Are You Someone Who Can or Someone Who Will?

Productivity in business

Four very long days, tens of hours hunting down candidates, hundreds of phone calls, a half dozen interviews, and one excellent hire. That was my week.

After all my years of recruiting, I have become very good at identifying people who can do the job. I can assess skills, aptitude, professionalism, communication skills, outward attitude, and behavior as well as anyone.

Yeah, I can claim the title ‘expert’ in identifying those who can.

What I still cannot identify with any high level of accuracy are those who will.

Will you work hard?

Will you consistently turn out high levels of the right activity?

Will you be just as productive when you’re in a horrible mood? When you feel lousy?

Will you be an ambassador for your work?

Will you be a leader and a supportive co-worker?

Will is more important than can. It’s more important than talent, too. A moderately skilled person who will is able to outperform a gifted person who won’t.

Those who will thrive on activity and challenge.

Those who will don’t need to be pushed – their natural state is in motion. They find things to do. They find people to serve. They can smell opportunities and they see things from angles that the ‘cans’ don’t know exist.

Those who will don’t wait for the perfect tool or the perfect opportunity. They say, “What the hell – let’s give it a shot!” They move forward and risk failure because they know that the only real failure is not trying.

Those who will don’t spend all their time planning. The perfect plan never materializes – and those who will know this. They forge ahead and plan for multiple contingencies along the way.

Those who will could possibly be the business world’s greatest commodity.


Which Type Are You?

Do you spend hours upon hours planning but never implementing?
Are you waiting for the ‘right’ break or the ‘right’ opportunity?
Or are you someone who is always moving forward, learning, and adjusting along the way?

Are you among Those Who Will?



About Gary Korisko

Gary is a battle-tested sales and marketing pro, copywriter, coach, and business strategist who teaches how to create worthwhile work on Reboot Authentic. Connect with Gary on Google+ and Twitter.

33 Replies

  1. Gary, I’m LEARNING to be one of those who will! Thanks for being one of the many inspirations who has put this idea in front of me recently.

    1. Oh, I think you’re already one of those who will, Bobbi. 🙂

      But it never hurts to get better! Thanks for stopping by.

  2. daverowley

    Hi Gary,

    To be honest, I fall somewhere in the middle though I’m certainly pushing to get closer to ‘will’ than ‘can’. I have to say, reading this sure made me WANT to be in the ‘will’ camp!

    1. I understand, Dave. Taking the leap to action is tough – especially for those of us who have a tendency toward perfectionism or whatever you’d like to call it. I do the same thing.

      But somewhere between ‘paralysis by analysis’ and rushing into something totally ill equipped lies the sweet spot. I’m still working on it, too.

  3. Jim Bessey

    This feels a bit like Kismet to me, Gary.

    I love this: “Those who will don’t spend all their time planning. The perfect plan never materializes – and those who will know this. They forge ahead and plan for multiple contingencies along the way.”

    I’ve been preparing and researching and planning for several weeks, waiting for that moment that says “I’m ready” and wondering if it would ever come. Then I decided that moment had arrived, yesterday. (Partly because I suddenly have some extra free time to make some things happen)

    An hour after I’d made that decision, I watched a video from Derek Halpern about “action versus thinking.” And now, today, here you are — soundly reinforcing the point in your inimitable clear-spoken way. You probably didn’t write this post thinking “that Jim guy needs to get it in gear” but the sentiment works just fine for me.

    Thanks for the helpful nudge, Gary. I’ll go get something done now!

    1. Interesting how the world will talk to you if you just listen, isn’t it?

      And no, I wasn’t pointing any fingers at you with this. I think we’re all guilty of not acting from time to time – but I’m glad it made you think.

      I’d love to see Derek’s video, can you email the link to me or post it here? That guy has soo much energy.

      Thanks, Jim!

  4. So so true! skills and the means to use them for good, do not always come in the same package!

    I think that I am a doer… and I am always striving to do more!

    1. Being a sales manager, I’ve seen so many people with potential ‘think’ and ‘plan’ their way into poverty. Very sad when you know they could have done it.

      Activity beats inactivity every single time.

  5. I’m telling.

    Thanks for the link!

  6. Very important distinctions you have made. Action will take you further than knowledge. LOVED THIS! Truly! This is something I talk about often so this rang true. This is going into my “best of the web” section! Great eye opener Gary

    1. Thanks very much, Coach.

      While reading your latest guest post on Firepole Marketing, I noticed that we share many of the same attitudes and theories on the subject. Glad you liked it – and thanks so much for linking to it!

    2. But I think knowledge + action will take you the farthest!

      1. Absolutely! I’ll take that all day long. The trick is finding both in the same person.

        But I’ll take a hard-working C student over lazy A student every time, too. (Unless they’re operating on one of my vital organs…then they for sure need BOTH!)


        1. Yup, me too. Because the C student can become an A student.

          Why would you say you have difficulty finding those who will?

          1. I find them. It’s just more difficult since everyone is not a top performer. There’s only one Super Bowl champ, right? Same idea.

  7. At first, I thought that yellow thing in that backpack was a rubber chicken. Great post Gary!

    1. Awesome, Mike. It does kind of look like one.

      Great to see you here! It’s been a while. Email when you can and catch me up.

      1. Will do. I’m barely keeping up with my own site so haven’t been doing my duty here and elsewhere!

  8. CiaraConlon

    Try and identify those with the highest levels of optimism, they are the ones that “will” every time.

    1. Hi Ciara!

      Thanks for contributing to the conversation.

      While I’d agree that all of those who will are optimists, all optimists aren’t necessarily among those who will. In my career I have unfortunately seen many good, positive people fall by the wayside because of inaction – or for a myriad of other reasons.

      That being said, optimism is certainly a very important trait that leads to success – but alone it won’t always float the boat. Hard work, right work, and action have to show up, too.

      As Zig Ziglar always says, “Positive thinking won’t let you do ANYTHING, but it will let you do everything better than negative thinking will.”

  9. Tasiyagnunpa Livermont

    What about the fact that some of us are all ‘will do’ in one situation and not so much in another? I have this happen in various facets of my life and then fall into the trap of planning too much. Perhaps we all have a specific environment that brings this out in us the best? What do you think?

    1. I think you’re on to something. You’re basically talking about picking, choosing, and setting priorities – which is very important.

      Great point and thank you for sharing it!

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