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“Rather than giving direct instructions, inspire your team; I’m looped in at the beginning and I review their work in the end, but everything in the middle is up to them” With Dana Rakovsky of Intelligo

Rather than giving direct instructions or micromanaging, inspire your team. In addition to making the work atmosphere a lot more enjoyable, this offers the added bonus of receiving creative and out-of-the-box suggestions. Every member of my team has their project, and they’re in charge of running it, a-z. I’m looped in at the beginning and […]


Rather than giving direct instructions or micromanaging, inspire your team. In addition to making the work atmosphere a lot more enjoyable, this offers the added bonus of receiving creative and out-of-the-box suggestions. Every member of my team has their project, and they’re in charge of running it, a-z. I’m looped in at the beginning and I review their work in the end, but everything in the middle is up to them (though of course, I’m available for advice or feedback if they want it throughout.)


I had the pleasure of interviewing Dana Rakovsky, Chief Research Officer at Intelligo. Intelligo is a high tech company that uses artificial intelligence to promote transparency and trust in the financial space. Rakovsky comes with nearly a decade of experience as a senior leader in the Israeli intelligence sector. Outside of work, Rakovsky enjoys spending time with her family, astronomy, and photography.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I actually began my career at the age of 18 in the army. I was recruited to 8200 unit, which is Israel’s NSA equivalent. There you have to be good at analyzing information, finding missing puzzle pieces, and coming to decisive decisions quickly. In my capacities I liaised between different departments to evaluate what they needed and advocated my conclusions to the superiors.I moved from there to the Prime Minister’s Office and worked there for 5 years. Finally I moved to the private sector and I was a senior research analyst at a firm.

Other than a short stint at FedEx, this is what I’ve been doing my whole adult life and it very much defines me.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?

When we first started the company we wanted to put all the money directly back into it, so to save as much as possible we started working from my living room. While this was mostly convenient, when my 5 year old daughter started telling her friends that she lives with Intelligo, I realized it was time to move out.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Oh, this is a funny one. So, I was 7 months pregnant and leading a big board meeting. Suddenly I became very aware that I had lost the attention of the room — I looked down and saw my daughter was kicking like mad. It looked like I had a hostage in my stomach trying to get out. I paused for a bit too long and then continued talking and didn’t acknowledge it, but in retrospect it was a pretty big mistake. No one listened to me and the long pause totally lost them. That experience taught me that sometimes, the best way to get people to focus on you and the message you’re delivering is to address the elephant (or kicking fetus) in the room.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

I think something unique about our company is that we were driven to start it due to the pain points that we ourselves were feeling. I was working for a company running background checks, and we saw first-hand the margins of error that occured, the slow and arduous processes, and the strains the clients felt. I thought there must be a better way.

So, I partnered up with a colleague and we went back to the drawing board to start asking, and answering, the hard questions. What is it that defines the challenges of this industry and what possible solutions could we bring? We built an AI platform to perform the background checks that would help tackle many of the pain points, such informational gaps and long and arduous processes, with the combination of disruptive tech and great UX.

We also felt that going to work each day shouldn’t be a chore, and committed to creating a company with a positive atmosphere.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

Yes! We recently launched a new product called Ongoing Monitoring, which enables businesses to get live updates regarding the individuals they invest with. This tech is the first of its kind, and has the potential to help investors save millions of dollars, and avoid embarrassing situations.

What advice would you give to other female leaders to help their team to thrive?

Rather than giving direct instructions or micromanaging, inspire your team. In addition to making the work atmosphere a lot more enjoyable, this offers the added bonus of receiving creative and out-of-the-box suggestions. Every member of my team has their project, and they’re in charge of running it, a-z. I’m looped in at the beginning and I review their work in the end, but everything in the middle is up to them (though of course, I’m available for advice or feedback if they want it throughout.)

What advice would you give to other female leaders about the best way to manage a large team?

I think the best way to manage a large team is to try not to forget about the individuals. Try to connect as much as possible on a personal level with the management directly below you, and if possible, to the whole team. Loop people into the bigger picture of a project, and be approachable.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

The work that we’re doing, on a very high-level is helping businesses promote trust. As my company has grown, the client and their strengths, challenges and needs, have always been at the forefront of my mind. It’s energizing to hear from clients about risk they’ve been able to mitigate thanks to our technology and I believe our technological advancements are providing an added layer of transparency to the corporate world.

What are your “5 Leadership Lessons I Learned From My Experience” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)

  1. Add purpose into the work day — Always try to present that big-picture view when relating to your team. I think it’s working towards this common goal of disrupting the due diligence process that empowers them to go beyond with their work and put in the late hours because we’re working towards the common goal of improving trust in the business world.
  2. Expect the unexpected — Starting a company you assume you will encounter certain situations and you might even try to prepare for them, but I was surprised to learn how many challenges occur that I never dreamed would happen.
  3. Turn the hiring process into an opportunity to empower your team — I interview with a senior member of my team to get their feedback, because ultimately they’ll be working closely with the candidate.
  4. Leave your ego at the door — and make sure your managers do as well — will always give credit where credit is due, and encourage an open-door policy.
  5. Don’t think in terms of gender roles — when I walk into the office I’m coming in as a C-Suite executive and I don’t think in terms of being a woman in an otherwise male-dominated industry. I think the way my team views me reflects the way I compose myself.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I think the greatest movement would be to promote transparency, whether that be in personal life or in business.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

A quote that has always driven me is one by Steve Jobs, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” This quote inspired me to take risks, and commit to changing that which I feel needs to be changed.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

I’m very active on the company’s social accounts, so check out: @IntelligoGroup on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn for more tips and insights on my journey!

Thank you so much for these inspiring insights!

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