At some point in your time at school, you’re going to be on a team.
Maybe you’ll have a group project for a class this semester. If not this year, maybe next. You might have an internship or summer job that will require you to work on a team.
If you’re an athlete, you’re part of a team.
And certainly after you graduate you’ll work with other people.
Are you the kind of person who others want to work with?
Leadership expert Patrick Lencioni thinks too many firms hire for technical skill but neglect the more human virtues that truly make a difference in an organization. That’s not to say that you can hire just anyone to code an app, fly a plane, or remove a spleen. Every job has basic technical competencies. But after that threshold is crossed, who should you hire?
Or, in the case of the college student, how can you be a better team player on those group projects? Or on the basketball court? Or how can you better prepare yourself to be the kind of person a company will want to hire?
Lencioni’s new book, The Ideal Team Player, describes the three virtues of, well, ideal team players. Lencioni says ideal team players are—
- Humble – they know themselves but want to see the team do well and give credit where it’s due
- Hungry – they work hard, they’re intrinsically motivated, and help the team succeed
- Smart – not just IQ smart but “people” smart: they’re wise in dealing with others
Lencioni has some tools on his website to help you better understand the how to be an ideal team player:
If you who want to prepare yourself to be a better team player, spend some time reflecting on the interview questions. They’ll help you now and well into the future when you’re looking for work.
In addition to Lencioni’s book, consider daily mediation on the book of Proverbs. You’ll find Lencioni’s three virtues there—humility, hard work, wisdom—and a whole lot more:
The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:
For learning about wisdom and instruction,
for understanding words of insight,
for gaining instruction in wise dealing,
righteousness, justice, and equity;
to teach shrewdness to the simple,
knowledge and prudence to the young—
let the wise also hear and gain in learning,
and the discerning acquire skill,
to understand a proverb and a figure,
the words of the wise and their riddles.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction.
—Proverbs 1.1-7, NRSV (via Biblegateway)