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The Ideal Team Player MP3 CD – Unabridged, September 6, 2016
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In his classic book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni laid out a groundbreaking approach for tackling the perilous group behaviors that destroy teamwork. Here he turns his focus to the individual, revealing the three indispensable virtues of an ideal team player.
In The Ideal Team Player, Lencioni tells the story of Jeff Shanley, a leader desperate to save his uncle's company by restoring its cultural commitment to teamwork. Jeff must crack the code on the virtues that real team players possess and then build a culture of hiring and development around those virtues. Beyond the fable, Lencioni presents a practical framework and actionable tools for identifying, hiring, and developing ideal team players.
Whether you're a leader trying to create a culture around teamwork, a staffing professional looking to hire real team players, or a team player wanting to improve yourself, this book will prove to be as useful as it is compelling.
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About the Author
Patrick Lencioni is an American writer of books on business management, particularly in relation to team management. He is best known as the author of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, a popular business fable that explores work team dynamics and offers solutions to help teams perform better.
- Publisher : Audible Studios on Brilliance Audio; Unabridged edition (September 6, 2016)
- Language : English
- ISBN-10 : 153186385X
- ISBN-13 : 978-1531863852
- Item Weight : 3.5 ounces
- Dimensions : 6.5 x 0.63 x 5.5 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #350,290 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Reviewed in the United States on August 17, 2022
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For any organization to have a successful culture, their important virtues need to be clearly defined and of upmost importance in the hiring process and in the refining process of their current employees. Lencioni argues that hungry, humble and smart are the three keys for building a successful team and that each member MUST possess these three traits.
1. Hungry - these are people who always look for more and rarely have to be pushed to work harder. Healthy hunger is a manageable and sustainable commitment to doing a job well and going above and beyond when it is truly required. These employees finish their tasks and look for ways to support the rest of the team or look for ways to grow. *Be aware - in an interview - candidates can project a false hunger
2. Humility - this is the single greatest and most indispensable attribute of being a team player. Too many leaders, who value teamwork, tolerate arrogant employees - not understanding the effect it has on the rest of the team.
There are Two types of People who Lack Humility:
1. Overtly arrogant - they boast and soak up attention - these are easy to spot
2. Those who lack self confidence - they are generous and positive with others but they discount their own talents and contributions. They are mistakenly seen as humble - their lack of understanding of their own worth is a violation of humility. They hurt teams by not advocating for their opinion or not calling out issues. *Insecurity is what both types have in common*
C.S. Lewis "Humilty isn't thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less"
3. Smart - NOT intelligence - this is common sense about people. They ask good questions, listen to others, stay engaged in conversations intently
pg. 166-173 warns us of the different types of people. DO NOT hire or keep someone who lacks all of these characteristics or only has 1 of them. IF they have 2 of the 3, having humble and hungry is the least dangerous to a team as they can take feedback well and often want to improve
*Be careful of what he calls the "skillful politician" who has hungry and smart - they can ruin a team and we have all worked with someone who speaks a good game but is only in it for themselves
*Be careful how you label people as well. These traits don't have to be equally strong, but they all need to be relatively strong to be an ideal team player. If they are severely lacking in one area, that is of concern
pg. 174-186 discusses how to apply this to the interview process and offers good questions to use to assess the humble, hungry, smart. *Key point - BEFORE making an offer to a candidate assure them how absolutely committed you are to these virtues and anyone who does not share them would be miserable working here but if they do share them, it will be a fantastic fit. As he says "many people will try to get a job even if they don't fit the company's stated values, but very few will do so if they know they're going to be held accountable, day in and day out, for behavior that violates the values".
pg. 187-191 is assessing your current team to either make corrections or let people go. "Too often, leaders know that an employee really doesn't belong and would be better elsewhere, and they fail to act because they lack courage
pg. 195-206 discusses how to develop these attributes.
1. Humility - A leader should always model humility, even if the manager struggles, admit it and continue to work on it. This will encourage the others to do the same. A lack of humility is always related to an insecurity and for most, is rooted in a childhood or family issue that took place well before their first day on the job. So, helping an employee IDENTIFY the root cause and then putting them through EXPOSURE by requiring them to "act" humble (complimenting others, admitting mistakes, etc...) can have a major impact
2. Hunger - this is often hard to change. First and most important step is finding a way to connect them to the importance of the work they are doing. Then set clear behavioral expectations for them and hold them accountable to it. MORE THAN THAT - tell them that you expect them to help their colleagues do what needs to be done once their work is completed, including taking on additional responsibilities, working more hours (if possible), or doing additional research until problems are solved
3. Smart - the key to developing people smarts is to make it clear, to everyone involved, that a deficiency in this area is not about intention. Then, if someone is rude or insensitive, QUICKLY and LOVINGLY correct and encourage them. Remember, their intentions are not bad they are often just unaware
pg. 207-211 discusses how to embed these into a culture.
