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The Ideal Team Player: How to Recognize and Cultivate The Three Essential Virtues
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The Ideal Team Player: How to Recognize and Cultivate The Three Essential Virtues

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  5,891 ratings  ·  577 reviews

In his classic book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni laid out a groundbreaking approach for tackling the perilous group behaviors that destroy teamwork. Here he turns his focus to the individual, revealing the three indispensable virtues of an ideal team player.

In The Ideal Team Player, Lencioni tells the story of Jeff Shanley, a leader desperate to save

Kindle Edition, 226 pages
Published April 25th 2016 by Jossey-Bass (first published April 18th 2016)
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 ·  5,891 ratings  ·  577 reviews

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Rod Hilton
May 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
I'm not going to say much about the "fable" format - a lot of these reviews seem not to be familiar with this particular style of book, and a reacting negatively to that. Yes, 75% of this book is a work of fiction with characters and dialogue that serve as a way for the author to convey his ideas in the format of a story, and yes as with The Phoenix Project and other similar Business Novels, the quality of this fiction is fairly hit or miss and it's mostly lots of straw men that a perfect exampl ...more
Feb 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read this book for work (we have a work book club!) and I feel like I learned a lot. It definitely helped me see areas I can be better and how best to hire people which is awesome!
May 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: work
This is the typical Lencioni book in that he tells a story about a mythical company and some problem that it is trying to solve. You work through the problem in the first half of the book. He then gives applies the story to his subject. The application part of the book:

The Three Virtues of the Ideal Team Player
- Humble: humility is the single greatest and most indispensible attribute of being a team player
- Hungry: hungry people almost never have to be pushed by a manager to work harder because
Rob Murphy
Jul 04, 2016 rated it did not like it
I didn't like this for the reason so many other seemed to love it. The beginning of the book began with "The Fable," which was a long description of a fictional company coming to understand what makes an ideal team player. This acted much like a case study, except it was told in a narrative format and it is fiction. This was nearly 70% of the book. It was far, far too long. The point of this "fable" could have been conveyed much faster. The remainder of the book, which was the important part, ga ...more
Jun 15, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: leadership
This should have been just an article or maybe a slide deck. I really love Lencioni's The Advantage, but get so bored and distracted by his fable structure used in his other books. The concept of hiring for hunger, humility and emotional smarts is an interesting one, but doesn't warrant an entire book.
Christina Hughes
Jan 28, 2017 rated it it was ok
This entire book paraphrased: "Jackass jackass team player jackass! Team player! But jackass! Haha jackass humble team player. Ah, team player team work humble hungry smart team player. Jackass haha!"
Dustin Tramel
Dec 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"Too many leaders hire mostly for competency and technical skills." p.155. I love Lencioni's FABLE writing style. It personally helps me connect to the content and process it for my current situation. I have learned something from each of his books and I recommend this one as well. This book has some great insight into developing a healthy culture in your group or organization. I found it extremely helpful for me as a leader who desires to build a team that collaborates and shares a common visio ...more
Sylwia (Wish Fulfillment)
Why You Might Bump This Up On Your TBR: I learned a lot from this model and it challenged me. From reading this, I can hone in on things I can do better and differently and things I can show more of at work. I think everyone who works for a team, as well as any supervisor who leads a team, should read this book. It's also helpful in teaching supervisors how to interview. It also encourages supervisors not to label their workers into self-fulfilling prophecies and not to be too hard on people tha ...more
Mark Fallon
Jul 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This may be my favorite Lencioni "fable" yet. The way to build a successful team is to build on the three virtues embraced by all members of the team - be humble, hungry and smart. Is it that simple? Yes. Is it easy to do? No. That's why you should read this book.
Jan 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: leadership, teamwork
I audiobooked this one while driving for a busy month for the nonprofit I direct. Solid book. Somewhat repetitive (with his other books) but only to emphasize a point. Everyone should get this book for a new team member joining their staff, church, nonprofit, or business.
Garrett Maroon
Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Ideal Team Player starts as a fable and makes the beginning very real and insightful. After the fable, Lencioni dives into the details that make up the ideal team player - hungry, humble and smart.

For any organization to have a successful culture, their important virtues need to be clearly defined and of upmost importance in the hiring process and in the refining process of their current employees. Lencioni argues that hungry, humble and smart are the three keys for building a successful tea
Petar Ivanov
Feb 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Great book! I really recommend it to everyone who wants to become a better team player and hopefully the ideal one. Overall, I liked the initial story and mostly how the book was formed. It was easy for reading and most of all it was easy to comprehend the whole information.
Steven R. McEvoy
Oct 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Over the past few years, I have read a few books, and listened to some audio teaching by Patrick Lencioni, I have been impressed with all of his teaching I have encountered. My introduction was a group exercise working through The Five Dysfunctions of a Team done in conjunction with a DISC assessment for the seven of us. There is something so accessible about his style of writing a parable to teach the main lesson and then break it down. And this book does that on an even larger scale, I would s ...more
Kam Wa Tang
Jul 14, 2017 rated it did not like it
Was not a fan of this. The "Hungry, Humble, Smart." triad is interesting, but I was not a fan of other aspects of the book. The parts I did not appreciate are:

1) Per other reviewers, the fable provided limited insight for me. Without the fable, the content basically could have been an article. Other readers enjoyed the fable; I would have preferred an actual case study.
2) Less than a third of the book was dedicated to application. There were some good suggestions there, but a lot of it felt like
Ko Matsuo
Jun 30, 2017 rated it liked it
A lot of people recommended this book to me. I wasn't all that impressed.

