Do You have an “A Team”?

What kind of standards do you set for the product or service your company produces? Is “good” good enough? Or do you strive for excellence and consistently aspire to do better?

The difference between A and B starts with mindset. If your team perfunctorily goes through the motions and achieves the minimum, it probably isn’t “A” work. When the team has a strong work ethic and strives to do better each time, it’s likely a very different result.

How do you go from being a B team to an A team? It’s not easy, and it requires clarity and persistence. You need clarity in order to specify the characteristics the comprise an A product. Persistence is essential because it takes doggedness to keep your eyes on the goal and make sure everyone moves ahead on the same path. Here are some questions to get you started.

+ How do you define excellence? Consider tangible details with few abstractions. The more concrete the description, the easier it is for everyone to share an image.

+ How do your clients describe excellence? If you’re not sure, find out! Hint: both the internal (your team) and the external (your clients) descriptions should match.

+ How will you gauge progress? There isn’t a right answer to this but setting measurable milestones will make it easier to keep everyone on the same page.

+ What are the personal benefits in achieving excellence? This is the “what’s in it for me” factor. When your people can internalize these, it fuels their drive and commitment.

Going from B to A takes time, dedication, and perseverance. Strive for concrete and measurable rather than abstract and nebulous.

Where appropriate, debrief projects and assignments and identify at least one thing that can be improved the next time. One final thought: document your progress so you can look back and feel great about how far you’ve come.

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