“Talent sets the floor, character sets the ceiling.” -Unknown
Yesterday marked national signing day for college football. That’s the day when hundreds of the nation’s most talented high school seniors make their official commitment by signing a national letter of intent to play football at the university of their choice. Many of these players were vied for by numerous top schools for their superior athletic abilities.
Their talent is known. Their character will quickly be revealed.
- Will they give their all at every practice?
- Will they work hard on the academic side?
- Will they sacrifice their ego for the good of the team?
- Will they make good choices that keep them out of trouble?
Many will. Some will not. Some will naively assume that their abundance of talent is enough to compensate for their lack of character. Some football programs will agree. Some, fortunately, will not.
Companies, like football programs, recruit for the top talent. Character cannot be assessed on a résumé or in a couple one-hour interviews. How you act once you get the job will determine if you are worthy of remaining and growing there.
- Will you give your best each day?
- Will you develop as a professional in your field?
- Will you sacrifice your ego for the benefit of your team?
- Will you make good choices when no one is looking?
Many employees will. Some will not. Some will naively assume that their abundance of talent and knowledge, their impressive resume, or their first-rate education is enough to compensate for their lack of character. Some employers will agree. Some, fortunately, will not.
The great thing about character is that having it and using it is completely up to you. Make your character the characteristic that your employer values most about you, not the weakness that harms your potential and the integrity of your organization.