Most of the book is a fable about a company that has trouble with teamwork and the leadership team that develops the teamwork framework that Lencioni offers. The problem isn't that there is a fable. The problem is that the fable is much too long.

I liked the framework. Basically it calls for a balance between Humility, Hunger, and Smarts. Humility is thinking of yourself less. Hunger is looking for more: more things to do,
Marco Rogers
Dec 18, 2016 rated it liked it
The lessons in this book end up feeling pretty obvious, but they're not. It's one thing to identify traits you think are good for making an effective team. It's another to commit to having all of those traits in some measure. Even more so, to make them a requirement for hiring. I don't know if you'll get anything revelatory out of this book. But it's worth reading if you need to really internalize whey some people don't seem to be effective contributors to a team, despite having some good qualit ...more
Mar 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
HHS - Humble, Hungry, and Smart. Typical Lencioni - a simple, easy-to-read, and effective book with an excellent message. Establishes a great foundation for understanding and applying the principles from The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable. ...more
Oct 26, 2018 rated it did not like it
I had to read this book for work. It consisted of a laughably cheesy and idealistic "fable" followed by a practical application of why you should strive to work with people who are humble, hungry, and smart. The application section was only about a third of the book and didn't go into very much depth of what those qualities actually mean. Also, the author used the word "jackass" 46 times (yes, I counted), so do with that what you will.
Glenn Burnside
Nov 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. This is a strong complement to five dysfunctions and provides a great framework for fleshing out the human systems in your business, while creating focus on the traits you're REALLY looking for in your people.
May 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Typical Lencioni. Sounds all so simple and obvious but very meaningful.
Todd Storch
Aug 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Simple. Easy. Effective.

An easy read. An plan of action. A way to determine effectiveness. This book tells a story and they gives you the playbook. Excellent!
George Hoskins
Aug 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Must read for all team builders!
Buddy Draper
Sep 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is another fable followed by outstanding, practical ways to hire, evaluate and keep people who are humble, hungry and smart.
Doc Norton
Sep 28, 2016 rated it it was ok
This book was far too long. I've enjoyed a good number of Lencioni's books, but this one felt forced. As many have mentioned, it could have been an article.
Feb 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Read this one for work, really liked the idea that the ideal team player is humble, hard working, and people smart. Really rings true.
May 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: management
Shallow and not that helpful for my purposes; more useful for the hiring process than day-to-day life.
Joe McFadden
Jul 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing

With all the information available today and teams, most likely everyone has an idea of what the ideal team player may look like characteristically. And most likely if you were to take a survey of opinions you could possibly collect a list of 20 or more said qualities.

However our culture works against us in this area. So the gap between team members that embody the values of an ideal team player as opposed to those who do not is increasing. We have a cultu
Tõnu Vahtra
Apr 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book sits around Five Dysfunctions of a Team, it's about improving the odds of overcoming the five dysfunctions by building a team with the needed virtues (or identifying and closing the gaps where possible). When Lencioni books focus on specific are then I would attribute two key tasks to this book: identifying people with stronger teamwork capabilities in employee selection phase and also identifying those people in existing teams that are reducing or even working against the synergies in ...more
Jeff Mousty
Sep 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-work
This book is an easy read, but I will be honest from what I remember of other Lencioni books this one wasn't his best. I have to agree with some other reviews I read before starting this book that it really didn't need the fable portion. Lencioni's other books I feel the fable plays a key role in understanding the theory, in this case, the 3 virtues, but when explaining them in "The Model," I believe he only referenced the key players 3 times and it wasn't of significance, in my opinion, to warr ...more
Apr 12, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I can see the value of the system, of knowing what you want in an employee and knowing people can be trained in skills or knowledge, but beyond the very basics of the system which would fit on a single page there was not much else to the book. If I had not known what to expect, the main example for not-humble would have seemed an enigma with no way to test for the characteristic (claiming full ownership of projects without mentioning the team is the clue). There was a tiny bit on how an employer ...more
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Patrick Lencioni is a New York Times best-selling author, speaker, consultant and founder and president of The Table Group, a firm dedicated to helping organizations become healthy. Lencioni’s ideas around leadership, teamwork and employee engagement have impacted organizations around the globe. His books have sold nearly three million copies worldwide.

When Lencioni is not writing, he consults to

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