Are you a But or an And?

Nick Saban is the greatest college football coach of all time. Period.

This is coming from the guy who grew believing Coach Paul Bryant could walk on water. I got to meet him on two occasions and he left such an impression on me I won’t even refer to him as Bear, even though he died 8 months after I graduated from high school.

Let me amend my statement before you form a posse to come after me with pitchforks and torches. Coach Bryant was the best in his day. He didn’t have scholarship limits for most his career so he signed every player he could to keep the other schools from getting them. There were few limitations on how long you could practice. And of course there was no playoff.

It’s really not fair to compare the two. But I think what Coach Saban has done with all of the restrictions in place (some of them put in place because of him) will not be duplicated for quite a while.

Nick Saban’s success means people listen when he talks. We all like to find out the secret sauce behind a winner.

I was speaking to a college football team one evening and sat with the head coach during the meal. When he found out I lived in Tuscaloosa and was friends with folks who worked in the football building, he started pumping me for information. He even asked me to talk about some of the changes Coach Saban was making with his team. When Nick Saban talks, people listen.

That brings me to what I want to talk about: Are you a But or an And?

You’re scratching your head trying to decipher the code. It’s not code it’s how Saban talks about players, specifically their character.

The context of the statement was him talking about the importance of character when he was deciding to draft a player as the Dolphin’s coach. Saban said there are 2 types of players:

The first is a great player with all of the physical skills to succeed BUT he’s got character issues. Or he doesn’t get along with his teammates. Or he took plays off during practice or games.

The second is a great player with all of the physical skills to succeed AND he’s a high character guy. He supports his teammates. He was elected team captain. He gives 100% on every play in practice or games.

Nick Saban said he was trying to build a team full of And’s.

What about you? If you’re a boss, do you pay attention to a person’s character before you hire them? Or are you looking for a warm body who can be trained to perform task? Or are you looking for the guy who puts up great numbers?

What about you as a man? If I were to ask your boss, wife or kids if you are a But or an And, what would they say?

I’m hoping the answer is And but I’m working on my life like the answer is But.

Are you a But or an And?

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