Humble, Hungry, and “Smart”


The Ideal Team Player: How to Recognize and Cultivate The Three Essential Virtues by Patrick Lencioni
 John Wiley & Sons, April 26, 2016

Patrick Lencioni is best known for his analysis of effective team dynamics in The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. His most recent book, The Ideal Team Player: How to Recognize and Cultivate the Three Essential Virtues, turns its attention to the individual team member, explicating the personal qualities that enable and facilitate teamwork. Lencioni presents his thoughts in the form of a fable; readers are treated to an engaging single narrative for the majority of the book, as Lencioni develops his central theme and offers granular examples via characters within the story. The best team members, according to Lencioni are humble (most important), hungry, and smart. Importantly, that last attribute has less to do with one’s intellect and more to do with one’s ability to deal with the complex, interpersonal demands of teamwork. The final section of the book steps back from the narrative to put the story into perspective; it provides context as well as concrete action plans for organizations that wish to hire and develop workers that exhibit exceptional teamwork. Many schools now focus on collaboration as a central educational value. For those schools that wish to establish teamwork as an essential component of school culture, this book offers keen insights and starting points. 

Submitted By: Aaron Snyder, The Thacher School, Ojai, CA

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