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CEOs: Are You Building a Team of A Players? (And Are You One?)

January 17, 2024

The term “A player” gets thrown around a lot in leadership circles. But what does it really mean? Do these unicorns of talent surround you, or are you still searching for your first one? (And, more importantly, are you one yourself?)

Decoding the DNA of an A Player:

These aren’t just top performers; they’re difference-makers who elevate your entire team. Let’s crack open the “A player” gene pool and see what makes them tick:

  • Unwavering Commitment: No excuses, just results. They consistently exceed expectations, building trust and setting a high bar for the whole team.
  • Ownership & Communication: They take responsibility for their actions and don’t shy away from clear, direct communication. Transparency and accountability are their jam.
  • Problem-Solving Superstars: They can tackle challenges head-on but also know when to collaborate and seek help. It’s all about the best outcomes, not solo heroics.
  • Team Champions: Their energy and work ethic is contagious, lifting everyone around them to new heights. They’re the reason team goals get smashed.
  • Cultural Guardians: They’re living embodiments of your company’s values, creating a positive and healthy work environment for everyone.
  • Responsible Jugglers: They handle extra work like champs but are self-aware enough to avoid burnout. Quality always comes first.
  • Strategic Sharpshooters: They prioritize high-value tasks that align with your big picture, maximizing impact and efficiency. No more chasing shiny squirrels.
  • Lifelong Learners: They’re never satisfied with the status quo. Continuous learning keeps them at the top of their game and brings fresh ideas to the table.
  • Collaborative Spirit: Team players to the core, they’re always willing to lend a hand and help colleagues shine. Cooperation, not competition, is their motto.
  • Integrity & Authenticity: What you see is what you get. Consistent effort, unwavering commitment, and genuine leadership make them trusted teammates and role models.

Are You an A Player Magnet?

Now, CEO, let’s talk about you. Attracting and retaining “A players” doesn’t happen by accident. You need to embody these qualities yourself and foster an environment where they can thrive.

  • Set the Tone: Your commitment to these principles is the foundation. Lead by example and showcase “A player” behaviors in your own actions.
  • Empower Ownership: Give your team the freedom and responsibility to own their work. Trust breeds talent.
  • Open Communication Channels: Ensure clear and direct communication throughout the organization. Transparency builds trust and accountability.
  • Celebrate Team Wins: Encourage teamwork and recognize shared achievements. Remember, it’s about “we,” not “me.”
  • Invest in Growth: Provide opportunities for continuous learning and development. Help your team stay sharp and motivated.

Remember, building a team of “A players” is a journey, not a destination. By reflecting on these qualities yourself and creating the right environment, you’ll attract game-changers and become one yourself, leading your company to unprecedented heights.

So, CEO, are you ready to build your A-team? The ball’s in your court.