A Different Take On Team Composition

Previously I wrote that you should make sure that your team is comprised only of A and B players. While I still believe in that post, I recently came across a fantastic answer on Quorathat details what I think are the differences between A, B, C, and D team players.

Michael O. Church writes,

The best employees are multipliers who make others more productive, and next are the adders (workhorses). Subtracters are the good-faith incompetents who cost more than they bring. Dividers are the worst kind of problem employee: they bring the whole team (or company) down.

Merging that in with my previous post, and you get:

  • A players = multipliers
  • B players = adders
  • C players = subtracters
  • D players = dividers

I’d like to add my interpretation to what Michael wrote, and say that you mustonly have A players in management precisely because one the jobs of management is to make your team more productive. Now that does not mean that team members shouldn’t include A players, or that all A players are potential management candidates. Sometimes your best employees are just that – your best employees. Figure out their needs, and reward them accordingly, but keep them as A players right where you need them. They will be the multipliersto the B players of your team.

The B players – the addersof your team, do the bulk of the work and add measurable value in everything that they do. Keep them happy, and they will continue to perform for you for many years. But keep an eye on them, and encourage the most capable ones to become A players, but never promote a B player into management.

The C players – the subtractersare the ones who do not produce enough to warrant long-term employment, but are usually capable of improvement to the B player level. Put them on a performance improvement plan, but do so in good faith that they become B players. You usually can afford to carry a C player for awhile, just not forever.

The D players – the dividersare caustic to your team. Whether intentional or not, they eat away at the fabric of your team and undermine your goals and objectives. Dismiss them forthwith. Work with HR to package them out properly. There is no hope for improvement with D players.

The Importance of Human Resources to an Organization

How much does your President or CEO really know about your company’s Human Resources department? If they want to lead a great organization, then it pays to know a lot. Don’t just look upon HR as a regulatory requirement, look upon HR as a competitive advantage that best positions you to dominate your industry.

The best organizations have great HR departments, and great leaders that recognize this fact.

Businessweek – What Every CEO Needs to Know About HR

Becoming A Better Writer

It was a dark and stormy night.

Err, no. One of the reasons for me starting this blog was to try and become a better writer. While I’m generally known as a good communicator, writing does not come easy for me. It always seems to take too much time to convey the message that I want to get across.

Maybe it was just the high school I attended, but my English classes mostly covered literature, with little focus on writing. I don’t feel like I ever learned how┬áto write. For the longest time, I thought that the way to become a better writer was to read more – and while that is probably true, it’s high time that I started writing more.