THE POWER OF B-PLAYERS
There is a commonly-held belief that corporate success is largely due to the proliferation of A-team talent, and so often there is an overwhelming imperative to hunt down the top performers at every turn. It’s a move that often leads to poor results in the long run, say management experts Thomas J DeLong and Vineeta Vijayaraghavan: “A-players, it is true, can make enormous contributions to corporate performance. Yet in our collective 20 years of consulting, research, and teaching, we have found that companies’ long-term performance — even survival — depends far more on the unsung commitment and contributions of their B-players.”
B-players, or even A-players who have shied away from the limelight in favour of a more manageable work-life balance, have proven to be consistently beneficial to team productivity firstly because of their ability to offset the often reckless and volatile tendencies of their Atype colleagues, and secondly, because they are often inclined to get the job done without making too many demands on the CEO’s time.
According to DeLong and Vijayaraghavan: “Companies are routinely blinded to the important role B-players serve in saving organisations from themselves. Unfortunately, organisations rarely learn to value their B-players in ways that are gratifying for either the company or these employees. As a result, companies see their profits sinking without really understanding why.”