Why You Really Want to Work For Somebody Like Jerry Jones

I’m not a fan of the Dallas Cowboys but I have to say from an HR perspective, many of us our missing the boat on owner Jerry Jones.

Here’s the deal: you’ve got a guy who played college football, made a ton of money, and then he decided he was going to buy the Dallas Cowboys. It’s his team, he pays the bills, he is an owner unlike many National Football League owners in that he actually wants to be involved and has background at a high level into the sport.

Let’s back up for a minute. In business, most of our owners were at one point entrepreneurs/startup types that had an idea and ran with it. They worked their butts off and became successful, and while they might not be super involved in the day-to-day operations currently, they clearly have the ability to jump back into the mix if they had to.

3 reasons people hate Jerry Jones

In many circumstances, these owners are still the lifeblood of their companies – they drive revenue, they motivate, they live and die their brand. Not bad traits to have from an owner (or anyone else working for you).

So, why do we hate on Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys? Here are three reasons:

  1. We hate him because he’s wants to be involved with the business he runs!
  2. We hate him because we feel there are more qualified people to run his billion dollar investment!
  3. We hate him because he wants to be involved with every staffing decision that is made in his business!

Passionate for the business

You know what happens when an owner steps down and let’s someone else take over operations in a majority of cases? You get less passion for the business, you get increased entitlement, you get a decrease in knowledge and a decrease in motivation. It’s shown time after time when original owner steps aside (it’s something I think about often in my new role – don’t let this happen!).

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Jerry Jones isn’t bad for Dallas or the NFL – he’s great for it – and you won’t find a person more passionate for “his” business to succeed, for “his” employees to do well, for “his” investment to pay off even greater in the future.

You know what you get when you take away “his” or “hers?”  You get “yours” and “theirs.”  That isn’t better – it’s worse!

This originally appeared on the blog The Tim Sackett Project.

Tim Sackett, MS, SPHR is executive vice president of HRU Technical Resources, a contingent staffing firm in Lansing, MI. Tim has 20 years of HR and talent background split evenly between corporate HR gigs among the Fortune 500 and the HR vendor community ? so he gets it from both sides of the desk. A frequent contributor to the talent blog Fistful of Talent, Tim also speaks at many HR conferences and events. Contact him here.


3 Comments on “Why You Really Want to Work For Somebody Like Jerry Jones

  1. I think it’s important to draw a HUGE distinction between the Dallas Cowboys as a brand and the Dallas Cowboys as a football team.  There is no question that Jerry Jones is a brilliant businessman and his innovations in sports generally and the NFL specifically speak for themselves.  Unfortunately, those talents do not always translate/transfer to professional football.  Saying he “has background at a high level” (college) is like saying, because I can drive my car 100 MPH, I’m capable of driving at the Indy 500.  There are multiple examples of NFL owner/operators who successfully run their businesses while leaving the football to the experts.  There is also one example of someone who tried to do it all and failed – the late Al Davis – and he was much more qualified than Jerry to run the football team,  His record also speaks for itself.  Jerry had his chance to prove he was a capable GM and enjoyed some great success 15 years ago (!!).  He has, by all accounts, allowed the Cowboys to wallow in mediocrity since.  Anyone else in business with that track record would have been fired a long time ago. Yes – he’s made money and certainly enhanced his own “brand” but, again, the team’s performance speaks for itself as well as Jerry’s ability as a General Manager.  Using his passion as an example of effective leadership without talking about its poor results is a weak and incomplete argument.

    1. AMEN!!! I have been a loyal fan for 40 years….and I’ve given Jerry all the benefit of the doubt I can! It isn’t working for the football team! And that team is all i care about watching…not Jerry’s bank account! He fired Tom Landry for “being too old and losing”…Well, look who’s there now! Go home Jerry, and hire a football GM and let them run the team if you ever want to see one of those Lombardi trophys again! Call Jimmy and get down on your knees!

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