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The Gift of Team

Leaders who can identify, hire, and cultivate employees who are humble, hungry, and smart will have a serious advantage over those who cannot.

- Patrick Lencioni, The Ideal Team Player


Our culture promotes the individual.

In schools, we are taught to work as individuals.

But, we spend our post-school life working on teams.


Life is a team sport.

Today, people working on the same team may live in the same city or on the other side of the world.

How do we learn to collaborate and work as teams?


Team Defined: (Merriam-Webster)

Noun: number of persons associated together in work or activity

Adjective: marked by devotion to teamwork rather than individual achievement

Verb: to put together in a coordinated ensemble


The Ideal Team Player’s Virtues

In a team-oriented world, Patrick Lencioni offers tools to recognize and cultivate three employee virtues that create the ideal team player.


Humble: The most important virtue is being humble. Great team players lack excessive ego. They are team centric. They point out the contributions of others and are slow to seek attention for their own.


Humility isn’t thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking about yourself less. -C.S. Lewis


Hungry: The desire to work hard and do whatever it takes to help the team succeed. They get the work done. They have a strong work ethic, a high standard for what they do, and never do the minimum.


Smart: Understand the nuances of team dynamics. They have emotional smarts, common sense, and know how to bring out the best in others. They know their words and actions impact others.


How do you go about hiring ideal team players?

It’s about knowing what to look for, and probing in non-traditional ways.


What about existing employees?

A big part of helping them improve is making sure they understand the concepts and know where they fall short. Patrick Lencioni found that merely introducing this simple model to teams and allowing them to self-assess goes a long way toward improvement.


The Gift of Team – Ideal Team Players

Most teams that struggle do not lack knowledge or competence. They struggle because they are unable to access knowledge and competence due to dysfunctional behaviors. A humble, hungry and smart team will overcome those dysfunctions quickly and easily, allowing them to accomplish more in less time with far fewer distractions.


Summarized from The Ideal Team Player by Patrick Lencioni


Talk with Wes Legg about your team.


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