My answer:   Some of the best candidates I have ever worked with were Eagle Scouts.  Last year, I placed a 34-year old Harvard MBA with a client as their new President.  During the interview process I asked him "Of what accomplishment are you most proud?"  I expected him to say "I was valedictorian of my class at Brigham Young University ..." or "I was ranked # 4 in my class at Harvard Business School ..." or "I was was one of sixty (out of 58,000) employees selected to attend my company's global leadership development program."

But his immediate response was "I am an Eagle Scout."

Scouting rocks, and any young man who makes it through the five-year gauntlet of leadership activities and community projects to become an Eagle is highly achievement oriented.  And that's what my executive search clients pay me to source for them.  There are 28 million Scouts worldwide, and less than 1% make it to Eagle.  Becoming an Eagle is no accident.  It takes real planning and commitment.  And it takes guts.

Parents:  If your son wants to pursue Scouting, don't just let him -- encourage him.  And candidates:  If you are an Eagle Scout, make sure it ends up on your resume.  It's one of the terms I look for on a resume to tell me whether a candidate has "the right stuff."

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The Value of an Eagle Scout

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Harry Joiner is an executive recruiter specializing in integrated marketing and "new media." He has been featured in MarketingSherpa's Great Minds in Marketing series and received coverage in the Wall Street Journal's Career Journal Online. According to Viral Garden's weekly rankings, Harry's weblog is one of the top 25 marketing weblogs in the world.