#GLS16: The Ideal Team Player

Once again, Patrick Lencioni did not disappoint at the Global Leadership Summit. The core question he asked was: Are some people better team players than others? His answer was “Yes”!

As Patrick consulted with teams, he kept finding that others wanted to simply steal his organization's core values rather than create their own. Over time, he discovered their core values were coveted because they described the ideal team player

So what are they?


“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.” -C.S. Lewis

  • To be a great team player, you have to be humble. You’re about the greater good. It’s not about self.
  • Some people lack self-confidence. That’s not humility.
  • Some people have false humility. That just pride.


  • To be a great team player, you have to be hungry. You have to go above and beyond.
  • You must hate the idea of being described a slacker.
  • Hunger is the easiest to understand and hardest to instill later in life.


  • This is not just intelligence.
  • It’s people smarts. It’s emotional intelligence.
  • Hiring just intelligence is never a good idea.

If someone is just humble they are The Pawn. They are “sweet, but ineffective."
If someone is just hungry they are The Bulldozer. They get stuff done and leave a trail of dead bodies.
If someone is just smart they are The Charmer. Everyone likes them but they don’t get much done.

If someone is humble & hungry they are They Accidental Mess-maker. They are like a puppy. Loving and well intentioned, but makes people messes.
If someone is humble & smart they are The Loveable Slacker. They tend to do just enough work to make it hard for you to fire them.
If someone is smart & hungry they are The Skillful Politician. They are the most dangerous. They might make people think they’re humble, but ultimately, they hurt people because it is all about themselves.

Now that you’ve named someone you know or work with for each label, it’s time to look in the mirror. Which of the above describes you? And how do you plan to round out your leadership to become the ideal team player?

I’ll go first. I admitted to some friends on my team that I am the Skillful Politician. My greatest growth edge is to give prompt and direct coaching in love for the greater good of the people I lead and our collective goal.

P.S. Check out the great free resources on Patrick's site to drill down on this concept.