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What Would You Rather Follow – Talent Or Attitude?

There are plenty of talented players in high school who never get beyond their high school gyms. Why? It comes down to their attitude.

Sometimes the most talented person on the team is not the best person to be the captain. I realize this begins in middle school sports and can carry over into high school and beyond. Many coaches see the talent of a young player and automatically assume the team will follow them because of their talent.

Unfortunately, if talent is not paired with character, a captain with a bad attitude creates a team with low morale. Many highly talented teams fall short of their goals for one reason—the attitude of their leaders. Talent does not make a leader. Character does.

Our special operations units within the US Military deselect plenty of talented candidates when it comes to deciding who will be on their teams. While physical ability to be part of the Army’s Delta Force, the Navy’s Seal Teams or the Marine’s Force Recon Teams, is important—this ability is only the price of admission to get into the training program. Then the real tests begin. Incredibly talented individuals must pass rigorous screening in order to join elite teams. Do you want to know what matters most? Character. To top it off, no area is tested more than their attitudes.

We define Positivity as, “displaying a positive or 'can do' attitude in all circumstances.”

By the time initial training is completed, the wheat has been separated from the chafe. The candidates with talent and character are all that remains. Elite military units demand both talent and Positivity from their team members.

What do the elite military teams know that high school coaches tend to miss? An individual’s attitude does more to guarantee the team’s success than their skills. Don't get me wrong, there is a high standard for skills and talent required to make these elite military teams. But a strong skill set accompanied by selfishness or negativity only offers someone a bus ticket home.

It does not matter what type of team you are putting together. Attitude determines a team’s success more than talent. Without a positive or “can do” attitude in all circumstances, those teams would just be another group of talented players, who fell short of their goals.

As individuals, we must rise to become Leaders of Character who hone our skills, talents and attitudes. This is how we become the type of leader others want to follow. This is how we answer “yes” to the question, “Would you follow you?”

Dig Deep Questions:

  • What highly talented teams have you seen fail due to attitude?

  • In tough times, what example does your attitude set for your team?


Making a shift towards taking responsibility and living with Positivity is a lifelong journey. We want to partner with you as you practice the habit of Positivity daily, which is why we have created our Habits of Character Action Guides.

The Positivity Action Guide offers you a month of daily, interactive training complete with a daily reading, dig deep questions, weekly processing guides and instructions on how to use the guide both individually and with your team. The Positivity Action Guide is now available here.

We are behind you, championing for you, your teams and your organizations as you become the leader you wish you had. We want to come alongside you as you grow to confidently answer “yes” to the question, “Would you follow you?”

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