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“Team work makes the dream work, but a vision becomes a nightmare when the leader has a bad team.” – John Maxwell
“Team, team, team.” As it pertains to developing a healthy organization, there is nothing stronger than making sure that, as a leader, you are doing your part to create and nurture healthy teams. There seems to be a belief that the right leader can take any group of people and form them into a high functioning team. It would be pretty amazing if this was the case, but it is far from reality. Patrick Lencioni is a guru when it comes to the world of teams. He has written several “must-reads” for all leaders and those who aspire to be leaders including The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. His most recent book, The Ideal Team Player, reveals a different perspective on teams- that of what type of person will truly contribute to the team being healthy and productive.
Mr. Lencioni describes three virtues of the ideal team player. These are the virtues that, if you are truly invested in having a strong team, you must evaluate for as you are developing your team. The first of these virtues is humility and Mr. Lencioni stresses the importance of the definition of humility. Being humble is NOT underplaying your strengths so others can feel good about theirs so as to avoid appearing arrogant. True humility is a “recognition of that which is true”- in other words embracing your gifts and being willing to freely give them to others. It is honoring them to fulfill a greater purpose.
The second virtue of the ideal team player is being hungry, being willing to go above and beyond consistently to serve the greater good. The third virtue is being smart. Now this is not having a high IQ; it is having people smarts- a high EQ- an awareness of self and others and the ability to manage yourself and relationships.
There is a simplicity in these three virtues. Mr. Lencioni describes the “ideal.” Your challenge is to understand the importance of these virtues, have an awareness of your strengths and weaknesses be willing to be honest with others using the virtues as a guide, and consistently take action to give your team the greatest opportunity to be healthy and strong. Your vision depends on it.