If you are in Business…. NEVER hire an Allstar Cheerleader.

In speaking with so many new people recently. I must say, I am never surprised by the things that come out of peoples mouth. In full disclosure, I have been called a funny guy from time to time. I like to joke and have fun with people. Simply put, I like to keep things light and humorous but as we all know sometimes humor can cross the line. I know most people who I chat with are just trying to be funny, but some things just hit home.

A recent conversation I had with a “Business Professional” that started out cordial and fun; ended up taking a bit of a turn after they found out the book I wrote was about a group of  Allstar Cheerleaders. The comment that the “Business Professional” made “Why would you write a book about Cheerleaders they can’t read.” Ha Ha Ha.. The joke was intended to be funny but after the Crickets..my response was a bit awkward in that I responded by saying. “My nine-year-old has read every volume of Harry Potter twice in the past two months.” I think she got my drift. But it got me thinking.

Early in my professional career, I was lucky enough to land with a company called Circuit City. The company is now extinct but was featured in the book Good to Great by Jim Collins the book is a best seller and basically outlines 11 out of 3700 companies that were extremely successful and why. To make it quick, it basically outlines how to get the “Right People on the Bus and then figure out where to drive it.”

While I was at Circuit City I spent a ton of time training on how to direct recruit people to join our team. Part of our job was to go out and identify people who exemplified specific traits. The traits we always looked for while observing people on the job were:

  • Being Coachable– Observe people taking instruction are they modifying their behavior to maximize performance?
  • Resilient– Can you observe the candidate overcoming personal and physical challenges to get the job done.
  • Focus– Do you observe specific behaviors of an individual overcoming repetitive challenging  situations even if they sometimes don’t want to.
  • Passion– Can you feel their excitement in what they are doing.
  • Competitive– Do they stand out, and do they strive to be the best in everything they do.
  • Smart– Do they work hard and do they work smart?
  • Driven- Do they collaborate well with the team and if needed do they take charge to lead and push through.
  • Organized– Can they manage multiple responsibilities in a day and prioritize to accomplish great things.
  • Trusting– Can they be trusted and can they easily build trust in others.
  • Loyal– Do they stick with their team? Do they have each others back?

In a previous post, I outlined the Importance of Strong mentors and Culture  .To summarize, I wrote about the importance of identifying the leaders in the room and working hard to model or benchmark performance around those leaders. Observing so many young athletes over the past 4 years, they have opened my eyes to a promising concept. Capturing all of these gifted and talented people that exemplify every one of the specific words bulleted above should be very exciting to business professionals.

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An Allstar Cheerleaders biggest fear when their time is over as an athlete is, “What they are going to do when the busy schedule and the National and World championships are over?” My advice to my “Business Professional” friend would be to NEVER hire an Allstar Cheerleader. I will hire them all. Then I will take my chances in transitioning all of the traits listed above to the business world and we will see who wins!


15 thoughts on “If you are in Business…. NEVER hire an Allstar Cheerleader.

  1. Wow! This just keeps getting better and better. My cheer ladies and gents are smart, loving, incredible, hard working and did I mention talented athletics with the discipline of any adult. If you watch them perform you would be totally amazed at the talent you witness. This group of little ladies and gents will knock your socks off! Go Marietta Stringray Cheer Co. keep bringing it home!

  2. This is year 5 of competitive cheer for my ‘baby’ (now a HS senior). Last year her team started the season with a great deal of adversity-between the squad, between the coaches, between the parents. They were the team least favored among their powerhouse cheer club coaches to amount to anything all season. As the season went on they proved everyone wrong because of all the things mentioned above. They grew as a team. They grew with the help of a coach who loved each and everyone one of them with all his heart. They grew individually and when they finally came together it was a beautiful thing to watch. Their team became known and loved by other teams because of their commitment and love for the sport as well as their pursuit of camaraderie with their competition. They always gave 100%. When they won, they won as a team; when they lost, they lost as a team. They came in 2nd at Dallas super nationals, went to the finals and almost won Summit and became quite the Cinderella story. Loyal, driven, talented, passionate…truly the kind of people to hire.

