You can put lipstick on a pig but…

By AT_Admin Uncategorized 5 November, 2023

President Obama once said, “You can put lipstick on a pig but it’s still a pig”.

To put “lipstick on a pig” is a rhetorical expression, conveying the message that making cosmetic changes is a futile attempt to disguise the true nature of a person or organisation.

The expression is particularly applicable in the world of professional services and in business as a whole. When you are considering putting your livelihood in the hands of an organisation, ie go and work for them you need to make sure they are the real deal.

Many organisations attempt to appear to be more or better than they actually are and will try to do this by making “cosmetic” alterations. Things like changing names, logos, and taglines – look different from the outside regardless of what is happening underneath!

They want to appear to possess high levels of expertise, be doing complex groundbreaking work, changing the course of history, and changing the world. You need to look beneath the surface and when you do you will often see that this is far from true.

When looking to take a new position with an organisation you are not 100% familiar with then due diligence is the order of the day. Here are a few high-level things to enable you to see an organisation’s true colours:

Research Thoroughly:

●      Investigate the company’s history, reputation and track record.

●      Read reviews to get insights from current or former employees.

●      Look for press releases, news articles and any publicly available information about the company.


●      Connect with current or former employees on professional networking sites like LinkedIn.

●      Meet people associated with the company – suppliers, contractors, clients.

Ask the Right Questions:

●      During interviews, don’t hesitate to ask about anything.

●      Ask for specific examples of projects, successes and failures.

Check Credentials:

●      Verify the credentials of key personnel, including their educational background and professional experience.

●      Look for certifications or memberships in relevant professional organisations.

Evaluate Communication:

●      Pay attention to how the company communicates. Is their messaging consistent, transparent, and aligned with your values?

●      Be cautious if there’s an excessive focus on superficial aspects rather than substantive achievements.

Seek Referrals:

●      If possible, talk to people in your professional network who have worked with or for the company.

●      Personal recommendations can provide valuable insights.

Trust Your Instincts:

●      If something feels off or too good to be true, it might be worth investigating further.

●      Trust your gut feelings during interactions with company representatives.

Remember, the recruitment process is a two-way street. While the company is assessing your fit for their needs, you’re also evaluating whether the company aligns with your professional goals and values. Asking thoughtful questions and conducting thorough research will help you make a more informed decision.

I knew a financial advisory practice whose bread and butter was putting clients into Managed Funds but by the way they communicated with the outside world you would have thought billion-dollar deals on Wall Street were the order of the day.

I have also seen multiple accounting firms that are the “leading professionals” in their fields. Why? Just because they say so. These particular guys were putting numbers in a box for a living but made out to the outside world that they were curing cancer. Lots of unnecessary turnover in both these organisations.

Get in touch with me. I have spent years on both sides of the desk and I know which firms and advisors are the real deal.

I connect you to the people you need to be connected with.

Are You Ready To Raise The Roof

Get in touch today to discuss how Anthony can Raise The Roof on your business.