What would having every member of your team performing as an A Player mean to your business?

“Rick has been an executive coach to many of Palmer-Donavin’s key executives since 2016, helping these leaders achieve peak performance through new and more strategic ways to approach the business and lead their teams through his Scaling Up and A Player methodologies. He achieves this through robust and proven “how to” systems that also reinforce our core values. This work has led to very impressive sustained results, process and cultural changes in our organization.

As the author of The A Player, Rick knows talent! In addition to his coaching, his organization has successfully recruited multiple candidates for key executive positions including my successor for the CFO role. He has introduced the Topgrading interview methodology to our company which has improved our success rate in hiring and promoting the right executives.

If your organization is ready to be challenged and energized, Rick will help you get to the next level, by improving your talent and bottom-line. He is a trusted and “go to” partner for us.”

Robyn Pollina, CEO

The Palmer-Donavin Manufacturing Company

“Rick Crossland’s keynote address on the importance of having a team of A Players captivated and challenged our audience of high-level CEOs. His content and message was spot on for our group. We received excellent feedback and scores from our members on the quality and relevance of Rick’s message. Many plan to put his expert advice into immediate action.”

Kevin Minton, CEO

Chief Executive Boards International

“The performance improvement in the executives Rick has worked with has been incredible! The program is a terrific return-on-investment to our business.  His program has helped us build an industry leading apprentice program for sales talent, an internal corporate training university for rising leaders, strategies to dramatically improve labor turnover in warehousing, and an innovative approach to sales management that is driving bottom-line profits.  We have committed to being a team of only A Players and our culture and performance is better as a result.”

Shawn Richard, Vice President Human Resources

The Palmer-Donavin Manufacturing Company

“Rick has immersed himself into our business and industry to help us immediately address our challenges.  His strategic approach to our business, specifically the sales process, helped us to develop a digital sales playbook as well as a lead measure tracking system to drive accountability throughout the organization.  Combining these improvements with his approach to attracting and retaining “A Player” talent has been a tremendous asset for our business including the turnaround of a key region, reduction of employee turnover, and the coaching and development of several rising leaders.”

Matt Butzier, Vice President and General Manager

The Palmer-Donavin Manufacturing Company

“I reached out to our Scaling Up Coach Rick Crossland asking him if he could help with filling three critical positions that my company was hiring for. Within a week of giving each of my requirements to Rick, he and his team found phenomenal candidates for each of the positions. I quickly hired three new A Players for our team. These three new team members have exceeded my highest expectations. From day one each of these new employees came ready to rock and hit the ground running. To say they made an immediate positive impact is an understatement! These new employees are so good their performance makes your toes curl!

Rick makes the hiring process so much easier for the employer as he and his team specifically target what we need. He personally vets potential candidates and only passes them through if he evaluates that they are truly A Players. The recruiting services he offers his clients are far more efficient and cost effective than job postings when you consider the time he saves your organization and the immediate impact his candidates make to your bottom-line results. In short, the caliber of talent he provides is awesome!  Rick knows A Players!Moving forward whenever my company has a position to fill, I know that my first phone call is going to be to Rick Crossland.”

Chris Miller, Associate Vice President

EduMind Inc.

“When we started Scaling Up we wanted to get the right coach to fit our company, Kaivac, Inc. We found Scaling Up had a great network of coaches throughout the Midwest and interviewed 6 different coaches. We made the right pick with Rick Crossland. Rick is a world class coach, he pushes and encourages all of my team to be their very best and puts time, energy, and effort into making us better. Rick is highly energetic, wise for his age, quick to read people, very knowledgeable of many and varied business issues, and truly wants us to win! In less than a year, our business is up over 60% in spite of the Corona Virus and other head winds affecting the economy. His book, The A Player and the Scaling Up roadmap are setting the bar for our employees and Rick is helping our entire team to reach our goals. If you are serious about growth and looking for a great coach and adviser, I highly recommend Rick.”

Bob Robinson, Sr. President/Founder

Kaivac, Inc

Developing A Player Leadership
at All Levels

“We saw an almost immediate change in the CEO’s behavior and actions.”

-Chief Information Officer, high technology company

“Leadership Development” can be cliché, and it is often taught by so-called experts who have actually never led a team.

