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 the University of Utah ..." or "I graduated from 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."