The A Player: The Definitive Playbook and Guide for Employees and Leaders Who Want to Play and Perform at the Highest Level

The A Player: The Definitive Playbook and Guide for Employees and Leaders Who Want to Play and Perform at the Highest Level

by Rick Crossland

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A chasm exists in the worldwide workplace: CEO’s and senior leaders expect better performance from most of their people. Simultaneously, those same employees know they have more to contribute, but are likely unaware of their leaders’ true expectations regarding attitudes and results. "The A Player" is a breakthrough book that addresses how to forge a bridge between this critical gap to produce prosperity for both the company and the employee. When your company wins, as an employee you win.

Rick Crossland, "The A Player" talent expert gives you a private executive coaching lesson on how to be that prized top performer companies covet. A Players are always in high demand. They are not just more productive; they are also happier and work with more purpose, passion, fun and fulfillment in their lives. Nothing great was ever achieved with average performance and "The A Player" shows how to achieve outstanding A Player performance on both an individual and company-wide level.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781630479930
Publisher: Morgan James Publishing
Publication date: 01/27/2017
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 302
File size: 6 MB

About the Author

Rick Crossland is an internationally known expert and thought leader on A Player Talent. His innovative approach to developing and validating high performers-A Players, has been published in leading business sites such as and, where Rick contributes articles as a Fortune Insider-a network where the most thoughtful and influential people in the entrepreneurial scene answer questions about business and careers.

A bona fide A Player himself, Rick has almost 30 years of experience developing, recruiting and leading high performers, and developing high performing cultures at companies. Before founding his very successful executive coaching, leadership and talent development company eight years ago, Rick had worked at Johnson and Johnson, ICI-Zeneca and, Planters-Lifesavers, Ford Motor Company and Limited Brands. In addition to his writing and consulting, Rick is a dynamic speaker who loves to captivate audiences with his unique A Player approach.

Read an Excerpt

If you have every worked on a team project and had your “A” grade dragged down to a lower grade by B or C Players who did not pull their weight, you immediately grasp the A Player concept and the importance of only having A Players on your team. People for decades have understood this concept in the world of academics and sports. For some strange reason we have too long tolerated B and C Players in the workforce. If you stop to think about it, this is actually staggering, as your job and career prospects are directly linked to company performance. If your company is tolerating and subsidizing B and C underperformers, then by definition the company could be performing better, which hurts both the immediate and long term compensation, benefits and growth you should be receiving. Put in these terms, I have never had anyone successfully argue why we should have B and C Players on a team.

The payoff for being an A Player is huge. If you are a leader, becoming an A Player will yield even more respect for you and higher performance from your team. They will follow you because of who you are, not because of your title. If you are an employee, becoming an A Player means you are an employee that lives in the top 10% of your profession. This means your employer will enthusiastically re-hire you and support your further development. This also means that you are in high demand and employable, no matter the circumstances of your business.

And those benefits are solely related to your personal growth. The other substantial payoff is in having an organization comprised solely of A Players. Think of this as your favorite sport’s All-Star team, where the members of the team not only were the best in the business, but also possessed great leadership and interpersonal skills. A Players produce results, and the teams led by 100% A Players produce the best results. Think about how wonderful life will be when you fully respect the work ethic and results of all of your co-workers, and you get the joy of working with the best in your business—your own All-Star team. The results are limitless.

There is also an even bigger societal benefit at play here. Businesses that have teams of 100% A Players create companies that thrive, and are able to offer better opportunities, and more stable environments; they also grow with the needs of their team-members. Beyond that, the company is better positioned to share that prosperity back in terms of a greater purpose, such as incredible products and services that truly help people, as well as provide amazing benefits and growth opportunities back to its employees. Many of these companies also use this prosperity to fund meaningful social responsibility work such as improving the working conditions in its supply base. Think Apple Computer here. Apple was founded on the principle of 100% A Players.

This book is based on hundreds of real-life case studies and dozens of interviews with bona-fide A Players who not only deliver exceptional results, but also are excellent leaders and collaborative teammates. I draw on my nearly 30 years of exceptional results in my own business units and those of my clients as a seasoned executive, executive coach, and A Player talent expert to bring you first hand insights on what being an A Player is all about. In fact, along with Dr. Bradford D. Smart, Geoff Smart, Jack Zenger, Joe Folkman, Eric Herrenkohl, and a handful of other experts, I have been recognized as one of the top ten foremost experts in identifying and developing A Player talent. I am confident my experience will help further your success. The goal of this book is to encapsulate legions of wisdom passed down from hundreds of A Players themselves so that you and your teammates can get accelerated results.

Strong content and organization are critical for a good book. The A Player introduces new concepts and challenges throughout the book as the chapters un-fold. Some of the chapters, like the ones that deal with financial topics, may be more challenging, but understanding these key principles are part and parcel to being an A Player, so please embrace the discipline. The book is also organized by topic, so teams can use the book as a book study and immediately access the content necessary to address the needs in their organization or business.

We begin our journey with a definition of A Players and how A Players are differentiated from B and C Players. From there, The A Player goes on to explain the enormous difference A Players make to organizations and exactly why CEO’s and senior leaders value A Players so much. Next, I will teach you some foundational financial principles about profits and prosperity that A Players understand and B and C Players do not. I will also teach and challenge you to calculate the specific return-on-investment (ROI) your services provide the organization for which you work. The journey then takes us into the specific mindset and what A Players do that others do not. In particular, A Players have exceptional character attributes, which they parlay with excellent leadership and team work to produce tangible results. Extraordinary accountability and discipline also play a major role in the A Player’s unique acumen. I will then show you how A Players are the most coachable members of the organization, which also makes them the best and most valuable teammates. "The A Player" concludes with a study of how superior emotional intelligence drives A Player behaviors. I then leave you with 60 A Player competencies that you can use to measure and improve your progress on becoming an A Player.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Are You an A Player? Let's Find Out

Chapter 2: Defining the A Player

Chapter 3: Make a Decision

Chapter 4: How CEOs and Senior Leaders View A Players

Chapter 5: Purpose Beyond Profits

Chapter 6: The Prosperity Principles

Chapter 7: How Business Really Works—Becoming A Prosperity Center

Chapter 8: What Your Business Owners Want You to Know

Chapter 9: Everything Has a Business Case—Put Your Plan in Writing

Chapter 10: Why A Players Don't Really Work for Money

Chapter 11: The Employer and Employee Bill of Rights

Chapter 12: A Player Acumen

Chapter 13: Character Counts

Chapter 14: A Player Leadership at All Levels

Chapter 15: A Players are Team Players

Chapter 16: A Players Set SMART Goals

Chapter 17: The “A” in A Player Is for Accountability

Chapter 18: A Player Hard Work and Discipline

Chapter 19: Be Informed

Chapter 20: Know What Your Boss Wants, and Your Coworkers Too!

Chapter 21: Be Coachable

Chapter 22: A Players Deliver Results

Chapter 23: Attitude Is Everything: Develop an Attitude of Gratitude

Chapter 24: A Player EQ/EI: Putting Emotional Intelligence to Use

Chapter 25: Conclusion

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