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The Ideal Team Player

I recently read Patrick Lencioni's book, The Ideal Team Player, and I found it to be practical and helpful. If you've read other books by Lencioni, you'll know that he often presents his ideas in the form of a fable, using storytelling to convey his main points.* Towards the end of the book, he addresses specific questions related to his main ideas and offers practical advice on how to implement them.

In "The Ideal Team Player," Lencioni tackles the question of what virtues should be non-negotiable in every team member. His answer comprises three qualities: Humble, Hungry, and Smart. It's important to note that when Lencioni refers to being "Smart," he isn't referring to IQ but rather to being people-smart.


One of the book's strengths lies in Lencioni's depiction of individuals who lack these virtues—those who are not humble, hungry, or smart—and how these shortcomings can have a detrimental effect on the overall team. While it's crucial for leaders to show patience and understanding towards those they lead, there are times when tolerating team members who lack these qualities doesn't benefit the individual and instead harms the team as a whole.


What makes this book especially valuable is its accessibility and relevance across various contexts. In a church setting, pastors can use this book as a valuable resource for team development and when making hiring decisions for their staff. Similarly, Deacon Chairs can benefit from the book's insights to strengthen their deacon teams. Finally, every person reading this blog should take a moment to reflect on their own role within the teams they are a part of.


So, ask yourself: Are you Humble, Hungry, and Smart?


*For example, if you have not yet read Lencioni's The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, I highly recommend it.

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