Are You An Ideal Team Player?

Our team recently had the opportunity to read Patrick Lencioni’s new book The Ideal Team PlayerThe ideal team player that Lencioni and his team arrived at is one who is Humble, Hungry, and Smart.

For those not familiar with Lencioni’s work, he also authored another one of my favorites, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team.

Building successful teams is a pre-occupation at my firm, an executive search firm which is tasked with helping our clients find key leaders to help their businesses grow and thrive. We live in a day and age when technology is advancing faster than most of us can manage.

Our industry in particular is in a state of flux to find the right balance between technology and good old-fashioned human interaction. Too often we look for short cuts in the hiring process and over use assessments to make a hiring decision.


Looking for the right fit

Don’t get me wrong, the right assessments can provide really good insights. These assessments allow us the opportunity to dig deeper and to help find out what really makes the candidate tick. We want to predict with a great deal of certainty whether the candidate is the right fit for a role.

We want to know: can they do what is required of the role? Are they technically sound? Will they thrive in the role? Past performance is a good predictor of future results up to this point.  But then, do they fit the client’s culture and does the prospective company align with the candidate’s values? The final “fit” test, in my opinion, is the toughest and most crucial to get right. This is where soft skills come into play.

Humble, Hungry, and Smart is one way to assess some of those soft skills and ensure we are hiring “ideal” team players. The journey of the ideal team player never ends. It is filled with trial and error and we as a business must also grow and get smarter if we are to keep pace!  Not only will this help us grow our mission, it will in turn help us to better serve our clients.

Here are some questions which we ask ourselves that might help you in your business:

  • Does your company have in place today a series of “must haves” to determine if candidates are the right fit to join your team?
  • Using a model like Humble, Hungry, and Smart, take a deep dive into past team members who did not work out. What went wrong and what lessons can be learned to ensure we don’t make the same mistakes?
  • What can be done if we have team members today who are not ideal? Maybe they lack one or all of the ideal team player attributes. You could part ways with those teammates or assess where they are lacking and put together a plan to improve. I suggest the latter, especially if both sides are committed to seeing serious change.
  • What about yourself? Ideally self-assessing is a good place to begin. If you need some help a good place to start is here. The ideal attributes are areas to strive for. None of us can be perfect and it is natural to have times where we are not performing at our best. Take some time to self-assess and determine what you need to get back to thriving.

Here is the good news. Unlike IQ, “ideal” traits can be learned over time and with practice…thank goodness!!!

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