Your company is only as good as its people.

You find yourself setting the goals for next year. Talking people into buying your ideas. Shareholders want more revenue, employees more money and new challenges. What you want as a manager is to deliver to both.

That’s of course if you care as much for your team as you do for your company.

Taking your organization to the next level of greatness is always in your mind, and is a goal that is constantly changing and moving. To achieve and over deliver you need to surround yourself of A-Players.

How to recognize an A-Player?

A-Players are scarce, you know them on sight, they have passion for what they do and excel at doing it.

  • They are knowledgable
  • Tend to be determined and goal oriented
  • Work fine with teams and are excellent on their own
  • They are passionate about what they do and excel at doing it
  • They don’t guess, they know
  • Facts are more important, and they validate their assumptions with numbers
  • Are willing to take calculated risks
  • Great decision makers
  • Communicate as much as needed and hate to spend precious time in meetings
  • Are over-confident and often more tan not, considered a little cocky
  • Loyalty to the company and the team are above standards
  • They’re willing to go extra mile to achieve the desired goals
  • They’re self-motivated and quick to adapt to change
  • Always ask the right questions
  • Self-educated
  • Tend to be movers and shakers within the organization
  • They share their knowledge and delegate quickly
  • A players take control of situations when needed
  • Some need to be recognized for what they do
  • Some need to be free to implement the best strategy to achieve the goal
  • They don’t work well on short-leashes
  • Get the job done right
  • Not afraid of rough feedback or setbacks

Consider this the next time you hire someone. Great players more often than not, know their true value, they tend to willingly accept challenges to lead the organization towards success.

Once you have hired a great player, you will have to spend time training him/her in he dos and donts of the organization, until they know them, better yet until they own them, provide them with a set of goals, a team, and all the resources and freedom they need to thrive.

B Players need to be told what to do and how to do it. They will be afraid of changing the method, and even more afraid of taking responsibility for doing so. A players need to be told what the goal is and know the constraints about return on investment and policy.

Great players require great managers. A great manager is that one who knows you don’t manage teams, you manage people, and every individual has its own way to deal with things. Establish a communication method that works fine for both of you and give your A-players room to thrive.

Last but not least, remember that A-players are people too. Revisit Maslow’s hierarchy of needs or any other material you find useful and make sure you and your company are doing every single possible thing to keep your A-players focused and need-free. You’ll learn that sometimes it is not about money, but inspiration instead. If you want someone to do great work, lead by example, walk-the-talk, inspire by action.

Don’t be scared to loose your job to someone better. Be Scared to sink your company because you didn’t. Don’t hire B players to make you look good, they do not have the ability or the talent to do so.