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The Ideal Team Player by Patrick Lencioni • team management • business culture

Book cover of The Ideal Team Player by Patrick Lencioni

The Ideal Team Player tells a story of Bob Shanley, ther of Valley Builders Construction Company. The company is about to take 2 major contract and in order to deal with them the company has to hire new employees. Meanwhile, Bob and his top team revise its staff and realize that the company has a very high turnover rate due to the fact that many of the current employees are not effective team players. In order to mitigate the problem the management team decides to research what makes an effective team player.

They realise that there are three crucial qualities which a perfect team player has: humbleness, ambition and smarts. In addition, they acknowledge that the best method to find such people is by crafting an effective recruitment process in order to recognise candidates who fit within the business culture and have looked traits.

Afterward, the book points out the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator which recognises four different personality types. This indicator seems to be important as it helps to build well-balanced teams with a variety of different personalities which compensate for each other in areas that are weak or strong.

The most valuable team member is equally competent in each of the three team virtues, nevertheless, the most important one is humbleness. When a person lacks humbleness they might be arrogant. Arrogant people tend to feel that only they deserve a promotion, however, if such a situation occurs those employees abuse the situation. In some cases, arrogance might be confused with confidence.

When it comes to ambition, generally speaking, it is a good trait, although, some candidates demonstrate selfish ambition which causes frustration within their teams.

At the and the author provides a study based on Zappos (an online shoe store) as an example of how to run a business with a strong culture and identity and how it boosts the company.

I also enjoyed a tip how to deal with incompetence in the aforementioned areas – in order to discourage the type of behaviours and actions that have a negative effect on a team it is much better to organise a team workshop to identify the behaviours that are negative and positive. Such an approach is much more efficient and constructive than providing a management feedback to the team.

The Ideal Team Player: How to Recognize and Cultivate The Three Essential Virtues
by Patrick M. Lencioni

Final rating:

Interesting story
Complexity of ideas
Flourish language

Book details:

Size: 226 pages
Published: 2016


Other information and reviews of this book on Goodreads:

Other useful links:
Patrick M. Lencioni’s website:
Patrick M. Lencioni on Wikipedia:
Other book about team management: Good Boss, Bad Boss by Robert Sutton

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