The Ideal Team Player Book Report

Excerpt from Book Report :

In the second half of his book The Ideal Team Player: How to Recognize and Cultivate the Three Essential Virtues, Lencioni (2016) describes the right people as ones who have “humility, hunger and people smarts” (p. 155). These virtues define team players. How? First up is humility: this is the virtue that is opposite of pride. A humble person is one who is willing to recognize the achievements of others before focusing on his own. Humble people are not self-seeking. A team player is one who wants to support others—and that is a humble person. Second is hunger. A team player has to have drive. Hunger is the passion that makes a person want to dive in and get wet—it is the motivation for wanting to pursue goals and keep at a task until it is accomplished. A hungry team member is one you can count on to not quit until the goal is reached. He is self-motivated and a self-starter. Third is people smarts. People smarts are needed because these help a person know how to read others and get along with them in a positive and encouraging way. Individuals with people smarts know how to communicate, have emotional and social intelligence, and don’t make situations awkward.

The fact that Lencioni (2016) covers these points in detail makes the book worth reading. It is informative and insightful and gives a lot of good reinforcement regarding how an individual should approach the prospect of working in a team. For that reason, this book is just as helpful for team leaders who are building a team as it is for team members who are looking to be selected to be on a team. If a person wants to be chosen, he should follow the advice of Lencioni (2016) and demonstrate humility, hunger and people smarts. Show that you are not all about your own ego, that you have drive and want to work hard, and that you are intelligent when it comes to understanding how to get along with others. Those characteristics are what team leaders will be looking for when they go to hire.

If you are a team leader, Lencioni (2016) gives some useful tips that you can use when assembling your team. First, you have to be able to look for the three attributes described above. You have to know how to spot them and you have to know how to find the individuals who have them. It’s about asking the right questions and getting people to talk: that is how you learn about them. Some tips that Lencioni (2016) gives when conducting interviews include:

· Be specific with your questions so that you can get a good idea of how the interviewee might react in a given situation; this helps you to target specific behaviors and characteristics that you are looking for.

· Do not go the interview process alone: go in with a team; after the interview is conducted, talk to your team members about what they observed in case you missed something or in case they saw something that you did not.

· Put a potential hire in a real world situation and see how they respond. This will give you a good idea of whether they actually have the skills to succeed or whether they are all talk.

· Pay attention to what your instincts are saying. Sometimes you may not be able to tell why you like or don’t like a potential candidate. Trust your instincts. They can sense things and are often right.

Lencioni (2016) also notes that if you really want to surround yourself with and put people on your team who have humility, hunger and people smarts, always be on the lookout for these qualities no matter where you are. Don’t wait for applicants to come knocking. Whenever you identify a person with the skills and characteristics you want on your team, start recruiting. That is the best way to make sure you are going to have a great team.

The first half of the book tells the “fable” side of how Lencioni (2016) came to arrive at his ideas. It relates the story of several characters coming together at a construction firm to form a team of 80 people. They begin the process of trying to vet individuals and find out what they themselves are actually looking for. It is colorful and eventful and gives some good examples of how people will behave in the real world—but the best part of the book comes in the second half when Lencioni (2016) gets into the lessons that are meant to be learned from the fable of the first half.

The book is well…

Sources Used in Document:


Lencioni, P. (2016). The ideal team player: How to recognize and cultivate the three essential virtues. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Cite This Book Report:

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