Becoming an “A” Player

I just finished reading the biography on Steve Jobs, he was quite a fascinating guy. The one thing he was good at was creating teams of “A” players. He never wanted to have people not stepping up to the plate on any of his teams. That is one of the things that made Apple a great company turning out great products. His management style was something to be desired but in the end it was an approach that worked out well for him. As an entrepreneur however stepping up totally sets on the shoulders of one person. If you look in the mirror you will find the person I am talking about. What makes you step up to being an “A” player is totally up to you. No one is forcing you to step up to the plate and we all know how it works out for the sweet salesperson who sells the shoes off our feet but doesn’t follow through on their promises, or is that a politician? There is only one thing that turns off customers more is to have someone not follow through with what they say will happen.

You’re an entrepreneur starting your own business, you have integrity, you want to give excellent customer service, you want to have quality products and services, you want to be known for being the person that can be relied on to get the job done. What if you’re not that person? What if you try to do things right but sometimes fall behind? Does that make you useless, does that mean you will never be successful? Wrong! That means you need to work a little harder, plan a little more before bursting out the door, take better notes, work on the area you are falling down in and change it.

I never believe someone is worthless unless they want to be. I have seen great artist that have their limbs cut off and made a great career painting with some other part of their body. I have witnessed people that were down and out come back under conditions that you and I would find horrible and be successful entrepreneurs. I myself have been in that boat, I dropped out of school at seventeen and went back at forty to get my diploma. I figured out how I learn best and worked hard on things I enjoyed doing. I started a business when I was told people couldn’t make it. Any one of you has the power to make a difference. Any one of you has the power to make change. Maybe you weren’t ready when you tried before, maybe you didn’t have the skill set when you tried earlier, but maybe, just maybe, you have it now.

How to instill change in yourself, make a list of five things that would make you better at what you do that you notice you need work on. Create a plan to work on one item each month, if it takes longer that’s okay at least your heading to your goal. Once you have improved in one area then add another item until you have finished your list. The hardest part is getting started. It is possible to change, you just have to plan for it.

About the Author

Bruce Outridge is a business and leadership consultant for entrepreneurs. More information can be found on his website at

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