The Ideal Team Player is one of the best books I’ve read in years. Its author, Patrick Lencioni has written 11 books which have sold over 5 million copies and been translated into more than 30 languages. So I’m not alone in liking this book!

Lencioni posits that to have an effective team player you need three virtues (attributes). He points out that people tend to hire based on technical competence and someone’s interest they expressed in the job during the interviews. The problem is those are inadequate predictors of whether someone is in fact a team player.

The Three Essential Virtues Needed Are:

  1. Humble (humility in both professional and personal life)
  2. Hungry (not requiring management prodding to constantly strive to be better)
  3. Smart (about how they effect the people around them)

During workshops that I facilitate, I am often struck by various leaders who talk about what they and their team can deliver to their organization versus other leaders who focus on what they particularly need from their organization.

I have learned that many executive leaders in any organization, for profit or nonprofit, need to observe and listen far more carefully to how their words and actions effect those around them because they often do not realize how they are being perceived.

C.S. Lewis once said about humility, “Humility isn’t thinking less of you, but thinking of yourself less.”

All three of these virtues can be learned and developed by anyone who is interested in growing healthier. I don’t mean to be harsh, but If someone isn’t willing to at least work on developing all three of these teamwork virtues then the organization should kindly help them find a new position inside the organization that is congruent with their level of interest or help them find a new position at a new organization.