognition of the work he’s done over the past five years building up the firm’s Montreal office — and it means Boyden will incorporate more of his talent-placement practices across its 65 offices around the world.
Over his Boyden career, Duguay has placed more than 100 people into executive, CEO, or board roles in both the private and public sectors (he estimates he’s gone through 1,000 candidates). In that time, he’s determined what qualities are necessary for a chief executive, and why anyone answering “9.5” for the question he asked Ricard is not going to end up in the role.