February 2010 - Seven Characteristics of an "A" Player
Seven Key Characteristics of an "A" Player
by Beroz Ferrell
Being an A Player in a B Player World
The field is crowded, that is, in the world of average players. So crowded, that it is difficult to nudge your way to the front of the line. With the decline of many American corporations both seasoned and emerging and the loss of jobs for millions, one can only wonder who is next.
As a consultant who works in many companies and across several industries, I have the enviable position of being an "observer." It is this position and the ability to see patterns and trends across various workplaces that has allowed me to observe and summarize the 7 key characteristics of being an A Player.
An A Player is an employee who clearly stands out above the rest. It is someone whom others point to as a role model in the workplace. It is someone who is sought after for input and problem solving. It is someone looked to as a voice of reason when all around is going awry. Of course, being an A Player does not make you "recession proof," but it certainly puts you in the position to "turn off the light" when all have left the building and use your attributes to pick yourself up, dust off and bounce back some place else.
So what makes for an A Player?
The 7 characteristics are attributes and skills that can be cultivated.
They are often overlooked and undervalued in good times and become indispensable in lean times. However, when you have these characteristics, they enable you to outperform, outlast and be outstanding in your space.
The 7 Characteristics of A Players
What do B Players look like?
Given the characteristics of A Players, one might be left wondering what B Players look like.
If normal distribution curves also known as the Bell Curve hold true, those B Players towards the upper end of the Bell Curve are A Players in the making. They possess many of the A Player characteristics, but need to work on consistency. Those B Players who reside on the lower end of the Bell Curve are dangerously close to becoming C Players or irrelevant over time unless faced with a large dose of reality.
What do C Players look like?
So what do ''C' players look like? They are easy to spot. Some of their behaviors are as follows:
No one is perfect. The very fact that we are humans is evidence that we are "flawed." In my experience as an individual contributor, team member and now, consultant, what I have come to know for sure is that being an A Player is absolutely possible. In fact, it is necessary to your survival. When Darwin came up with his theory of evolution and "survival of the fittest," he wasnt exactly referring to the 7 characteristics of A Players. When put in the context of the 21st century and a world that is faced with the possibility of wipeout, we look to those A Players to carry us forward. A bit dramatic, perhaps but relevant, nonetheless.
Be an A Player!
Source: © 2009 Beroz Ferrell, Partner/Consultant with The Point, LLC, who is on a relentless pursuit to inspire greatness. Used by permission of the author.
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Related newsletter article:
Do not wait for leaders. Do it alone, person to person. ... Mother Teresa
Leaders must be tough enough to fight, tender enough to cry, human enough to make mistakes, humble enough to admit them, strong enough to absorb the pain, and resilient enough to bounce back and keep on moving. ... Jesse Jackson
Do the hard jobs first. The easy jobs will take care of themselves. ... Dale Carnegie
The secret of a leader lies in the tests they faced over the whole course of their life and the habit of action they develop in meeting those tests. ... Gail Sheehy
We may stumble, but always there is that eternal voice, forever whispering within our ear, that thing which causes the eternal quest, that thing which forever sings and sings. ... Ernest Holmes
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