A Player Advantage knows that great leadership at every single position in the company—leadership at all levels—is vital to your success and prosperity. Our leadership training emphasizes that every member of your team is thinking and acting as a leader. This A Player Leadership at all levels is the only sustainable way to get everyone on your team performing at a higher level.

The concept of leadership is often convoluted. We simplify it to make it more powerful and the outcomes more concrete.

“Leadership is about making something better.”

—Rick Crossland

We take leadership very seriously. Done correctly, it is the key driver of your firm’s success. Conversely, poor leadership is one of the biggest drains on the profits and vitality of your business.

We use our proprietary 5 Cs of Leadership© model to raise the leadership acumen of your entire team:











People only follow people with the 5 Cs of Leadership© characteristics. This unique model and approach will help you make an immediate and significant impact on your ability to lead at a higher level and drive bottom-line results that matter to your business and stakeholders.

Servant Leadership is critical to the ethos of a successful leader, but it is a very misunderstood concept. When not applied correctly, members of an organization get the false impression that the organization exists to serve them. Entitlements and malaise then ensue. Instead:

“Servant Leadership is not about making others’ lives more comfortable; it is about making them better.”

—Rick Crossland

This is where one of the 5 C principles of leadership – Congruence − comes in. Too often leaders are not congruent. They say one thing and then do another, and all of their leadership credibility goes out the window. We believe that “leaders eat last.” Executives who have been successful up until this point in their careers are very adept at rationalizing their bad behaviors that are robbing their leadership competencies. To get to the next level, they need a leadership coach who will not commiserate with them or accept their excuses and rationalizations. These bad behaviors are holding them back, but they cannot see their own blind spots, nor can they see the impact they have on the people they are trying to lead.

Comprehensive and Genuine Leadership:

In addition to the 5 Cs of Leadership© model, A Player Advantage is helping your executives improve a total of 65 leadership competencies, to which the 5 Cs are integral. We focus on developing true, genuine leaders who people will willingly follow—even without a title.

Here is the summary of the 65 leadership competencies that we work with your executives to develop. What are the areas that, when improved, will make the biggest difference in your organization?

65 A Player Leadership Competencies















Judgment/Decision Making

Analysis Skills

Conceptual Ability

Strategic Thinking


Brings Solutions, Not Problems



Leading Edge







Results and Track Record


Political Savvy

Selecting A Players

Redeploying B/C Players

Stress Management


First Impression





Customer Focus





Communicates Progress on Assignments

Team Player

Team Builder




Meets Deadlines



Growth versus Fixed Mindset


Effectively Runs Meetings


Change Leadership

Inspiring “Followership”

Conflict Management


Empowers Others


  1. Clarity
  2. Credibility
  3. Congruence
  4. Character
  5. Challenge
  6. Genuine
  7. Ownership
  8. Accountability
  9. Responsibility
  10. Attitude
  11. Learning
  12. Speed
  13. Execution
  14. Promptness
  15. Judgment/Decision Making
  16. Analysis Skills
  17. Conceptual Ability
  18. Strategic Thinking
  19. Listening
  20. Brings Solutions, Not Problems
  21. Pragmatism
  22. Negotiation
  23. Leading Edge
  24. Drive
  25. Integrity
  26. Trustworthy
  27. Resourcefulness
  28. Resilience
  29. Tenacity
  30. Results and Track Record
  31. Excellence
  32. Political Savvy
  33. Selecting A Players
  34. Redeploying B/C Players
  35. Stress Management
  36. Adaptability
  37. First Impression
  38. Likeability
  39. Self-Awareness
  40. Passion
  41. Energy
  42. Customer Focus
  43. Assertiveness
  44. Ambition
  45. Communications-Verbal
  46. Communications-Written
  47. Communicates Progress on Assignments
  48. Team Player
  49. Team Builder
  50. Empowerment
  51. Coaching
  52. Independence
  53. Meets Deadlines
  54. Organization
  55. Prioritization
  56. Growth versus Fixed Mindset
  57. Diversity
  58. Effectively Runs Meetings
  59. Vision
  60. Change Leadership
  61. Inspiring “Followership”
  62. Conflict Management
  63. Collegiality
  64. Empowers Others
  65. Creativity

Want to Improve your Business?

Schedule a conversation with Rick Crossland