Thursday, December 18, 2014

Game On. With college bowl season upon us, consider how to build your corporate dream team.

To be successful, every team needs to develop solid fundamentals, follow a smart playbook, employ a talented coaching staff—an all-star recruiting classes doesn’t hurt—and the free agent market is always a good source for adding talent…

I could write an entire post using cheesy game-day references that link business and sport. But I won’t. The truth is that there are many parallels that can be draw between competitive athletics and business; and I’ve read a number of articles about the benefits of hiring former student-athletes (or at least, looking for new-hires who possess some of their key attributes).

Consider that your business—no matter your market or industry—is only as good as its people. It follows, then, that as business leaders we need to attract the best and brightest. But how do we find them? I’ve read quite a bit about what researchers tell us about birth order (and how it influences future success): Many point to the firstborn child as more conscientious, ambitious and aggressive than their younger siblings. These firstborns are over-represented at Harvard and Yale; and more than half of all Nobel Prize winners and U.S. presidents have been first born.

A similar-type argument can be made for recruiting student-athletes: These are the college students who, in addition to their studies, have developed excellent time-management skills; have learned how to deal with losing—and how to bounce back; maintain competitive drive and determination; understand how their roles and responsibilities effect the team; and are extremely disciplined and dedicated. Isn’t that the type of employee we all want working for our team?

We want people who are driven, dedicated and talented—but also balanced. It’s that type of level, even-keel attitude that can keep us all moving forward, for the win. 

Best of luck!

Read the Fast Company article about hiring student-athletes