Latest A-Players News
Aug 30, 2021
| Membership (fee-based) Some employees come into the workplace as “A-players,” already in possession of a strong work ethic and an enviable skill set. Others may be closer to “B-players” or “C-players” because they lack certain attributes of their higher-achieving teammates. However, just because an employee starts off at a lower level doesn’t mean they must stay there forever. A strong, dedicated leader can guide B- and C-players toward acquiring the skill set and achieving the high performance of an A-player. Below, 14 members of Forbes Coaches Council share their top leadership strategies for bringing an entire team to the A-level. Forbes Coaches Council members share ways leaders can build a team of A-players. Photos courtesy of the individual members. 1. Embed Coaching In The Team Culture First, create the conditions for effective coaching, including trusting relationships and growth mindsets across the team. Second, bring coaching into conversations with team members by asking powerful questions, actively listening, giving meaningful feedback and building accountability. - Connie Whittaker Dunlop , Monarch Consulting Group, LLC 2. Identify And Recreate Success Factors If individuals are rising to the top, identify the attributes and the type of environment that allow for success. Recreate the success factors you have discovered so that more people can move to a high level of performance. When you focus more on the task and necessary skills, you move past personality to true performance. Coach for performance, not grades. - Bobbie Goheen , Synthesis Management Group MORE FOR YOU 3. Recognize Positive Traits Beyond Cultural Expectations Cultural expectations in our over-masculinized society apply greater esteem, value and other positive connotations to vocal, aggressive, persistent behavioral traits—despite the fact that quieter, introspective, sensitive employees and leaders offer a vital range of organizational and cultural benefits. Often, they can see what’s being overlooked, identify problems faster and create inclusion. - Dave Ursillo , Lead Without Followers, LLC. 4. Adopt A Growth Mindset People may be starting from different levels of skill and competence, but everyone should be given the opportunity to stretch and develop. Set an expectation for continuous improvement. Merely having the same year of experience many times over isn’t sufficient to be competitive in a dynamic and complex marketplace. As individuals grow each year, the organization grows as well. - Kathy Bernhard , KFB Leadership Solutions 5. Provide A Clear Roadmap For Their Growth The goal of a leader, regardless of level, is to assist employees in optimizing their potential. This means inspiring them to be the best they can be, supporting their development and providing a clear roadmap for personal and professional growth that supports them in life and work. Have each person develop their own, one-year “Picture of Success” for their optimal “do differently” behaviors to grow. - Mark Samuel , IMPAQ Corporation 6. Embrace A Culture Of Growth Embrace a culture of growth via cross-collaboration and exposure. If learning and development are fundamental to the organization’s values, then employees will be very self-aware of both their strengths and opportunities for improvement. By creating teams where A-, B- and C-players can come together to share ideas and best practices and ask questions, it ensures a faster learning curve and a safe space for all. - Erin Miller , Erin Miller Inc 7. Apply The Platinum Rule Leaders can help to guide B- and C-players toward acquiring the work ethic and skill set of an A-player by getting to know them well. Only then will a leader be able to effectively appeal to both their unique intrinsic and extrinsic motivators. No two people are the same, and so there is no one size fits all approach to motivation and engagement. This is often referred to as the Platinum Rule: “Do unto others as they would want done to them.” - Eugene Dilan , DILAN Consulting Group 8. Have All Team Members Hold Each Other Accountable One of the most important tasks of a leader is to coach their team to top performance. In order to develop C- and B-players into A-players, it helps if all team members hold each other accountable for the promised individual and common performances and contributions. This spurs all employees to develop toward being A-players. If not, you have to say goodbye to the unwilling C-players. - Michael Thiemann , Strategy-Lab™ 9. Match Roles To Skill Sets If a team member is not an A-player in the role they are in, sit down with them and discuss your expectations of the role as well as their expectations and preferences. Often, they are in the wrong role and other, more appropriate roles are available. Remember that the hiring manager carries some of the blame for the hire too. On a team, everyone has something usable within their skill set. - Victoria Canham , Ahead Together Ltd 10. Get Your Team Involved It’s a leader’s job to help their people become the best version of themselves, not the best version of someone else. That said, if you want to raise the collective abilities of a team, you need to engage with the team. A good start would be getting the team involved in co-creating the vision for the team and what success looks like by asking, “What values are important to us, and how should we show up?” - Jim Livingstone , Northpoint 11. Avoid Labeling And Focus On Coaching Labeling employees as A-, B- or C-players is not the best practice for elevating performance. Labeling can actually demotivate some people. However, leaders can very effectively raise the bar for every employee through coaching and mentoring. It starts by learning each employee’s strengths, weaknesses and aspirations. After that, it is key to challenge them to rise up and hold them accountable. - Lillit Cholakian , NewGen Global Leaders 12. Provide Consistent Training And Workshops The key to upping B- and C-player skills is providing consistent training and workshops. Use one or two of these workshops and trainings per week as a springboard for your one-on-one conversations with them. This is a primed mentoring opportunity for you as a leader to help foster growth in your team. Take full advantage of this and be consistent. - Jon Dwoskin , The Jon Dwoskin Experience 13. Adopt The Perspective Of One Who Unlocks Potential Refrain from awkward labels such as “B-” and “C-team players.” Flip your script and call these team members the “potential A-team” or the “benched squad,” and your attitude to unlocking their potential and getting the best out of them will be different too. Perspective matters. Assess the team’s strengths and analyze why some may be lagging in using theirs for the team’s benefit. Work on that to change the game. - Arthi Rabikrisson , Prerna Advisory 14. Tailor Your Leadership Style To Each Employee It is important for a leader to recognize that not all team members want to be led in the same way. This is particularly true when coaching your B- and C-players, who may have different motivations than your A-players. Tailor your leadership style to each employee. Learn what motivates each employee, how they like to be managed and what they need from you to be successful in the workplace. - Kyle Elliott, MPA, CHES , CaffeinatedKyle.com Check out my website .