Leadership

What’s a dealbreaker when it comes to hiring ‘The Ideal Team Player?’

New York Times best-selling author Patrick Lencioni has three traits leaders should look for in their team members: Be humble, be hungry and be smart. 

In fact, as president of The Table Group, a firm that provides organizations with ideas, products and services that improve teamwork, clarity and employee engagement, Lencioni has made a career out of identifying what makes “The Ideal Team Player.”

Lencioni describes each trait in his eponymous 2016 book and how it’s not only integral to individual performance but critical toward building a successful team: 

  • Humble: Team players who lack excessive ego or concerns about their status. They’re quick to point out the contributions of others, slow to acknowledge their own and emphasize the team over themselves. 
  • Hungry: Team players who want more, whether it’s opportunities to learn, responsibilities to shoulder or work to be done. Self-motivated and diligent, hungry players rarely need prodding to push toward their next goal. 
  • Smart: Team players with emotional and organizational acumen. They understand how everyone fits on the team, recognize strengths and weaknesses, and can work effectively with others.

Conversely, he also knows what trait will sink a team if it’s missing from any of its members. 

“When a person can’t be humble,” says Lencioni, “not only are they not going to be a great team player, but they’re going to be a dangerous team player.” 

In an extensive, exclusive interview for members, Lencioni and Vistage CEO Sam Reese drill down on what a “skillful politician” is, how they can destroy team cohesion and what leaders can do to uncover this dealbreaker early in the hiring process. 

Related resources

Full presentation from Patrick Lencioni [Vistage members only]

 

Category: Leadership

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About the Author: Vistage Staff

Vistage facilitates confidential peer advisory groups for CEOs and other senior leaders, focusing on solving challenges, accelerating growth and improving business performance. Over 2…

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