Humility. Humility is the most important virtue of the three. Great team players, Lencioni writes, don’t have big egos or concerns about status. They are quick to point out the contributions of others and generally don’t seek attention for their own. They define success collectively and not individually. People who are not humble are unable to be vulnerable or build trust and are incapable of engaging in honest conflict.
Hunger. Hungry people are always looking for more, according to Lencioni. More to do. More to learn. More responsibility. They rarely have to be pushed to work harder because they’re self-motivated and diligent. They’re always thinking about the next step and the next opportunity. People who lack the virtue of hunger won’t achieve results.
Smarts. In the context of teamwork, Lencioni writes, being smart is not about one’s intellectual capacity. Instead, smart team players have good common sense about people. They tend to know what is happening in the group and how to deal effectively with others. They ask good questions, listen to what others are saying and stay engaged in conversations. People who aren’t smart in this regard will create unnecessary problems, especially when involved in productive conflict and holding people accountable for their actions.
Those three traits combined in one individual -- along with the critical skills and experience needed for a given hire, clearly are a Hiring Manager’s Dream. When you meet that individual; deliver him/her a strong and timely offer. Don’t let much time pass. Such individuals are fairly rare and hard to come by.
- Patrick Lencioni recent work The Ideal Team Player: How to Recognize and Cultivate the Three Essential Virtues (Jossey-Bass, 2016), “a leadership fable”