Are You an “And” or a “But” Person?

Most of the coverage surrounding the NFL draft is nauseating.  “Experts” and non-experts alike get an opportunity to talk about college prospects and what each team needs as if the future of the world depends on each draft pick.  Even for football fans like me, it can be a little much.  

I came across a great article featuring the legendary coach, Nick Saban.  Saban tells his players at Alabama, almost all of whom have NFL aspirations and NFL talent, that teams are looking for reasons NOT to draft them.  He uses the words “and” and “but” to explain his point:  

They read the player [draft report]. I’ll take a defensive back,” Saban said. “He’s got quick feet, change of direction, got good long speed, can play man-to-man, he’s a good tackler, he’s got toughness, got really good ball judgement and really good ball skills – and, he’s a really good person, he was a leader on the team, he graduated from school, coaches loved him.”

Saban then described the same player with a “but.”

But – he had a positive drug test, he had a domestic violence incident with his girlfriend, got in a fight at a bar when he was a freshman, strength coach said he wouldn’t p— on him if he was on fire.

“Who do you want on your team: ‘and’ or ‘but’?”

Saban said he constantly tells players not to give teams a reason to say “but.”

“What I tell players is, you don’t realize that as soon as you apply for a job, as soon as you put your name into the draft, people are looking for reasons not to pick you. They’re looking for reasons not to hire you,” Saban said. “So don’t give anybody a reason to say ‘but.’ It’s the only way that you can create value for yourself.”

Wow.  What a great message.  Think about a generic example in the business world:

“He’s a go getter that gets things done and he mentors our young employees.  He’s a great role model.”

“He’s a go getter that gets things done but every interaction is a battle.  People avoid him.”

Which person do you want to work with?  Be the person that creates value for yourself and your organization.  Be an and person!

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