Why You Choose Character Over Talent

This past NFL draft will forever be known as the “Character Draft”. One of the on-going decisions leaders in sports and life make is do you take a person whose is a potential character-risk even though they have great talent? You want both but if you had to choose, would you choose talent and potential? My answer is NEVER.

Can a person change? Certainly, but when you have personnel options, let someone else take the risk. Here is the problem – any success will be short-lived because talent can take you where character cannot sustain you. This week, we were reminded of these facts: “

  • Tim Tebow was a 1st round pick.
  • Dez Bryant, a top 5 talent, fell to the end of the 1st round.
  • Carlos Dunlap was being considered as the #1 overall pick as recently as December but fell to the 2nd round.
  • In 14 months, Santonio Holmes went from a Super Bowl MVP to a 1200+ yard receiver to being traded for a 5th round pick.
  • LeGarrett Blount went undrafted.
  • Big Ben’s transgressions have resulted in him be suspended 4-6 games and probably knocking the Pittsburgh Steelers out of playoffs.
  • Living in Atlanta, we all experienced the Mike Vick situation and how it devasted the Falcons franchise.
  • I know a family that has recently has been devastated by two different infidelity situations. The impact on the children will be felt for generations.

As I recently said on my twitter account, we spent the entire week leading up to the Masters talking about what a man and husband should be. At the close of the tournament, Phil Mickelson gave us that image.

Character provides stability and sustainability. Character makes others better. Character alleviates insecurity in yourself and others. Character builds trust which is the foundation of leadership and relationships. Character attracts talent. Character gives you opportunity and allows you to be drafted higher than you should be. Character brings financial profit. Character has generational impact. Character is what we remember. Character is celebrated at the end of our life.

Always choose character over talent.


About Brian Dodd on Leadership

I am a church stewardship and leadership consultant for INJOY Stewardship Solutions. This blog combines my personal passions of church, sports, pop culture and family into a single leadership resource. I trust your time on this site will create conversations and add value to your life.

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