Build an A-Team



Book Title:    Build an A-Team: Play to Their Strengths and Lead Them Up the Learning Curve
Author:  Whitney Johnson
Publisher:  Harvard Business Review Press
List Price:   $28.00
Format:  Hard cover, 208 pages
Publication Date:   2018
ISBN: 13: 978-1-63369-364-7
Reviewer: Shauna Skolnick
Review Date:  September 2019




“Build an A-Team” is an easy read with a logical step-by-step process to developing high performing, engaged and productive teams.

Embracing personal disruption and employee disruption is a simple strategy anyone can ace focused around learning, an innate desire for which we are all wired.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book is presented in a user-friendly manner, taking a tough and often intangible subject like employee engagement and productivity and presenting an easy solution not often considered by management.

Real world company examples of culture, development and hyper-growth make the concepts more tangible to grasp and tips on how to implement this process and adhere to designing jobs around people’s skills, abilities and propensity to master new roles.


In an ever-growing gig economy where tenure, loyalty and company culture continue to erode, managers need to get more creative on how best to maintain positive work environments and group dynamics that limit unwanted attrition one of the biggest attributing factors preventing hyper growth.

Hiring on the S Curve is a breakthrough concept and if balanced correctly can lead to high performance teams fully engaged in daily responsibilities and committed to a common goal. It is genius in its simplicity!

Learning prevents stagnation; applying this easy step-by-step process will help maximize employee engagement and contribution, no matter the role or level of expertise. Great bosses develop great teams, and this is a “must know” for those committed to excellence!

Highlights: What I liked!

I realized for the first time with clarity the role management has played in watching so many top producers turn over due to “burnout.”  We have placed the blame on the employee, attributing loses to diminished drive or lack of will to continue the daily grind.  It is clear now that they these top producers are masters, and even masters get bored of constant achievement if they are not stimulated or motivated by learning something new.


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About the Reviewer

Shauna Skolnick

North Texas, USA




 Shauna Skolnick is a Technology Staffing Industry leader with 20 years of experience managing high-volume critical business operations. She is focused on National Accounts Resource Planning & Delivery, Customer Relationship & Account Management, Talent Acquisition / Team Training, Performance Management & Metrics.

Her employer, GDH has been awarded the Best of Staffing award by Technical Talent and Clients once again, making both lists for 5 consecutive years and therefore earning us the coveted “Diamond” status! The Strategic Delivery team excels in providing technical resources necessary to support Fortune 100 clients and Federal Government Secret/Top Secret Cleared engagements.  Her success is attributed to delivering top talent via contract staff augmentation, SOW project resource delivery, RPO engagements, and direct hire.

Shauna can be contacted at sskolnick@gdhinc.com


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