Two big shipping companies each have stores near me. They have similar merchandise and similar services. Their prices are about the same. When it’s my choice to go to one for products or services, I always pick the same one. Judy is the reason.
Judy remembers my name, even though I’m not a very frequent or important customers. She remembers other people’s names, too. Judy’s always smiling, and she makes my trip to her store pleasant. She makes the difference between a transaction that’s a commodity and a relationship-building experience.
One day, when I was the only person in the store, I asked Judy about what she did before she went to work there. She said she’d worked at a call center and in what she called a “fulfillment center.” She hated both jobs and quit.
Judy is an A Player (Now)
One term I hate is “A player.” It implies that there’s one kind of standard best worker, and the challenge is to find more of them. Think about Judy, though.
Judy is an A player now. She’s in a job that uses her strengths and where her intrinsic motivation kicks in. But she wasn’t an A player in those other jobs. She hated them. She wasn’t good at them. And she quit.
The manager of her store is smart enough to make sure she gets lots of time to do the things she loves to do and is good at. I wonder what her managers in those other jobs thought of her.
Being an A Player Is Situational
There is no generic “A player.” Instead, everybody on the planet has a mix of strengths and talents and experience that sets them up to be an A player in some places, but not others.
Your challenge isn’t finding generic A players to fill your company roster. It’s finding an array of people with the right skills and attitudes to do a specific job superbly and happily. It’s your challenge to find managers like Judy’s, who will get the most from their talents.
More From Wally Bock
In addition to writing the Three Star Leadership blog, Wally Bock is an author, ghostwriter, writing coach and book doctor. In his past lives he has run a small publishing company, been a popular keynote speaker to audiences around the world, and served as a U. S. Marine. He loves good beer, good friends, and good stories.