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By Darryl Stewart

Our job as a leader

Linton Sellen tells us that our job as leader is the performance and well-being of our team.

Gallup tells us that the typical workplace team has 26% ‘A’ Players, 55% ‘B’ players and 19% ‘C’ players.

Beroz Ferrell explains A and C players (the two extremes) like this:

The 7 Characteristics of A Players:

  1. Positive outlook & disposition – While the “can do” attitude has become a cliché, A Players have a consistent positive leaning. In the midst of gloom and doom, they are able to instill hope while still acknowledging reality.  They possess a certain resilience that is at the core of who they are.
  2. Versatility – A Players cultivate an ability to take on roles and responsibilities beyond what they were hired to do. They are comfortable stepping outside traditional lines and comfort zones, and volunteer for needs beyond the job description.
  3. Adaptability – There is nothing more certain in uncertain times than the value of the ability to change – change oneself, change course, or change what is. A Players demonstrate a higher than usual ability to move, morph and maneuver as required.
  4. Reliability – If this were a commodity and could be sold, you would dominate the marketplace. Reliability these days is rare and A Players are consistently reliable – not just when there is something to be gained.  They keep their word, follow through and are counted on when others have over promised and under delivered.
  5. Wholistic – While this word has traditionally been applied to those in the field of natural therapies, an A Player is one who has the ability to look at the “whole” and make decisions for the good of the “whole”.
  6. Interdependent – We live in connected systems and the sooner we recognize that, the better off we will be. A Players have learned how to play well with others within the system.  They understand the concept of the “third thought”, that our collective wisdom produces the best results, and are willing to work towards synergized solutions.
  7. Relevant – A Players are lifelong learners. They invest in themselves when companies have failed to invest in them.  They continue to increase their knowledge and skills and use these to bring forth value-added solutions to their workplaces.  They have developed a strong voice and a “thinking heart” and have mastered the use of both.

The 7 Behaviors of C Players:

  1. Defensive when asked to explain.
  2. Blame others for their shortcomings.
  3. Protective of their own turf; holding things close to the chest.
  4. Make excuses for not achieving results and only do what is necessary.
  5. Consistently find reasons for why something will not work.
  6. Have stagnated in their personal and professional growth.
  7. Ironically, they believe they know it best and are adding value.

Our job as leader is to:

  • choose as many A Players as possible for our team
  • keep the A Players we have happy and challenged
  • creatively and positively move as many people as possible from C and B players to A
  • deal with those who will never have the attitude or aptitude to succeed with us and humanely get them off our team

The goal is 100% A Players.


IBEX Payroll extends our profound respect and immeasurable gratitude to all the ancestors and keepers of the land on whose traditional territories our work takes place. We acknowledge that we are on Treaty 1 territory, the traditional gathering place of the Anishinaabe, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota and Dene people and the traditional homeland of the Métis people. This land is sacred, historical, and significant. 

Every time we acknowledge this truth, we have an invitation and an opportunity to reflect on the wrongs of the past, what we do in the present, and what we can do to continually honour the people whose lands and water we benefit from today. 

This statement only acts as a first step in honouring the land we reside on and its peoples, and must be paired with education, understanding and informed action.