The Ideal Team Player

2016 RightNow Conference

There are three qualities that make a person an ideal team player: are they humble, hungry, and smart? In this 30-minute video from the 2016 RightNow Conference, Patrick Lencioni, Founder & CEO of The Table Group, shares the necessary traits to look for and develop in your team members.

Patrick Lencioni (Pat) is the Founder and CEO of The Table Group. He speaks and writes about leadership and organizational health and consults to CEOs and their teams. The Wall Street Journal called him one of the most sought after business speakers in America; he has addressed millions of people at conferences and events around the world. Pat is the author of 10 best-selling books including The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business. He has written for or been featured in numerous publications including Harvard Business Review, Inc., Fortune, Fast Company, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and BusinessWeek. Pat and his wife, Laura, have four sons.

As you watch this session, take notes and write down thoughts about how this session can impact your ministry. 

There is a combination of three qualities to look for in a potential team member. The first and most important trait Patrick discussed was humility. Is this person humble? 

Humility is marked by a lack of ego. Why is this important for team dynamics? How might ego derail the chemistry and progress of a team?
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Patrick noted that sometimes, we may mistake a lack of confidence for humility. However, excessive meekness is not true humility. Downplaying our gifts is not humility.  

If there is someone on your team who displays a lack of confidence, how could you help them grow in confidence? What responsibilities might you delegate to them or affirmation could you give to build confidence?
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The second trait Patrick talked about was hunger. Hunger is demonstrated in a strong work ethic and a desire to do and contribute more than the bare minimum. However, this requires careful balance—one must work hard, but not be a workaholic, in order to be an ideal team player. 

How are your team members currently displaying hunger? How could you encourage a greater hunger on your team? How might you affirm hard work?
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Finally, an ideal team player is smart. They have an emotional intelligence, and a common sense about how their words and actions affect other people around them.  

How do you measure whether a potential team member is smart and aware of their interactions with others? Is this something that can be taught?
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Patrick mentioned that often, many people will possess one or two of the three traits, but be lacking in all three. This cuts their potential to be the ideal team player. 

Of all the types of team members who may lack one or two of the qualities that Patrick mentioned, which do you believe to be the most difficult to work with? The Pawn? The Bulldozer? The Charmer? The Accidental Mess-maker? The Lovable Slacker? The Skillful Politician?
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With a team member who may be lacking a certain quality, how could you foster growth and encourage them toward change in a loving way?
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Patrick offered two pieces of advice in finding and hiring an ideal team player. He encouraged leaders to hire based on character and integrity, rather than skill, and to hold unconventional interviews in order to see someone’s true colors. 

How might choosing a potential team member based on character and integrity, rather than skill alone, change your hiring process? How might you begin to evaluate someone’s fit based on these qualities?
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What ideas come to mind for holding an unconventional interview? Brainstorm ideas for how you could truly get to know a person, see them in their natural element, and make the best decision on hiring.
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It’s important to find team members who are humble, hungry, and smart. Finding these ideal team players will maximize productivity and joy on your team. 

For more information about the RightNow Conference or to find out how to attend next year’s event, visit

For more from Patrick Lencioni, see the series The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, or visit his website,