Business Article Sample

Let’s Hear It for the ‘B’ Players


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Article Review 2


Delong, T., and Vijayaraghavan, V. (2003). Let’s hear it for B Players. OnPoint: Harvard

Business Review


There are two types of most recognized players in any given company. The A players and the C players – A players are the star players while the C players are the underperformers who are always on the notice of being fired for their lagging performances. However, it has been found, through research that another category of players, B Players, more vital than the A players lags in the background and its rarely recognized by the companies. This group does not outshine everyone in the company’s line of duty but packs tremendous knowledge, experience, and ability for saving a company’s future from crises and other performance-based issues. The B Players are not made and neither can they be destroyed. These Players exist in three levels: former A Players, Truth Tellers, and Go-to-Managers. As former A Players, these have the experience and toughness to outshine all the players within the company but they choose to move from the spotlight. As truth tellers, they identify the number of issues that face the company and project it to the authorities capable of strategizing factors to pull the company from financial or performance deficits. As Go-to-Manages, B Players are faced with consultation duties related to the company’s operations and norms. When a company finds itself in performance or financial turmoil, the B Players structure the entity for consultation as their knowledge and experience with company process makes them an asset to the company.

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Managers are provided with a manual-style approach on how to nurture B Players. In a company, most employees are faced with the urge to become top players but their ambitions may pay off or fail, therefore, breaking their morale. However, for B Players, management is urged to accept differences, give the gift of time, hand out the prizes, and give choices.

Data Analysis and Opinion:

Different players within a company have different goals and mission about their careers and purposes at the company. The business world functions on a 24/7 basis and incorporates players with varying ambitions. A Players are more concerned on how to work their way to the top – their mission is to find out what is good for ‘brand me’. B Players on the other hand, focus their potential for what is good for the company. With this variance, it has been noted that, companies do not, in most cases recognize the efforts or the role of B Players. For example, a company will always give incentives and bonuses to those employees that perform beyond the expectations of many. This is the reason some companies have the employee-of-the-year awards. This awarding system is a way of recognizing talent or skill but also a way of isolating other important players within the company. In this case, if it were the will of every employee to work towards nourishing individual talent and skills, companies would have no one concerned about their long term performances. Various people work for varying reasons; some work to be promoted, some need good pay, and others need to be managers. However, when it comes to the myth that everyone is equal or similar to the other, a line is drawn. Leaders within a company always assume that all people want the same things – money, power, and status – out of their organizations. However, evidence shows that some people are more focused on influencing others in their jobs. For those not worried about individual performance or excellence are considered B players – their duty is to influence change on a company-wide scope. However, while this is the fact, management in different companies tends to overlook the importance and purpose of being a B Player. B Players are not different from A Players because they possess the same or even higher level of intelligence. Achievement has been identified as a blend of personality, intelligence, and motivation. A Players are more focused to making a brand out of themselves while the B Players are highly considerable of work-life balance. The latter group performs fairly well at work and gives time to family matters while the former group puts all its energy to work. While careers are concerned, most of the individuals considered A Players are seasonal performers as they are soon replaced by other players who envy their performance traits.

There are A and B Players in almost all sectors of the economy. If performance is given a chance, there are other situations that replicate the A- and B-Player theorem. However, these other settings do not call for B performance and have no recognition for such status. For example, most companies select and hire their employees based on their performances both in academics and in other fields they have worked in before. If this exercise considers performance as an entry pass, then it is logically irrelevant for an entity to keep a low profile while under managerial observation. However, focusing on long-term performance, B Players play an important role, but the question is, how and when is the transition made from A Performance after being hired to B Performance in the long run?

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