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 Jerry Jones. Here’s the deal – you’ve got a guy who played college football, made a crap ton of money and decided he was going to buy the Dallas Cowboys. It’s his team, he pays the bills, he is an owner unlike many NFL 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 currently – they clearly have the ability to jump back into the mix if they had to. In many circumstances 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 the 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?!
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!). Jerry Jones isn’t bad for Dallas or the NFL – he’s great for it – 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!
As a lifelong Cowboys fan I can’t let this one go without a comment. There are aspects of Jerry Jones I love as a fan, and even more I respect in the way he knows how to run a business. He is willing to spend money to make the team better. He is willing to gamble on players or coaches to try and win. Where I think he has proven detrimental to the team is when he has had the right people in the right seats and he has driven them off. I think he is an owner who, at times, is unable to know when he needs to intervene and when he should step back and let a good thing run. When he ran Jimmy Johnson off I think he cost the Cowboys probably 3 more championships. He had a great coach and football mind in place but had to tinker and micromanage and it drove Jimmy off. I think a good business owner (and manager for that matter) knows when to get hands on and when to let things run (if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it). Overall though, I think he has been great for the Cowboys and great for the league in general, the guy knows how to make money and a spectacle. Now I just wish he could get my ‘Boys back to winning super bowls!