“The Ideal Team Player”

I like to think we have fun at Howard’s.  Every quarter our team has the opportunity to read books that relate to business and life.  Here is one of the reports Christina our COO did regarding “The Ideal Team Player” by Patrick Lencionni.  It is easier said than done to be an ideal team player, but we are all working at it:

“The Ideal Team Player”

I chose “The Ideal Team Player” for my PDP this quarter. I appreciate the style of writing by Patrick Lencioni, as it is relatable, and easy to understand and follow. Given our current status of team members, and going through the hiring process currently, this was a great read to review some of the qualities and traits we want for our team members.

What I liked about the book the most was the main concept of hungry, humble, and smart. Hungry and humble are the easiest to explain, and I had an understanding of these concepts prior to reading the book. Hungry is just that. Are they always looking for more? People who are hungry almost never have to be pushed by a team lead to work harder as they are self-motivated and diligent. People who are humble lack excessive ego or concerns about status. They don’t strive to have a title. I loved this quote in the book, “Humility isn’t thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.” People who lack self-confidence may come across as humble people, while in reality truly humble people do not see themselves as greater than they are, but neither do they discount their talents and contributions. The one trait that I thought I understand going into the book was smart. Initially hearing the word, you would assume this has to do with how intellectual they are, while in reality, for the purposes of this book, it is about a person’s common sense about people. It is about the ability of a person to be inter-personally appropriate and aware. This was my ah-ha! moment, and brought the terms hungry, humble, and smart into a different context for me, as I started looking at team members differently throughout conversations and helping direct and coach differently based on where their strengths and weaknesses are.

I think this book is something that our leadership staff should all read and understand where they are at. We are already currently looking at these three traits as something we think every team member should have, so starting with our leadership team to analyze where they are at in the Venn diagram helps. It also may help us understand any issues that we may have with our teams. If we have any leads that do not fit into one of the categories, hungry, humble, or smart, then it would be hard for them to lead in a way that aligns with the executive vision of hungry, humble, and smart. I also think that identifying people throughout the interview process, and asking perspective questions instead of what they think, to have them answer more honestly. (i.e. if I were to ask your current/previous team members to assess your level of humility, what would they say?) I think as a team we need to decide if of the three traits, if one happens to be missing from a candidate, do we pursue them? Or what of the three traits must a person have to be “Howard’s Material.”  I really liked the part of the book towards the end where it talks about each of the traits as duos, and how to work towards improving them to being all hungry, humble, and smart.

Christina has been with Howard’s over twelve years and was installed as COO in January of 2018.

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