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  • Writer's pictureTerry Dockery


Press release; for immediate distribution: Casper Milktoast, the head coach of our local high school football team, the Fuzzy Puppies, expressed his surprise and dismay today after his team was thrashed 112-0 by the state professional football team, the Golden Conquerors. “This really hurts,” said Coach Milktoast. “I just don’t understand it, our teamwork was great and we were oh so motivated and sincere. All I can figure is that they must have some kind of secret weapon…”

Well, duh. That is why having “A” players is so important. The lack of them can leave you with a talent deficit that can make it impossible for you to compete effectively and be successful as an organization.

Following are the 4 essential qualities of “A” players, including why they are important. So to avoid PAIN, look for these 4 essential traits as you select members for your team.





Passion: demonstrating enthusiasm for the work.

Why it’s important:

  • They’re in the right career.

  • They’re basically happy and self motivated.

  • Their enthusiasm is contagious and motivates others.

Example of a passionate “A” player: Dustin Hoffman

Authenticity: an honest and forthcoming approach.

Why it’s important:

  • They know who they are.

  • They like who they are.

  • They are trustworthy.

Example of an authentic “A” player: Stephen Covey

Intelligence: the ability to think and work rapidly.

Why it’s important:

  • It’s the best single predictor of achievement.

  • They get more work done in less time.

  • They can think abstractly and strategically better.

Example of an intelligent “A” player: Albert Einstein

Nurturance: the ability to care about oneself and others.

Why it’s important:

  • They like themselves and others.

  • They know how to motivate themselves and others.

  • It’s the most important leadership behavior there is.

Example of a nurturing “A” player: Robert E. Lee


Technique #1: Be an “A” player yourself; get help in addressing any skills deficits

you have.

Technique #2: Avoid PAIN by screening for passion, authenticity, intelligence,

and nurturance in potential new members of your team.

Technique #3: If at all possible, don’t be tempted by current pressures to hurry

and to lower your quality standards when you add new members to your

team—you’ll live to regret it.

Copyright Terry "Doc" Dockery, Ph.D. All rights reserved.

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