While my characters are not based on real people we all know what real life looks like ....
He looked intelligent, but he wasn’t because, according to some philosophies, we can’t have everything. His intellectual weakness was a willingness to mistake quantity of learning for knowledge. In practice that meant he didn’t know when to stop studying. He never felt he had attained his goals, but if asked, he couldn’t have said what those were except something to do with knowing the truth when he saw it. He had made it to head of department because he was a wise-looking fool, which is a form of idiocy that his colleagues found impossible to take seriously.