The Business Coach Talks About How To Create The A-Team

How To Create Your A-Team With Advice From The Business Coach

As a business coach, I have learned how It’s important to work towards hiring a team of A-players (or coaching your current team up to be A-players) while regularly firing the C-players. To bring clarity to the definition of A-, B-, and C-Players, I have written out the descriptions of each below.

A-Players:
1. They arrive to work early and stay until the job is done.
2. They embrace ongoing learning and don’t push back when assigned something that is new and challenging because they like big challenges.
3. They hold themselves to a higher standard than management does so they can show that they really don’t need a boss.
4. They are hungry for more work and more obstacles to overcome.
5. They are goal oriented and want to win.
6. They have a growth-mindset that is focused on constant improvement.
7. They consistently get their jobs done without broadcasting their emotional state to the room. With these people, you usually can’t tell whether they are going through a personal tragedy or have won life’s lottery because they will get their work done either way.
8. They can’t stand to work around B- and C-players who represent mediocrity and people who are slowing them down.

“I noticed that the dynamic range between what an average person could accomplish and what the best person could accomplish was 50 or 100 to 1. Given that, you’re well advises to go after the cream of the cream. A small team of A+ players can run circles around a giant team of B and C Players.”
-Steve Jobs
(Co-founder of Apple and the former CEO of Pixar)

B-Players:
1. They arrive to work right on time and leave work right on time or two minutes early.
2. They push back at the thought of ongoing learning and tend to ask if they are going to be paid for it because “it’s not technically part of their job description.”
3. They hold themselves to the standard that management sets and actively demonstrates. They constantly compare themselves to their co-workers to justify their lack of effort and excellence.
4. They don’t want more work and they spend any free time they have planning their next vacation.
5. They are not goal oriented and they hope the company wins just enough so that they don’t have to look for another job.
6. They have a fixed mindset that is based upon their belief that each person is born with a certain amount of skills and that is all there is to it.
7. They consistently get their jobs done while bringing their up and down emotions to the workplace each day.
8. They love working with other B- and C-Players who justify their slow work pace and who they can go out to eat with and talk to about everything except for how to do their job better.

“I’ve learned over the years that, when you have really good people, you don’t have to baby them. By expecting them to do great things, you can get them to do great things. The original Mac team taught me that A-plus players like to work together, and they don’t like it if you tolerate B-grade work.”
-Steve Jobs
(Co-founder of Apple and the former CEO of Pixar)

C-Players:
1. They arrive to work 5 to 10 minutes late and always have a traffic-related, personal or medical excuse.
2. They systematically make teaching them so hard that management gives up on them, but doesn’t fire them. Since they are branded “unteachable,” they get less put on their plates than anyone else.
3. They have no standards and want to do the least amount of work possible during each workday. When you walk into the room, they minimize their social media and their chat room programs and pretend to be working.
4. They find ways to leave work early every day and to take extended breaks. They fudge on the amount of time it takes for them to accomplish nearly every task and they need to be praised for just doing their job or they will have an emotional breakdown.
5. They view success as based largely upon luck and they are actually bitter toward people who are more successful than they are.
6. They have a fixed mindset that is based upon their belief that each person is born with a certain amount of skills and that is all there is to it.
7. They only work hard when they emotionally feel like it, and they usually don’t.
8. They love working with other B- and C-Players who justify their slow work pace and they go out of their way to spread gossip and negative feelings around the office to bring the room down to their way of thinking.

“Steve Jobs has a saying that A-players hire A-players; B-players hire C-players; and C-players hire D-players. It doesn’t take long to get to Z-players. This trickle-down effect causes bozo explosions in companies.”
-Guy Kawasaki
(Venture capitalist and part of the marketing team that was responsible for introducing the original Macintosh computer line to the world in 1984)

31.4 – 8 Steps to Creating an A-Player Office Culture
Here are eight action steps that I’ve learned as a business coach you need to apply within your office to create an environment where talented, honest and diligent people will want to work.
1. You must write out your company’s values. Taking the time to write out your company’s values causes you to pause and think about what you really believe and why you really believe it. I have learned as a business coach that your values must be strong enough that certain candidates will shy away from working with you, while other candidates will become excited about working with you because of your values. Don’t go through the motions like most businesses just writing out some generic, politically correct, insincere values that don’t matter to you or your team.
2. Invest the time needed to describe the character traits of your perfect team member. It’s important that you invest the time to document the values, beliefs, and mindsets of your utopia team member so you can tailor your job posts and your environment to appeal to them.
3. Be intentional about your décor. Your décor must say something about you, your values, where your company has come from and where it is going. I have learned as a business coach that when customers and potential new hires walk into your office for the first time, they should be wowed, inspired or somehow emotionally touched by your décor. If your décor is just safe, generic, and professional, you are not going to create a work environment that people can’t wait to get back to each morning.
4. Hire only A-Players (and B-Players, if you have to). When you are growing your business, I understand that pragmatically we all need people with a pulse on our team to get certain jobs done. However, I would encourage you make it your goal to have an A-Player-only work environment. As a business coach, I have learned it’s ok to have some B-Players whom you are actively coaching to become A-Players, but you really do not ever want to have a bunch of C-Players on your team.

December 11th, 2017

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