NFL Draft, Skill and Will

April 24th, 2012  | 

Published in Event, Leadership, Problem Solving

Skill Can Be Taught, But What About Will?

This Thursday, beginning at 8 p.m. ET at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, the 77th annual meeting of National Football League franchises will go “on the clock” to begin selecting newly eligible football players.

If you’re a football fan like me, you know there’s been endless talk about whether to draft for need or draft the best athlete available when it’s your team’s turn to pick. In football, talent is king, and most coaches recommend selecting the best athlete and then finding a way to get the talented player on the field.

What about in the workplace? As hiring freezes begin to thaw, the organizations I work with are facing the Skill versus Will dilemma.

Here’s the dilemma:

Do we hire the person who exhibits the values we say are important and who’s passionate about what we do but doesn’t yet have the experience? What this person lacks in Skill they more than make up for in Will – shorthand for a person’s attitude, character, drive and personal code of conduct.

Or do we hire the experienced person who might bring baggage –a sense of entitlement, a “me-versus-you” attitude, an unwillingness to try new things – and see if they will come around to our way of thinking? For this person, the Skill is there but the Will may not be.

If you find yourself facing this type of hiring dilemma, remember that Skill can be taught. Changing a person’s Will is like trying to change a tiger’s stripes.

You’re now on the clock.

About the Author: Greg Bustin is an executive coach, consultant and speaker who has delivered more than 500 keynotes and workshops on five continents. Greg advises leaders at some of the world’s most admired companies, and his views about leadership have been published in The Wall Street Journal, Chief Executive, Fast Company, Forbes, Inc., Investor’s Business Daily, Leader to Leader, and other major publications. He’s written five leadership books. His newest book, How Leaders Decide: A Timeless Guide to Making Tough Choices (Sourcebooks), examines decision-making in history’s greatest triumphs and tragedies. How Leaders Decide

Ready to reset?

Attend my free Accountability webinar: I Did It! to set and achieve your 2021 goals.


  • February 17th from 11 AM – 12:30 PM Central Time
  • My free webinar will help you:
    – Sharpen your personal goals
    – Improve time management
    – Tackle tough work-related issues
    – Support remote workers

Learn More
To dive even deeper into the topic of accountability, I invite you to purchase a copy of my bestselling book, “Accountability: The Key to Driving a High-Performance Culture.”

Get The Book

Become a better leader.

Download my three free e-books.

Please enter your information below to access a digital download link for my three free e-books. Once submitted, you will receive an email with a link to download the e-books.

Free Tips

Sign up to receive free tips on business, leadership, and life.

Please enter your information below to start receiving free tips on business, leadership, and life.

Sign up for my free bimonthly email button