Few of us can envision celebrities sitting across from us in the conference room, chatting around the water cooler, or leading a team meeting. However, there are quite a few celebrities whose skills would add value to any organization. Here are 4 celebrities that we think would make great hires.
LEADER: Elon Musk
Elon Musk is the epitome of a leader. He is audacious, authentic, and inspiring. As a founder of PayPal, SpaceX, and Tesla, he has fundamentally changed the credit card, aerospace, and automobile industries, and he’s gearing up to do it again. In August of 2013, Musk unveiled a proposal to develop a subsonic air travel machine, called the Hyperloop, which would reach speeds of 760 mph and reduce travel time between San Francisco and Los Angeles to 35 minutes. Musk’s colleagues have also gone on to create other industry-rattling companies, including Yelp, YouTube, and LinkedIn.
Leadership may be one of the most studied and least understood phenomena, but it’s easy to recognize when you see it. Companies need leaders in the C-suite, but they shouldn’t stop there. The fundamental qualities that make a great leader – the ability to share a vision, challenge others to put forth their best efforts, and achieve great results – are important at every level of an organization. As companies become increasingly flat and networks replace hierarchies, leadership will become even more important, and the best companies will strive to hire and develop great leaders.
COMMUNICATOR: Oprah Winfrey
When she speaks, people listen. Oprah has made us laugh, she’s made us cry, and she’s made us think. While only 19 and a sophomore in college, Oprah became the youngest and the first African-American news anchor for WTVF-TV in Nashville. From that auspicious beginning, Oprah began a journey that would include the creation of her eponymous daytime talk show, which drew over 48 million viewers per week and won so many daytime Emmys (17 in total) that she graciously removed it from the running.
In addition to being a great communicator, Oprah is also a trusted influencer. Over 55 million people have purchased books after her recommendation. On one occasion, a coalition of ranchers sued Oprah after her revelation that mad cow disease had driven her to stop eating beef allegedly impacted demand. (She was later found not liable for damages.)
In an increasingly sophisticated and competitive economic landscape, companies must fight harder than ever to differentiate their products and services. However, research increasingly reveals that decisions are often based on emotion and intuition, not the latest list of technical specifications. As a result, successful salesmanship and communication is often based on empathy – an understanding of the customer’s needs. Companies may not want sales meetings to be quite as sentimental as Oprah’s talk show, but hiring employees who understand the art of empathy and the role of emotion in decision-making will help them better communicate their message and connect with their clients.
TEAM PLAYER: Peyton Manning
With his clean-cut look and affable charm, Peyton Manning has always been the humble leader and reluctant hero. He was the first all-around pick in the 1998 draft, and through his 16 seasons has been a four-time MVP, two-time AFC champion, and won the Super Bowl in 2006.
However, in a league of strong personalities and oversized egos, Manning is known for sharing both the football and post-game praise with his teammates. Though he possesses one of the sharpest football minds of all-time and is blessed with incredible athletic ability, Manning is remarkable because he creates successful environments where groups can thrive and elevates those around him to a higher level.
On the gridiron or in the conference room, everyone recognizes the value of a strong team player. Always encouraging, ever-ready to lend a hand, and adept at managing clashing personalities, team players can be the difference between success and failure. You may not see these individuals diving into the end zone or presenting to the Board of Directors, but team players are the “X factor” that every team or organization needs to win.
MULTI-FACETED: Ashton Kutcher
From one of his earliest credits in Dude, Where’s My Car? to his seven-figure-per-episode salary on Two and a Half Men, Ashton Kutcher has had an accomplished acting career. But don’t let Kutcher’s blinding success fool you – he may also be the versatile “jack of all trades” that your company needs. Kutcher studied Biomedical Engineering at the University of Iowa and is an active member of the start-up community. He has invested in technology companies such as Skype, Foursquare, Airbnb, Path, and Fab.com and co-founded the venture capital fund A-Grade Investments, which is rumored to have a $100 million valuation.
Kutcher also founded an international human rights organization called Thorn that works to prevent the sexual exploitation of children. Lest all of that success go to his head, Kutcher made a splash last year with his speech at the Teen Choice Awards, where he told throngs of screaming fans that “the sexiest thing in the entire world is being really smart. And being thoughtful. And being generous.”
In corporate environments, extreme specialization is increasingly common. In his book, Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs, Wharton professor Peter Cappelli criticizes companies who “[define] job requirements in such a way that applicants need to have done the job already.” Aside from narrowing the applicant pool significantly (and unnecessarily), this approach is shortsighted. Companies pivot, requirements change, and employees must be able to adapt. While organizational changes might not be as dramatic as Kutcher’s actor-to-tech-mogul transformation, companies would be wise to hire individuals with diverse skills and a proven ability to flourish in unrelated fields. Not only will this make their workforce more robust, but it will also drive collaboration and innovation.
Have we left out any of your favorite celebrities? Leave us a message below, and let us know!