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A Players Get To The Friggin’ Point

by Dr. Brad Smart

2 minute read


    A Players have a lot of things in common, most of all a consistent record of achieving a lot and they also have some common competencies such as incredible drive and resourcefulness.  We all know these things.  But articles and books that discuss how A Players communicate focus mostly on leadership communications – listening, consultative decision making, etc.   This blog deals with how they communicate all day, every day.  As founder and CEO of Tograding, Inc. I’ve consulted with a lot of A Players on how they communicate and here’s what I’ve found:  

    A Players get to the point … and they expect everyone else to, too. They really do.  When asked (or are asked) the time, they do not beat around the bush or explain how to build a watch, they say the time and then make their case.  This blog did exactly that; the title states the “bottom line.”  

    In a zillion meetings, such as operations reviews, if a CEO asks an executive a question, and if the executive doesn’t immediately answer it, the CEO will interrupt and require an answer. So the blunt old style leader might demand, “Pat, answer the damn question,” whereas the leader strong in Emotional Intelligence might say, “Pat, excuse me for interrupting, but please tell me, did you check with the General Counsel before taking that action?”

    I put friggin’ in the title not to be crude but to convey how important it is.  In Topgrading Interviews in which I am the main interviewer and the hiring executive is my tandem partner (the best way to avoid a mis-hire), if we have to nudge a candidate more than a couple of times to get to the point, that hiring manager rejects the candidate.

    What have you experienced – do A Players both get to the point and require others to do so?  If you coach people on your team do you coach them to get to the point?

    If you want to learn more about hiring A Players or Topgrading in general, check out the Master Business Course at the Growth Institute.

    a player

    Dr. Brad Smart

    Dr. Brad Smart

    Brad completed his doctorate in Industrial Psychology at Purdue University, entered consulting, and since the 1970s has been in private practice as President and CEO of his own company, now called Topgrading, Inc., based in the Chicago area. Brad is frequently acknowledged to be the world’s foremost expert on hiring. The company consults with many leading companies and hundreds of small and growth companies. Brad has conducted in-depth interviews with over 6,500 executives. He is author of seven books and videos, including Topgrading 3rd Edition: The Proven Hiring And Promoting Method That Turbocharges Company Performance; The Smart Interviewer: Tools and Techniques for Hiring the Best; and the training series Topgrading Toolkit, featuring the 12 Topgrading hiring steps and demos of all the interviews. In addition, he has co-authored the following books: Topgrading for Sales: World-Class Methods to Interview, Hire, and Coach Top Sales Representatives, with Greg Alexander; and Smart Parenting: How to Raise Happy, Can-Do Kids, with Dr. Kate Mursau.

    Brad completó su doctorado en Psicología Industrial en la Universidad de Purdue, ingresó como consultor y, desde la década de 1970, ha ejercido en el sector privado como Presidente y CEO de su propia compañía llamada Topgrading Inc., con sede en Chicago. Con frecuencia, se le reconoce a Brad como el principal experto en contratación del mundo. Brad ha realizado entrevistas en profundidad con más de 6,500 ejecutivos. Es autor de 7 libros y videos, incluida la tercera edición de Topgrading: El método de contratación y promoción que acelera el desempeño de la empresa; The Smart Interviewer: herramientas y técnicas para contratar a los mejores; y la serie de capacitación Topgrading Toolkit, que presenta los 12 pasos de contratación de Topgrading. Es coautor de Topgrading for Sales: Métodos de clase mundial para entrevistar, contratar y asesorar a los principales representantes de ventas, con Greg Alexander; y Smart Parenting: Cómo criar niños felices y capaces de hacerlo, con la Dra. Kate Mursau.

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