Defining Skill and Will

Let’s be clear about how we are defining Skill and Will.


The natural talents or talents acquired through experience by someone to perform a certain task (or series of tasks). This is cognitive understanding of the task, perception by the employee of their role associated with the task, and the previous training and experience to perform the task.
Skills or ability to perform a task.


The desire or “attitude” toward performing a task (or series of tasks). What contributes to an employee’s will is their confidence and security level, their desire, and/or any incentive they feel to perform the task.
Willingness or motivation to perform a task

Assessing Skill and Will

Skill and Will can be assessed on a zero (low) to ten (high) scale.

Assessing Skill

  • Zero assesses that the skills to perform a task are foreign to the employee.
  • Ten assesses that the employee has complete mastery of skills for the task.

Assessing Will

  • Zero assesses that the will to perform a task is unknown or does not exist.
  • Ten assesses that an employee has total motivation to perform the task

Make a list of all the employees who work for you. Determine the specific tasks you are assessing for each employee (one at a time). Assess their skill by assigning a number (0 – 10) for each employee’s task. Assess their will by assigning a number (0 – 10) for each employee’s task.

Plotting Skill and Will

Graph the skill and will on the matrix to determine where each employee’s skill and will for each specific task. This will place them into one of four quadrants.

What do you do with each quadrant?

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“Adjusting Your Leadership to Four Types of Employees”

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