Friday, November 26, 2010

Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Headhunters

If you read my last blog, you know that we are now ready to apply all that we’ve learned about evaluating search assignments. Jerry Jones, Owner/GM and Puppet Master of the Dallas Cowboys has asked me to find him a Head Coach. Should I take the search?

First, we have The Client. What can I say? I only know what I read in the papers and see on TV. The Client is not much inclined to listen to others unless they agree with him; and in the end he will do whatever he wants to do.
So on a scale of 1-10, the Client is a 0.

Second, The Company. Well, the Cowboy organization isn’t what it used to be. In this case the Client has virtually redefined the Company and not in a good way. However, there is still some shine left on “the Star”, and they do have those cheerleaders, and Jerry does have all that money. I’ll rate it a 5.

The Job has pluses and minuses. It is big money and a big spotlight. A great opportunity to succeed or fail magnificently. On a “comparative value” basis it’s not a totally bad job. However, the requirements and qualifications are tough. The candidate must be willing to work for a high-control owner/general manager whose kids are heavily involved in the business. The Head Coach will have lots of responsibility but limited authority. Compared to other head coaching opportunities, this one really is below average. I’ll give it a 3.

Lastly, The Search. It’s ugly. It’s certainly not confidential. There’s plenty of competition, solicited and otherwise. The need is there for sure, but the urgency is moderate. Nothing is likely to happen until after the season is over. He has a strong internal candidate, Jason Garrett. He is also considering the list of unemployed and available head coaches who have successful track records. But Uncle Jerry likes to show people how clever he is and may go in an entirely different direction. The interview process will be goofy. It just will be. Trust me on that. Who knows how the hiring decision will really be made? The best thing the search has going for it is a GINORMOUS FEE. But even that’s not enough to rate it more than a 2.

So should I take on this type of search? None of the four key areas are positive. The answer to “should I” take on the search is obviously NO. But, it is tempting. Sometimes it’s just fun to take on something out of the ordinary, especially if it’s difficult and no one else would attempt it. I call it a Mickelson (you golfers know what that means). That said, taking on a Mickelson like this deserves to be filmed for one of those Jack Ass movies. It definitely has a “Hold my beer and watch this” feel to it.

But sometimes it’s not all about the facts or the fundamentals. Sometimes it’s about fun and foolishness. Would I take on the search to find the next head coach of the Dallas Cowboys? Hold my beer…

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