Latitude CEO Ahmed Fahour on the best advice he’s received: Hire A-level people

What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?

The best career advice given to me by John Stewart [former chief executive] at the National Australia Bank, who said to me: “If you hire grade A people, these people hire other grade A people, but if you hire grade B people, they hire grade C people and D. Do you want to succeed? Surround yourself with the best.

What is your morning routine/exercise routine?

My wife is a runner, she loves to run and she trained quite well during the pandemic for a second marathon. I tend to go with her, but she’s faster than me. We did quite a bit of Pilates together to improve flexibility and things like that. It was a big part of how we survived during lockdown. We did home workouts and things like that.

Do you still kick football from time to time?

Yes but not well !

What is the most important thing you look for when hiring someone?

I’ve never really been one to care too much about positions in a company. I am looking for the person who has the most potential to achieve whatever the goals. Whether I do my nonprofits, with museums, or whether I’m involved in football, or sports, or whether it’s at work – assuming competence and all that stuff, let’s leave that aside – there are some features that are really important. They include being authentic; people who don’t necessarily come from privilege, but who have strived to better themselves and their families and achieve something. I’m looking for passion, energy and above all, for me, that they have a belief system and stand for something.