Do you remember that time when you met someone who simultaneously inspired and challenged you? That person who made you a little uncomfortable because they took you outside of your comfort zone; the one whose expertise and guidance helped you to achieve a goal you previously thought was unattainable.
They were an “A” player and the kind of person you should be looking to surround yourself with.
Before you make any changes to your team, step back and understand the philosophy behind my message. Do you want to live a mediocre life or do you want a life where you and those around you make the concept of impossible obsolete? Once you’ve decided that you want a fulfilling, challenging and rewarding life; examine who’s in your life and if they want the same things.
We don’t get to choose our family, so hopefully you have one that supports your vision for your life. Outside of family, we generally get to pick who we spend time with. This includes our social circles, close friends, love interests and for those in leadership positions in their organizations, teammates.
The minute I chose to surround myself with “A” players, my life started to look different. My vocabulary started changing. My way of looking at life altered. Things that I otherwise thought were difficult were now simply challenges that I was confident to take on. I have found that I’m only as powerful as the people I surround myself with.
Why “A” players? Why not “B” or “C” players?
I am a firm believer that progress promotes happiness. When we are moving forward, we get a sense of accomplishment that is central to living a fulfilling life. The “A” players of the world will aid you in your mission to be better today than you were yesterday. Additionally, an “A” player is someone who will make your life easier by taking on responsibilities and opening up possibilities that were previously unfathomable.
“I was never the smartest guy in the room. From the first person I hired, I was never the smartest guy in the room. And that’s a big deal. And if you’re going to be a leader – if you’re a leader and you’re the smartest guy in the world – in the room, you’ve got real problems.” Jack Welch
There’s only so many “A” players in the world and if we’re all in competition for them, won’t the demand far outreach the supply? Yes, well kind of. While an “A” player is someone who is capable of being a superstar, they don’t have to be.
Think of it like a hockey team:
Your first line likely has a superstar or two on it but what about your second, third and fourth lines? As long as your second line is comprised of the best second line players available, you’ve done an excellent job. Same thing with your third and fourth lines; so long as they are the best third liners and the fourth liners available, you’ve just filled your team with “A” players.
The best want to be with the best and “A” players attract other “A” players. If we filled an open position with a “B” player, we may lose some of the “A” players we currently have. The investment in top-of-the-line talent is essential to not only helping your business thrive but also showing the next great potential hire that they want to play on your team.
Here’s another way of putting it:
“If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.” Red Adair
How many “A” players are on your team?