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Note:  This is an excerpt from my latest book, Drive One Direction: How to Unleash the Accelerating Power of Alignment. In the EveryOne chapter, we highlight companies who unleashed the accelerating power of alignment with an intense focus on talent management disciplines. 

Cirque du Soleil ( is a global entertainment company. It has grown from an eclectic group of twenty street performers to a private-equity-owned company with over 4,000 employees, including 1,300 artists from more than 50 different countries.

Cirque du Soleil unleashed the accelerating power of alignment with One 101.

You could argue that Cirque du Soleil faces the ultimate alignment challenge:

How do you align a bunch of clowns?

Right this moment, thousands of people—none of whom are in the circus business—are thinking, “my sentiments exactly!”

Every company has a diverse workforce, but Cirque might top the list. They employ actors, singers, dancers, musicians, acrobats, gymnasts, swimmers, tumblers, jugglers, divers, mimes and, of course, clowns.

In addition, they are truly an international community, which creates unique cultural and language barriers.

All newly hired entertainers go to Cirque’s International Headquarters in Montreal for preparatory training. Training can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.

You might think of it as Circus of the Sun 101.

Cirque’s onboarding program is a full-immersion experience. Not only do the new entertainers train together, they live together in the artists' residence right across the street from headquarters.

Every company has some kind of onboarding program. For most companies, it is “hire and hope.”

When you think of situations where life-or-death teamwork is required, most people think of a military environment like the Navy SEALs or the Blue Angels.

But Cirque’s performances involve a high degree of risk. Therefore, their “boot camp” instills a high level of camaraderie, discipline, and trust.

Having One 101 is a key component how they align EveryOne … from Day One!

Does your company have One 101 that is mandatory for EveryOne?

P.S. I was so intrigued by this amazing company that I decided to click on the “Job Openings” link on their website. Much to my amazement, I learned that they had an opening for a “middle-aged physical actor.”

So, if this alignment thing doesn’t work out …