Why Should I Read | The Ideal Team Player

Are you a Jackass?

Patrick Lencioni can tell if you are.

Lencioni, the NYT Best Selling author of The 5 Dysfunctions of a Teamhas followed that foundational work on teams with his newest project on the individuals that make up a team.

As the founder of The Table Group, consultant to 78 of the Fortune 100 companies, Lencioni is perhaps  the most qualified individual to teach about jackassery within teams.

A fable like several of his other books, The Ideal Team Player addresses the three core virtues that an individual must possess to be an effective member of a high functioning team.

The story revolves around CEO Jeff Shanley of Valley Builders as he and his core executives take on two new projects and need to radically expand their team. They endeavor not to hire “jackasses” and come up with three essential virtues and innovative ways to identify and cultivate these into their employees.

The three virtues are not new concepts. An individual must be humble, hungry and smart to be an ideal team player. These are not interchangeable, they must ALL be present in the same individual else the person falls into danger of being a “jackass” as Shanley puts it.

Semantics of the story aside, the Table Group has been building a culture around these three virtues for nearly 20 years. They actively hire and fire on the presence of humility, hunger, and smarts.

Humility, according to Lencioni, is “the single greatest and most indispensable attribute of being a team player” (pg 157).

Check out Why Should I Read | Humility: True Greatness for a fuller discussion of humility.

Hungry workers never have to be told to work harder by their boss, they are diligent and self-motivated (p. 159).

Finally, Smart is simply having common sense in dealing with people (pg.160).

You may be thinking, “I could have told you that!” You would be correct, these attributes are not news to most people. However, identifying the presence and cultivating all three simultaneously is the challenge.

If you’d like to access a self assessment or to learn more about these attributes, visit the free resources page available at tablegroup.com/books/the-ideal-team-player

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