I think that in our lives there are many opportunities to get ahead, and many ways to fall behind.  Becoming a top performer, or an A player in the work environment and at home are rewarding, fun, and will make a lot of things go easier for you.  It’s almost like you will get the secret keys to the kingdom when you follow these tips.  Some of them are so super simple as to be obvious.  They are simple, obvious, and yet, not everyone follows them.  People we’ve let go, or other people I’ve worked with have consistently failed to heed these tips.

7 Tips To Be An A Player

  1. When given a task, acknowledge it’s receipt.  Simple, highly effective, and super easy to do, right?  You can acknowledge with a simple “got it, I’m on it”, or “got it, it’s going to take me a couple of days to size it, and I’ll get back to you”.  It doesn’t mean that you’re done.  Just that you know you got the assignment. Why is this so important?  Well, for one, it tells me that it isn’t going to get missed in email.
  2. Do what you say.  Say what you’ll do.  If someone asks you to do something, and you acknowledge that you’re on it, then understand that you need to finish that task.  Forgetting about it, and letting it get lost in the shuffle isn’t a good idea.  Make sure you keep track of tasks handed to you until they are either done, or your boss tells you to take them off the plate.
  3. Ask for clarification and prioritization.  If you get a new task in, and are busy, and are handed something else, then check with your manager, or boss to see which one you should focus on first.  Managers are human too, and sometimes they fail to take into account everything that you are working on.
  4. Keep your manager in the loop.  Sometimes things don’t happen the way they’re supposed to.  Depending on your industry, that could happen very often.  Make sure that your manager is in the loop, and knows what you’re working on.  Yes, sending status reports seems stupid sometimes, and even redundant.  Get over it.  Send the status report.
  5. Use your time wisely.  Do the things with the greatest ROI first.  And email, while it’s a necessary evil means that it shouldn’t be all you do.  If you are in sales, visit accounts that will bring referrals, not necessarily the ones that make you feel good.  And attending marketing events isn’t getting you those referrals, either, since all of those people are also looking for referrals.
  6. Figure out what the next move should be, and take it.  I appreciate employees who can see what is going on around them, and who are able to act on it.
  7. They rise above the noise around them.  The best employees are going to take punches as they come, and they are also going to ignore the crazy, silly stuff that other people do.  Sometimes, it’s the customers, sometimes, it’s other groups within your company.  It doesn’t matter.  Stay well out of the fray, and avoid getting dragged down into that mess.  It is a mess, and treat it as such.  Your opinion will be well respected and heard if you ever do have a problem, because your manager will know it’s not you, because you’re drama-free.

I’m sure that there are so many other tips I could add to this.  What are your favorite tips for becoming an A player at work?  Please don’t hesitate to add them in the comments below.  Did you notice how many of these tips were about communication?