Are you an “A” Player? CEOs tell us what they look for in top candidates.

August 27th, 2009 by lewis

This week, I’ve been reading Who: The A Method for Hiring by Geoff Smart and Randy Street. When researching their book, Geoff and Randy asked top CEOs and scholars: which competencies are the biggest success factors?
Take a look at Geoff and Randy’s list below, and see if you are an “A” player.
  • Efficiency. Able to produce significant output with minimal wasted effort.
  • Honesty/integrity. Does not cut corners ethically. Earns trust and maintains confidences. Does what is right, not just what is politically expedient. Speaks plainly and truthfully.
  • Organization and planning. Plans, organizes, schedules, and budgets in an efficient, productive manner. Focuses on key priorities.
  • Aggressiveness. Moves quickly and takes a forceful stand without being overly abrasive.
  • Follow-through on commitments. Lives up to verbal and written aggreements, regardless of personal cost.
  • Intelligence. Learns quickly. Demonstrates ability to quickly and proficiently understand and absorb new information.
  • Analytical skills. Able to structure and process qualitative or quantitative data and draw insightful conclusions from it. Exhibits a probing mind and achieves penetrating insights.
  • Attention to detail. Does not let important details slip through the cracks or derail a project.
  • Persistence. Demonstrates tenacity and willingness to go the distance to get something done.
  • Proactivity. Acts without being told what to do. Brings new ideas to the company.
Additional competencies as determined by the authors
  • Ability to hire A Players (for managers). Sources, selects, and sells A Players to join the company.
  • Ability to develop people (for managers). Coaches people in their current roles to improve performance, adn prepares them for future roles.
  • Flexibility/adaptability. Adjusts quickly to changing priorities and conditions. Copes effectively with complexity and change.
  • Calm under pressure. Maintains stable performance under heavy pressure or stress.
  • Strategic thinking/visioning. Able to see and commnicate the big picture in an inspiring way. Determines opportunities and threats through comprehensive analysis of current and future trends.
  • Creativitiy/innovation. Generates new and innovative approaches to problems.
  • Enthusiasm. Exhibits passion and excitement over work. Has a can-do attitude.
  • Work ethic. Possesses a strong willingness to work hard and sometimes long hours to get the job done. Has a track record of working hard.
  • High standards. Expects personal and team performance to be nothing short of the best.
  • Listening skills. Lets others pseak and seeks to understand their viewpoints.
  • Openness to criticism and ideas. Often solicits feedback and reacts calmly to criticism or negative feedback.
  • Communication. Speaks and writes clearly and articulately without being overly verbose or talkative. Maintains this standard in all forms of written communication, including e-mail.
  • Teamwork. Reaches out to peers and cooperates with supervisors to establish an overall collaborative working relationship.
  • Persuasion. Able to convince others to pursue a course of action.

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One Response to “Are you an “A” Player? CEOs tell us what they look for in top candidates.”

  1. August 28, 2009 at 6:06 am, Felipe C said:

    Great post …. thanks a lot!