1. Be Explicit and Bold - if you believe it is important, come right out and say so
2. Catch and Revere - constantly be on the lookout for any displays of these virtues and when you see them, hold them up as examples for everyone to see. *"What we are failing to realize is that the point of praise is not only to reinforce the behavior in that employee, but also to reinforce it in everyone else"
3. Detect and Address - When you see a behavior that violates the values, take the time to let the violator know he is out of line, and not just in egregious behaviors
Overall, this book offers an incredible and thorough explanation of the importance of having ideal team players and the ways to find, train and refine them. This is a great read for anyone who is hiring, has employees, is an employee, or just about anyone
STEP 1. Order four copies of Patrick Lencioni's new book, The Ideal Team Player.
STEP 2. Hand-deliver the book, along with a Starbucks card, to each of my direct reports, with this assignment: "Invest up to four hours at Starbucks this week—and read this important book. It's likely the most team-transforming exercise we’ll do together this year."
STEP 3. Schedule a half-day off-site team meeting (for next week) to discuss "How to Recognize and Cultivate the Three Essential Virtues” (the book’s sub-title).
STEP 4. Facilitate the senior team meeting (or invite a facilitator to do the honors) and get buy-in and commitment (a la Lencioni's pyramid in The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business ). Assign next steps.
STEP 5. Step back and watch your culture transform as you articulate three virtues: Humble, Hungry, and People Smart.
Wow! Patrick Lencioni has done it again! This is one powerful book--and maybe his funniest. In his classic "leadership fable" format (example: Death by Meeting: A Leadership Fable...About Solving the Most Painful Problem in Business ), Lencioni delivers a page-turning business story. New CEO. Two direct reports. Massive dysfunction. New hires needed yesterday. (Sound familiar?)
But there's another problem: the top three leaders cannot define the "ideal team player” qualities. (Can you?) Half of the people they hire either quit or are terminated. Finally…finally, they agree on one virtue:
"Maybe our new slogan should be
'no jackasses allowed.'
That would make a great poster."
So, in search of more acceptable lingo and meaning, the leadership triad lands on Humble, Hungry, and Smart. Lencioni defines these virtues in the final 60 pages (The Model and application), worth the price of the book.
HUMBLE: "Great team players lack excessive ego or concerns about status." He adds, "Humility is the single greatest and most indispensable attribute of being a team player."
HUNGRY: "Hungry people almost never have to be pushed by a manager to work harder because they are self-motivated and diligent."
SMART: "Smart simply refers to a person's common sense about people."
Caution #1: What if you settle for just one out of three? Or, if you're fortunate, two out of three virtues? After all, no one's perfect.
Lencioni: "What makes humble, hungry, and smart powerful and unique is not the individual attributes themselves, but rather the required combination of all three."
His memorable labels for the "one out of three" prospects are caution enough:
--Humble Only: The Pawn
--Hungry Only: The Bulldozer
--Smart Only: The Charmer
What About 2 Out of 3?
“The next three categories that we'll explore represent people who are more difficult to identify because the strengths associated with them often camouflage their weaknesses.
“Team members who fit into these categories lack only one of the three traits and thus have a little higher likelihood of overcoming their challenges and becoming ideal team players. Still, lacking even one in a serious way can impede the team building process.”
Caution #2: Don’t use the following labels at work—but they are perfect descriptors for your “2 out of 3” team members:
--Hungry and Humble, but Not Smart: The Accidental Mess-Maker
--Humble and Smart, but Not Hungry: The Lovable Slacker
--Hungry and Smart, but Not Humble: The Skillful Politician
Watch out for the banana peel when you’re interviewing a candidate without humility. "Unfortunately, because they are so smart, Skillful Politicians are very adept at portraying themselves at being humble, making it hard for leaders to identify them and address their destructive behaviors."
Lencioni urges: Don't hire unless you and your team members can positively affirm a three-for-three person. I know. It's not easy, but read the book, and you'll be absolutely convinced.
Lencioni packs the last 60 pages with highly practical insights, warnings, and next steps. He lists very practical ways to assess your current team members and what to do with the 0-for-3, 1-for-3, and 2-for-3 people already on your team. He gives solutions, including a helpful self-assessment with 18 questions.
See you at Starbucks!
P.S. By the way, Andrew Murray’s insights in Humility will whack you between your selfies (in just 59 pages): “Humility is the only soil in which the graces root; the lack of humility is the sufficient explanation of every defect and failure.”