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5 Key Habits of an A-Player at Work

Monday, May 22, 2023

The habits of successful professionals in the workplace are not a mystery. In fact, there are five key habits that distinguish the A-players from the rest of the pack. These habits can help executives lead, influence and persuade their teams to perform at their best, as well as help individual contributors elevate their performance and achieve career growth.

By adopting these five key habits, team leaders can deliver results and drive success for themselves and their organization.

Avoid the Discomfort of Stagnancy

Key habit number one is avoiding the discomfort of stagnancy. A-players have an innate desire for continuous growth and progress in their career, always striving for the next level. They are not content with staying in one place for too long, and the thought of being stagnant and not moving forward causes them great discomfort.

When they feel stuck, they will do whatever it takes to regain their momentum and identify the roadblocks and obstacles hindering their progress. A-players are constantly seeking ways to keep moving forward, to stay in momentum and overcome challenges.

For those who want to improve their game and avoid stagnancy, it's important to understand and reconnect with the inspiration that drives their climb to the top. This is especially important when leading a team, as inspiring team members to strive for continuous growth is key to achieving success. By adopting the mindset and habits of an A-player, individuals and teams can overcome obstacles and maintain their momentum, ultimately achieving their goals and reaching new heights.

Believers of the Mission

Key habit number two, believers of the mission, is essential to being an A-player. A-players understand the importance of knowing the mission, objectives, and the path to get there. They also recognize the significance of being accountable for their journey towards achieving the mission. Believing in the mission is the foundation for everything else that follows, including personal and team alignment, core values, and accountability.

If you want to enhance your performance, it is crucial to understand the mission and ensure that it aligns with your personal values. As a team leader, it is vital to inspire your team members by communicating the mission and the reasons why it is important. A-players believe in the mission and understand that accountability towards success is necessary.

By being on board with the mission and having a clear understanding of the objectives, A-players can work towards achieving their goals while staying accountable every step of the way.

Conduct Themselves With Emotional Intelligence

Key habit number three of A-players is conducting themselves with emotional intelligence. A-players have an internal thermostat that enables them to manage their emotions. They are self-governed and understand where their emotions are coming from, but they don't make decisions based on their emotions. A-players also have a pulse on how to connect with their audiences and create harmony within teams. They have an intuitive sense of what constitutes good and bad leadership.

If you want to become an A-player, it is essential to develop your emotional intelligence. If you are managing a team, it is critical to hire A-players and provide coaching and resources to train them for success.

Demand Full Utilization

Key habit number four is demanding full utilization, and it's a trait of A-players. They're constantly seeking better ways of doing things and won't rest until they're operating at their fullest potential. They want to be hired for their full potential, and not just being used for part of their skills or intelligence. They desire to work at their fullest potential, and that's what full utilization is all about.

If you’re an A-player, when you find yourself in an environment where you're not fully utilized, you'll feel restless and uncomfortable. And if you're a team leader, you can identify A-players when you see someone who is restless, always looking for ways to help and create new solutions for problems.

If you're someone who wants to step up their game, it's important to recognize the value of demanding full utilization. Strive to work at your fullest potential and seek out opportunities to do so. Being fully utilized will allow you to grow and develop your skills and contribute more to your team and organization.

Extreme Ownership

The fifth key habit of A-players is extreme ownership. This term was coined by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin, two former Navy SEALs, and it describes the importance of taking full responsibility for one's actions. When Navy SEALs are trained, they are put in situations where their mistakes can lead to fatal consequences. Hence, the idea of extreme ownership emerged.

Extreme ownership is about taking complete responsibility for one's actions and not making excuses. A-players know what they are accountable for and do not blame anyone else for their mistakes. They do not blame external factors such as systems or processes, but take full ownership of their actions. They own their mistakes and take corrective actions to course-correct.

A-players do not play the blame game, and instead focus on what they can do better. They strive to improve themselves and move past their mistakes as a stronger version of themselves. This mindset is what sets them apart from others and makes them successful in their endeavors. Extreme ownership is not just a habit, but a way of life for A-players.

These five key habits of A-players are crucial for achieving success in any field. A-players have a deep commitment to excellence and personal growth, and they strive for constant improvement in everything they do. They cultivate a growth mindset, focusing on the journey of self-improvement rather than the destination of success. They are self-aware and have a clear understanding of their strengths and weaknesses, enabling them to develop their full potential.

A-players demand full utilization of their skills and abilities and take extreme ownership of their roles and responsibilities, making no excuses and taking full responsibility for their actions. These habits are not innate traits, but rather learned behaviors that anyone can adopt with the right mindset and dedication. By cultivating these habits, anyone can become an A-player and achieve their full potential, both personally and professionally.

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