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Everyone talks about wanting "A" players on their teams. However, when I ask people to describe what an "A" player is, many have a hard time articulating what defines an "A" player.

In summary, an "A" Player is someone who stands out above the rest, someone who others point to as a role model for others. They are sought after and considered an organization's greatest asset.

Here is a list of what I believe are the 8 attributes of A players:

  1. Knowledge: Not just a bunch of degrees or having an IQ of 160, but specific knowledge about the work they are hired to do.
  2. Skills: Mastery of the application of the above knowledge to achieve consistent results.
  3. Traits: I am referring to an alignment between the required personality traits of the job, such as strategic thinking, assertiveness, analytical thinking, methodical and process orientation, etc. with what an individual naturally possesses or how they are hardwired to think, feel, and therefore, behave.
  4. Consistency/Reliability: "A" players are consistent in all they do. You can count on them, they follow through on what they commit to.
  5. Adaptability: "A" players possess the innate ability to adjust and sustain changes in their behavior when the job demands it. The have the ability to make quick course corrections, adapt to new situations, are comfortable with and even embrace change.
  6. Positive Outlook and Disposition: "A" players maintain an optimistic but realistic approach to all they do and have the ability to inspire others simply by being in their presence.
  7. Interdependent: "A" players have learned how to play well with others and within the system. They believe and embrace the collective wisdom of the group and know what produces the best results.
  8. Avid Learners: "A" Players are lifelong learners and teachers. They invest in themselves even when companies fail to invest in them. They continue to increase their knowledge and skills and use these to further their ability to produce better results for themselves and others by sharing the lessons learned.

So: what other attributes do you believe makes an "A" player?


Larry Hart

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