By Tiffany Stock
Based on a typical full-time work week, the average person spends 47 hours per week with their co-workers. With 168 hours in a full week, that is 28% of your time, compared to an estimated 39% with your family. That is a big chunk of your waking hours, so why not make sure that time is spent with the best “work family” as possible?
Last year, I was introduced to a book called The Ideal Team Player by Patrick Lencioni, written as a leadership fable. It teaches you to recognize and cultivate the three essential virtues individuals need to achieve high-functioning, productive teams. This book was an eye opener for me and shed a lot of light on things that I observed over the years in my work-life. While no individual fits the bill 100%, most people find they are stronger in two areas with the other virtue needing a little more work, and certain elements will make some individuals better team players than others.
The premise of the book is that to be an ideal team player, you must possess the following three traits:
Humble – Lacking excessive ego or concern about status. Humble people are quick to point out the contributions of others and slow to seek attention on their own. They share credit, emphasize the team over self, and define success.
Hungry – Always looking for more: more things to do, more things to learn, more responsibility to take on. Hungry people almost never have to be pushed by a manager to work harder because they are self-motivated and diligent. They are constantly thinking about the next step and the next opportunity.
Smart – They have common sense about people. Smart people tend to know what is happening in a group situation and how to deal with others in the most effective way. They have good judgement and intuition around the subtleties of group dynamics and the impacts of their words and actions. Think of this along the same lines of emotional intelligence.
The book comes with tools for working with people who have strengths and weaknesses in these areas, as well as ways to improve yourself in those virtues. You get access to a self-assessment tool to help score yourself in these areas – what better way to start making sure you’re on a great team than to take a moment to self-reflect? Be honest with yourself, don’t you want to be the best team player you can be? Who doesn’t want their co-workers to speak highly of them and say, *Your Name* is great to work with!?
Needless to say, this book has changed the way I look at myself and the people I work with. It’s come in to play when I am looking for new members to join our team and it’s even filtered over in to my home life and raising my children. I hope this information intrigues you to learn more and become the best team player you can be!