Why You Need “A” Players in Your Company

In my opinion, companies that under-perform almost always lack enough “A” players to become a breakthrough organization.

Through the years I have witnessed businesses leap forward with proper leadership and top employees on the payroll.

I have also observed companies fail because they did not recognize the need to hire top employees and place them in key positions.

If those failing companies did hire great employees, they did not put them into the right roles or not enough were hired to make a difference.

It can be argued that some business models don’t require the best employees because the systems and procedures are set up to allow the company to hire marginal candidates and literally plop them into a job with a short orientation and some basic training.

But most companies are not like that; most organizations need a high quality “go-getter” to thrive. Unfortunately, that person is usually the founder or owner of the company.

Owners are not always inclined to hire top talent. It can be expensive. The process can be demanding, long and disappointing. New employees might not fit with the company culture.

Bringing in top talent may require some internal changes that might generate resistance. The owner might see a new hire as a threat instead of an opportunity.

What is an “A” player? This employee elevates all those around them through setting an example. These individuals encourage, motivate, and drive those around them to a higher standard of excellence and performance. When they take responsibility for a department, a result or a function, they own it in every aspect.

Do these individuals have strong egos? Perhaps, but more importantly, they have a strong desire to succeed and achieve for the company. They set personal achievement behind that helping their company winning.

As a then life-long San Francisco Giants fan, I watched a Hall of Fame player, arguably the best all time player at his position, leave the team after just two years because the owner would not agree to his compensation demands.

Through this process I came to realize that the Giants at that time were a mediocre organization; and they remained so for many years following the departure of Joe Morgan.

Morgan played second base. At the end of his contract, he did not ask for a salary increase for the following years. What he did ask for, and his offer was turned down, was that he receive additional income based on the team achieving its goals, and he achieving goals in the next season.

To be a life-long Giants fan, I was also a long-suffering Giants fan. I was frustrated and shocked when the owner rejected a reasonable offer made by an “A” player. It was not that Morgan was a great player, though he was. What was obvious was that he elevated the playing of his teammates, and had experience with championship teams.

Morgan was all about winning baseball games. He was also all about energizing his teammates to play hard, minimize mistakes and get on base and score runs.

Companies that are serious about improving to get stronger financial and market performance have certain characteristics about them.

You’ll find “A” players in key roles; encouraging, challenging, doing more than is expected for the company and their fellow employees.

You may not be ready to hire an “A” player today. But your competition probably is.

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