How to Become an A-Player


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An A-player is someone ready to lead, who goes at work with gusto and is not afraid to step forward and own accountability. In my book, they are also patient in building their skill and mastering domain expertise.

Ben Zander talked about the concept of leading from any chair — he's contagious in his enthusiasm and love for being present to what he does. We can draw from his body of work to infer the characteristics that distinguish A-Players.

How do you think like one?

1. Know that it's all invented

Inventors, creators, incredibly productive people do not stop at one
way of looking at things. They are constantly seeing possibility,
renewal, betterment, learning, activity everywhere they go.

And they end up finding a new way or may of doing things. Or as Guy Kawasaki would
say, they know the art of the start.

2. Stop measuring everything

Breakthroughs are hardly ever incremental. Instead, they are leaps.

People who create believe in themselves, they express their skill with
passion and joy. People are attracted to them. Their life does not depend on hitting the jackpot all the time and they are more open to connections, which in
turn create success.

One last word on measurement — learn to measure the
right things.

3. Be a contribution

People who are curious, interested, and think they can learn from
anyone actually end up doing so.

They figure out how to be of service and develop positive and productive behavior that in turn creates
abundance in their lives.

A book is making the rounds on why givers often succeed. That kind of attitude.

In other words, a true A-Player is not
arrogant and self-centered. A true A-Player is someone who has the right
attitude when it comes to team and has a lot of implicit good karma
from activities outside their day job.

They derive satisfaction and even
job security from their own skills and abilities.

In addition to the points above, how do you become an A-Player?

4. Work on improving your skills constantly

Learning by trial and error doesn't mean that you always have to run
lots of risks, and you need to be open to failing. Because past performance is not a guarantee of
future results.

5. Think "can do" as a default

A-Player is in your
mind, it's not in the minds of others. When you think you can do what
you set out to do, then you can deal with whatever it is that comes your
way. In other words, you learn to be situational in your approach.

Notice
that there is no mention of Twitter counts, or any friends count in
this post.

Money is also a tricky concept with A-Players — abundance is
not just expressed in cash. It's expressed in authenticity and honesty,
which in turn earns trust.

Take for example my mother [in the
photo with a singer], she is an A-Player, yet she never lived in a
castle. Quite the opposite. She's worked hard her whole life, she still
does. That's the same ethic I inherited.

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Questions for you.

Does an A-Player
need to have great Google juice today? How about referrals from their
network? Do A-Players get implicit credibility? Can companies also be
A-Players? What about brands? Do you have a definition of A-Player?

 

[updated from archives]

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Valeria is an experienced listener. She is also frequent speaker at
conferences and companies on a variety of topics. To book her for a
speaking engagement click here.