The Case for the Solid B Performer

Posted on August 15, 2014.

What would happen if you had a whole team of "A" players?  You’d likely be having weekly therapy sessions on your way to becoming “manager of the year”.  Is it worth the higher level of stress and anxiety?

Besides being a huge challenge just to find so many "A" players, here’s what your day-to-day life would be like:

·      Meeting attendance? Forget about it.  Only if they have a few moments to spare between winning everything.

·      Listening to your suggestions?  They might give polite nods and “sure” responses. But they’re just being polite.  They know they need to show a level of respect.  But they’re going to do what they know works for them.

·      Unsolicited suggestions given on how to do your job?  The really great "A" players will do it in such a way that you don’t even notice you’ve been criticized.

·      Demands are a constant.  They want the best support, the best equipment and technology, the best of everything.  After all, how else can they achieve over the top success?

·      Egotism.  Having to constantly praise, reward and recognize someone gets old.

So it’s obvious that every team needs to have at least some of these "A" types.  They set the bar high, they always help you make your goal and they execute flawlessly.  But at what price?  So it’s best to fill out the team with some solid "B" players.

Rounding your team out with some variety will make your life so much easier.  The solid "B" player brings the following:

·      Balance.  And by balance I mean these people are usually pretty calm and even-tempered.  They don’t get too excited when things don’t go perfectly or when they just had a huge win.

·      Humility. Unlike the "A" player, the solid "B" player rarely looks for recognition.  They’re usually happy to get their bonus at the end of the year and stay under the radar.

·      A willingness to do the crappy jobs.  Because their egos are  in check, the solid "B" player is willing to get their hands dirty and tackle the job that no one else wants to do.  And they’ll do it without complaining.

·      Kindness.  Rarely is glass broken or feelings hurt when working with the "B" player.  They’re usually more sensitive to the feelings and workloads of those around them.

·      Performance.  While they may not set the world on fire, I’ve rarely seen a solid "B" player not achieve their goals, and often exceed them.

·      No complaints.  Rarely does the "B" player complain about anything.  Rarely do they tell you how to do your job and rarely do they criticize others. It’s really quite refreshing.

Unless you're coaching or managing a team of athletes, you're way better off building a team with just a small percentage of "A" players, and looking hard for those solid "B" performer.