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 advises leaders of some of the world’s most admired companies, and he’s dedicated a career to working with CEOs and the leadership teams of hundreds of companies in a range of industries. He’s facilitated more than 200 strategic planning sessions, and he’s delivered more than 500 keynotes and workshops on five continents. His fifth leadership book—How Leaders Decide: A Timeless Guide to Making Tough Choices—examines 52 of history’s greatest triumphs and tragedies and debuted in April as the #1 new historical reference book on Amazon.

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