The Tie Test

Getting the right people on the bus

The Tie Test

When Bernard Arnault interviews senior executives, he is said to set out 100 ties and ask candidates to choose ten. If they pick bad ties they must go on to the scarf test. If they choose badly again there is little chance of them getting a job.

He selects incoming senior leaders from large multinationals in industries outside the fashion field. That means he's not getting fashion sycophants who all think similarly, he's getting seasoned business people and making sure their taste aligns to his standards.

What an amazing way to to make sure that the leaders you will be delegating important decisions to are experienced decision makers and aligned to your tastes. It increases the chances that products and services will align to your vision, without you having to micromanage every decision.

Imagine placing 100 website layouts or prototypes in from of your lead designer, and they choose the exact ten that are opposite to yours and don't fit your vision for your company. You're just not going to get the results you're after. And you can find out in 15 minutes upfront before you start working together.

It's a simple and powerful way to make sure you are bringing the right people onto the bus, who you can trust to execute in your absence. Now imagine how this compounds across an organisation and over time.

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