How to recognize an “A” player

3 Sets of criteria to help you recognize an “A” player (Link – Talent Assessment Form below)

A.  Productivity

  • Are they dramatically more productive than everyone else?

B.  Professional 

  1. Do they reliably set, commit to and meet stretch goals?
  2. Do they consistently demonstrate the ability to solve problems?
  3. Do they demonstrate technical and professional expertise?
  4. Do they work collaboratively?
  5. Do they take initiative?

C.  Personal 

  1. Do they embrace change?
  2. Do they use good judgment?
  3. Are they resilient?
  4. Do they give honest feedback to you and others?

Suggestions for an individual – If you aspire to be an “A” player, pick one or two of these to add to your repertoire. I suggest B.1 and C.2 as good places to get started. If you are not sure if you meet certain criteria, ask your manager or a trusted peer to give you honest feedback.

Suggestions for a manager – Identify your “A” players and keep them happy by continuing to challenge them in these areas. Most importantly, make sure to give them the direction, tools, and autonomy they need to excel. Also, identify those that can become “A” players and coach them to continue to grow by adding some or all of the above.   I believe that they, you and the organization will all benefit.

Taken from Jack Zenger (Full HBR Article here)

You can find a simple Talent Assessment Form here that can help you score and catalog each team member.Bill

P.S.  Bonus HBR article on 6 ways to get the most out of your high-performers!

Bill -Certified Scaling Up Coach

Be Exceptional!

To learn more about building your own One Page Strategic Plan to help keep your “A” players visit or contact me at
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Published by Bill Flynn

Gazelles Member Advisor and early stage startup specialist with a proven track record with 16 Boston-based startups (9 to date with 5 successful outcomes, advisor to 7 others); SMB to Fortune 500 companies. 20+ years of Senior Sales, Marketing and GM experience in industries including mobile advertising, security, digital advertising, e-commerce and IT. Core Competencies: Player/Coach, Metrics-driven, Execution-based philosophy, Life-long learner

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