The A Player: The Definitive Playbook and Guide for Employees and Leaders Who Want to Play and Perform at the Highest Level

The A Player: The Definitive Playbook and Guide for Employees and Leaders Who Want to Play and Perform at the Highest Level

by Rick Crossland
The A Player: The Definitive Playbook and Guide for Employees and Leaders Who Want to Play and Perform at the Highest Level

The A Player: The Definitive Playbook and Guide for Employees and Leaders Who Want to Play and Perform at the Highest Level

by Rick Crossland


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Conventional wisdom is that organizations have to maintain a normal distribution of A, B and C player employees.CEO’s and business executives all prize A Player talent and see its value. Business people immediately grasp the concept of A Players and the value they offer to organizations. Everyone deserves to be an A Player somewhere; but it is earned and not given. Generations of people have been taught an entitlement mentality towards their jobs and careers. Now is the time to formally teach them how to be an A Player. The A Player defines what an A Player is and how to get there.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781630479923
Publisher: Morgan James Publishing
Publication date: 01/03/2017
Pages: 286
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Rick genuinely walks the talk when it comes to being an A Player. He has almost 30 years of experience developing, recruiting and leading high performers, and developing high performing cultures at companies. Before founding his executive coaching, leadership, and talent development practice eight years ago, Rick held positions of increasing leadership responsibility at Johnson and Johnson, ICI-Zeneca, Planters-Lifesavers, Ford Motor Company, and Limited Brands. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the Universityof Delaware and an MBA from Duke University. In addition to his writing and consulting, Rick is a passionate speaker who loves to captivate audiences with his unique A Player approach.

Read an Excerpt

If you have ever worked on a team project and had your “A” grade dragged down to a lower grade by B or C Players who did not pull their weight, you immediately grasp the A Player concept and the importance of only having A Players on your team. Being a great team member on a fantastic team is the recipe for success in any endeavor. People have understood this concept in the world of academics and sports for decades. For some reason, however, we have too long tolerated B and C Players in the workforce. This is baffling, for unlike school and sports (unless you are a pro-athlete), at work we are now playing for our own livelihood. The stakes are much higher so to speak. If you stop to think about it, this is actually staggering, as your job and career prospects are directly linked to your organization’s performance. If your company is tolerating B and C underperformers, then by definition the company could be performing better, which hurts both the immediate and long term compensation, benefits, and growth you and the other top performers should be receiving. With this revelation, there is no successful argument for why we should have B and C Players on a team.

So what is an A Player? An A Player is defined as an employee who is in the top 10% of their industry for the compensation offered. A Players are the employees that would be enthusiastically re-hired by their employers. If you think about it a moment, defining A Players as the top 10% of the industry is actually very liberating to an organization, as there is no constraint to force rank people on the team. Since we are evaluating from an industry-wide vantage point, the very exciting possibility of creating an entire All-Star team of A Players in our own organizations becomes a reality. Therefore, our teams can be comprised of 100% A Players.

A Players are aligned in their careers and absolutely shine in their roles. They are the employees who make all the goodness in an organization happen. Their performance and great attitudes are almost magical. If you are reading this book, you are either an employee who aspires to be an A Player, or one who has already achieved A Player status and knows they can be even better. Or, you may be an executive leader looking for an essential playbook designed for companies who want to build an A Player Culture. The A Player offers employees and teams the roadmap to help get them there. Outstanding employees drive great companies, and in turn great companies provide amazing career opportunities for those employees who align with their mission and purpose. It is truly a two-way street. Great companies are inherently vested in your success.

However, just like All-Stars are voted on annually in professional sports, achieving and then maintaining A Player status requires continual effort. We can lose it just as quickly as we receive it. We cannot rest on our laurels. The expectations increase as we reach higher levels in our careers.

Why are A Players so important? Most people are not thrilled to have surgery performed by a B Player heart surgeon; or fly on an airplane piloted by a B Player pilot. Obviously these are mission critical occupations, and there is no room for B or C Players to be at the helm in such sensitive situations.

Similarly, the work you do is important. You are mission critical to your employer and your customers. Thus, there is no room for the mediocrity that a B or C Player offers. On average, an A Player produces at least two to three times the quality and volume of work of the B Player, which is why A Players are so greatly coveted. We don't settle for B or C Player surgeons or airline pilots, so why should an employer settle for less than the absolute best in their specific industry? The reality is that they should not.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Are You an A Player? Let's Find Out

Chapter 2: Defining the A Player

Chapter 3: Make a Decision

Chapter 4: How CEOs and Senior Leaders View A Players

Chapter 5: Purpose Beyond Profits

Chapter 6: The Prosperity Principles

Chapter 7: How Business Really Works—Becoming A Prosperity Center

Chapter 8: What Your Business Owners Want You to Know

Chapter 9: Everything Has a Business Case—Put Your Plan in Writing

Chapter 10: Why A Players Don't Really Work for Money

Chapter 11: The Employer and Employee Bill of Rights

Chapter 12: A Player Acumen

Chapter 13: Character Counts

Chapter 14: A Player Leadership at All Levels

Chapter 15: A Players are Team Players

Chapter 16: A Players Set SMART Goals

Chapter 17: The “A” in A Player Is for Accountability

Chapter 18: A Player Hard Work and Discipline

Chapter 19: Be Informed

Chapter 20: Know What Your Boss Wants, and Your Coworkers Too!

Chapter 21: Be Coachable

Chapter 22: A Players Deliver Results

Chapter 23: Attitude Is Everything: Develop an Attitude of Gratitude

Chapter 24: A Player EQ/EI: Putting Emotional Intelligence to Use

Chapter 25: Conclusion

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