Dancing With the Workplace Stars?


September 24, 2010

The big thing in my house this week has been Dancing With the Stars.  Yes, I know it’s a little cheesy…well, a LOT cheesy but I do love it.  I like seeing who the “stars” are going to be and I love the fact that each season I typically don’t know who 1/3 or them are.  I sit an think “who the heck IS that?” and wonder why they are on the show.  The answer is that they are stars to someone and that’s why they are on the show.  The formula doesn’t change much.  They take a few soap-operaish people, a few pro athletes, a few comedians, a couple hotties that actually may have dance skills, and voila!  A show is born.

As much as I may criticize it, it’s a lot like the workplace.  Mine and yours all have those people that SOMEONE deems as having star quality and we just scratch our heads.  Here are some comparisons to this season’s cast and the employees you’ll find in the workplace:

Kurt Warner–  Kurt is a beloved quarterback.  Obviously special to me because he was our Superbowl winning Rams quarterback.  Not known for speed and grace though, he isn’t necessarily someone who will do well dancing.  He’s also a little bit of a has been…..gasp!  I said it.  BUT, still loved and respected.  He’s like that guy at work that used to be the superstar.  He owned the world, blew the clients away, crushed all sales goals.  Now he’s a little burned out and may not be excelling at the level he used to, but still looked to as the solid leader for what he accomplished “back in the day”.

Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino–  Mike is best know for his fist-pumping on the show Jersey Shore.  He drinks, he plays women, and he is generally involved in drama.  He’s like some of the new hires you have on board who are still in party mode from college.  Back on campus they were popular and now they bring that cocky attitude to work.  The interesting thing about Mike is that on Dancing With the Stars, we’re already seeing a more humble, softer side of him.  And, like him, your newer staff will calm down and settle into the groove.

Florence Henderson–  There representing the older demographic, Florence is bringing comedy and a little cursing to the season.  Her dancing is not great and she’ll never win, but everyone loves her.  How could you not love someone who played Mrs. Brady, the mom we all grew to love?  We all have co-workers like Florence.  They’re funny, have to be the jokester, and generally act a little crazy.  They are the people in meetings where everyone holds their breath waiting to see what will pop out of their mouths.  It could be good, it could be a bombshell.  Watch out!

Audrina Patridge and Kyle Massey–  My thought…..who are these people?  At work, they are the “stars” of someone else’s department that you’ve never heard of.  They may be good, but the organization doesn’t know it yet.

Jennifer Gray–  The sweetheart that played Baby in Dirty Dancing is back.  She’s older and has had a nose job that completely changed her look.  But we’re all pulling for her to do well because it seems like if she can do well, so can the rest of us.  At work, she’s the colleague that everyone loves.  She can do no wrong and is always focused on making sure everyone is happy.  You want to work with her because she’s solid and fun to be around.  Plus and plus.

There are many other contestants such as Rick Fox, Margaret Cho, and David Hasselhoff.  The Hoff!  Yes, they even threw in a couple hot messes for our viewing pleasure.  I’d like to hear who you’re rooting for in the comments AND if you work with anyone like these people.


  • We’ve got the Disney Channel on our television pretty much 24/7 so I recognized Kyle Massey. I think he may be a serious competitor.

    Personally, I like rooting for the “hot messes”. I’d like to see Bristol Palin do well and then get voted off under dubious circumstances. Then her mommy will go off saying the “mainstream, liberal media” was responsible for her kids lack of rhythm. Man, do I love me the hot messes!

  • I always called that show “Dancing With the Has-Beens”, as in most cases, the “celebrities” are usually not hot anymore. I even had a band called “Dancing With the Has-Beens” for a short while.

    I was kinda like the Kurt Warner character in the last couple of salons I was in. I hope I am starting to make a bit of a comeback. But never like “the Situation”- ACK!!!

    I really don’t watch that show; however, whilst in Italy a few years back, one of my all-time favourite cyclists who had just retired (Mario Cippolini- a very gregarious and flamboyant character; look him up) was on the Italian version of “Dancing With the Stars”, and he wasn’t terrible. I actually watched a show in a language I did not understand.

    I guess since Hasselhoff isn’t on there, I want Flo to win. Yes, I still fancy her (even though she’s old enough to be my mum!!!).

  • Never seen the show (thought the wife is a fan). I like your comparisons, though.

    Let’s go back to Kurt for a moment. As a fellow St. Louisian, I find it fascinating to have watched his career arc. Your comparison is a good one, but I would add he’s the guy who has managed to re-invent himself repeatedly, proving he can add value in lots of places. Think of the employee that came up in one area, transferred to another function and became a manager, and eventually settled into a leadership role somewhere else. Very valuable talent, if you understand them and can use them correctly. (And, of course, avoid letting them go in favor of a younger, somewhat talented but mostly flavorless replacement.)

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About Trish

A former HR executive and HCM product leader with over 20 years of experience.





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