If you were ever in Boy Scouts, you were likely told that being an Eagle Scout would “look good on your resume” (it is, by the way, as long as that wasn’t the pinnacle of your life’s achievement…).
In Forbes’ magazine Friday, there’s some great analysis by Ken Krogue, President and Co-Founder of InsideSales.com (located in Utah*) about how top athletes and Eagle Scouts are correlated in a way you might not have put together before: They are great salespeople. In Ken’s words:
[In 1994 at Franklin Quest–then the 2nd fastest-growing US company] we were trying to figure out what made up our top performers so we could hire more just like them. We went back and analyzed what factors, at least in the men on the team, made up the leaders in sales. As a side note, all the women on the team were in the top half of all of the performers. Two factors for the men stood out: A strong background of personal athletic achievement… and being an Eagle Scout. I began hiring Eagle Scouts, former… collegiate athletes, and women as fast as I could.
The rest of the article goes on to list comparables between top athletes and Eagle Scouts. I think the best summary is that both groups are driven to perform better tomorrow than they were yesterday, and not afraid of accountability to themselves and others for their actions. These are crucial in sales, as in life… and, of course, were I to wax philosophic, all business is some form of sales, is it not? Check out Ken’s article on Forbes. Great stuff. And the comments are interesting too. Oh, and forward this to your favorite aspiring Eagle Scout and/or athlete. They might need a little boost, or a little evidence that the hard work is worth pushing through (thanks, mom!).
HR Guy note here: In terms of allowable questions for job interviews, there’s nothing technically wrong with asking someone about the types of things they do outside of professional life (or have done in the past). However, you begin to probe the grey area, especially when/if you get hung up on certain aspects of their background. Pressing a candidate too hard about the college they went to, especially if it’s a religious school (or openly anti-religion for that matter**), or if they were ever in the Boy Scouts of America could put the candidate in an awkward position. While it’s not illegal, it could feel uncomfortable. The Gender question is a little more direct. Obviously, you can’t (and shouldn’t want to) discriminate for/against someone because of their gender. Don’t ever do it. Do not ever create a system or culture or even a line of questioning that could be construed in any circumstance to preferring to hire one “type” of person over another! In ALL your hiring, ensure that all candidates receive equal and adequate cultural/technical screening for the job. If there are indicators or data-points that seem to identify traits of successful candidates in your research, align questions in your interviews to bring up these possible data points, but never use them as your sole (or primary) hiring criteria. The job’s posted requirements (education, experience, knowledge, skills and abilities) are the final measure. If additional affiliations or experiences outside of those posted skills are found in your selected candidate, then congratulations–it looks like you’ve found a good candidate to hire. * Full-disclosure, I have worked in the past with InsideSales.com, both as a client and a recruiter. I am not currently affiliated with them in any way.
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