Screening Football Players: Personal Qualities and Preferences Matter

I don’t normally think much about how teams recruit pro athletes. But this quote from John Powers’ article “Mistake-Free Football” from the Boston Globe 1/27/04 says volumes:

If the Patriots have relatively few disciplinary cases, it may be that they’re screened out before draft day. […]”Three things we look for in the people we hire for all of our businesses. Character and integrity, work ethic, and brains. You can buy the third, but not the first two.” (The quote is from Bob Kraft in Powers’ article.)

I suspect the scouts eliminate the people without the requisite functional skills, because they watch players perform at regular games (no additional auditions needed!). But notice the emphasis on character and integrity and work ethic. Those personal qualities and preferences make the difference between team members who coast along and team members who bring a passion to their work.Warren Buffett said something similar (from Thoughts of Chairman Buffett), “Somebody once said that in looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if they don’t have the first, the other two will kill you.”Is there any position in your organization in which integrity or character is not crucial?

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