These 3 Traits Make a Great Team Player

What does the ideal team player look like?

I recently read a book by Patrick Lencioni called “The Ideal Team Player,” and the premise of this book is that when the author hires for his team or assesses his team, he hones in on three main traits: humble, hungry, and smart.

“Humble” is pretty self-explanatory because you don’t want a team member who is arrogant or egocentric. Someone who is humble and plays well with others will put the team before themselves. Herb Brooks said it best in “Miracle,” the name on the front of the jersey should always be more important than the name on the back.

Someone who is hungry will want more responsibility, will want to learn more, and be self-motivated. They won’t need to be micromanaged.

“Someone who is hungry will want more responsibility, to learn more, and be self-motivated.”

Finally, when he says someone is “smart,” it’s not the first thing you think of when it comes to intelligence. In this context, it refers more to being socially smart. A smart team member knows how to read people, knows how they’re perceived, and is aware of their social presence in a conversation.

With these traits, there are also three extremes to be aware of as well. Someone who is too humble could be afraid to contribute or speak up when it could benefit their team. Someone who is too hungry can be a steamroller, rolling over anyone at any cost to succeed. Someone who is too socially smart might be considered a schmoozer who tells you everything you want to hear, even when it might not be the truth.

If you’d like to talk further about how these traits affect a team dynamic or you’d like to talk more about your career, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I’d love to hear from you.