    1. Jane, Thank you so much for your comment! That is such an inspiring story! It is the exact type of inspiration and teamwork that inspired me to write Welcome to Mintland. The resilience you describe is almost identical to the story line in the book. Every season is different but the teams that stick out are the ones that magically bond and work through and become the Cinderella story! Everyone loves the underdog,it is great to see teams prevail together. I Welcome you to download the book. If by chance you are an Amazon Prime member you can get it for free. I think you will find many similarities 🙂

  3. On January 16th 2016 my wife and will be watching our all star perform in her last competition. She is captain of the women’s cheer team at Penn State University, and attending the NCA event in Orlando. Bitter sweet, but the 16 years of preparation for this transition day has been monumental and the characteristics described here are spot on. Karli is so prepared for the world, and has her eyes set on rising fast in the business ranks. I can’t wait to see what’s next!

    As an example of her self assurance, she worked for Major League Baseball this summer in the commissioners office, in community affairs. An event for city youth occurred next to Yankee Stadium on afternoon, replete with 6 pro ball players mingling with the kids. When I asked her that evening if she got an autograph of Alex Rodriguez, she replied ‘no dad, don’t be silly, and I really expected him to ask mw for mine.” Go girl.

  4. I don’t know. Maybe I haven’t been around the right All-Star cheerleaders. There’s a certain culture permeating All-Star cheerleading right now that I find distasteful. “Cheerlebrities?” Yes, cheerleading has the tendency to have an egocentric, “look at me” kind of culture to it, but while I was a high school and collegiate cheerleader and later on a coach, I never experienced the egotism that seems to be so prevalent among All-Star cheerleaders today.

    Yes, All-Star cheerleaders display all of the qualities you listed within the context of competitive cheerleading, but I become more skeptical when they join the rank and file masses of worker bees after graduation.

    1. Herkie, while I understand some can be discouraged by the “Cheerlebrity” mindset, I respectfully think that what you are referring to is the exception, not the norm. I am not denying there are a few “Cheerlebrities” out there but for every point flyer “Cheerlebrity” there are tens of thousands of bases and back spots that have to work together to make that flyer shine. All understand that there are tons of teams that can succeed with or without them.

      In the business world, we have another word for Cheerlebrities they are sometimes called CEO’s sometimes Managers, sometimes they actually fit into the rank and file. Whatever happens its all ok. Hopefully, they turn into leaders or contributors of some sort. The important thing is to take the attributes of what they do on the mats and be productive in their lives moving forward. Thank you for you contribution to the conversation. I agree, not everything is peaches and cream.

  5. Cheerleading is a joke. Waste of time. Girls should be taught to cook and clean. It is not and never should be a sport. They put on make-up, dance a little. Big deal. Easy. I hope everyone is mad because I am just playing. Great article. I am the proud father of a 22 year old former cheerleader who now is a coach at a top So. Cal. gym. She also is a college student. When she told me many moons ago she wanted to become a cheerleader I was devastated. My thoughts immediately went back to my high schools days and the reputation cheerleaders had back then. Well after I saw the first competition I was more than impressed. Amazing. These young girls were mentored like I had never seen. The girls who stuck with it gave back in a big way. The article says it all. I am happy to report when I mention to people that my daughter is a cheerleading coach people are impressed. There are the naïve ones but most people know it is a wonderful sport that requires dedication, etc. etc. I am proud of my daughter because of how she is able to make such a huge difference in these kids lives. I don’t have the time to go on but keep it going girls.

  6. My daughter, Rae, is a sophomore in high school and a flyer on Brandon Senior Black. That team holds each other accountable. There is no “I” on the team. Only “we.” Because of the discipline, confidence and hard work the coaches teach these kids, my daughter is a confident, assertive, and independent person. She takes Advanced Placement courses at her school, maintains a 4.5 GPA and coaches a youth team at another gym. She has plans to be a primary care sports physician. Yes, All-stars cheerleading has played a huge part in her success. I can’t wait to see the leader she will become in the career world.

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