What makes an A-list employee?

Read human resource literature for even five minutes and it's all about the A-team, finding top talent, getting the right people on the bus. How many A-listers really exist? What about the B-folks, the great masses of the work world? Don't they count for something? Isn't this whole A-list business bogus?  "I don't disagree with that at all," said Corey Schiller, the young chief executive at Power Home Remodeling Group told me during our Leadership Agenda interview published in Monday's Philadelphia Inquirer.

"However, how people define what the right person is, is critically important -- what defines an A," he said.

Maybe, he said, executives make a mistake in defining the A-list as people who have a particular kind of experience, or precise computer skills or who have been excellent in their careers in the past.

"But that's not how we define an A," Schiller said. "What we are looking for is human quality: People who have integrity, people who see the world in a fundamentally positive way, people who are goal-oriented, and people who take responsibility for themselves and put their future in their own hands and are willing to take responsibility for their successes and their failures.

"If you have those qualities, which we go through exhaustive measures [to ascertain] when we interview you, that’s an A," he said. "Then, all of those [Power] job responsibilities, we’ll teach you how to do. Our whole business is built around that – we can’t necessarily teach you to have integrity. You just have to have it and we’ll consistently reinforce those ideas and build upon that, but you have to have it. Everything else, whatever department you are in, we’ll take the time to show you.  We invest a ton of time in the training and mentorship of our people. 

Click here for Monday's blog post.