The Ideal Team Player Book Summary - The Ideal Team Player Book explained in key points
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The Ideal Team Player summary

Patrick Lencioni

How to Recognize and Cultivate the Three Essential Virtues. A Leadership Fable

4.5 (195 ratings)
14 mins

Brief summary

The Ideal Team Player by Patrick Lencioni is a practical guide on how to identify and cultivate the three virtues of an ideal team player: being humble, hungry, and people-smart. Lencioni provides actionable steps for a more effective team.

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    The Ideal Team Player
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    A team with star talent that can’t work together is dysfunctional. Learn the five traits of broken teams.

    Have you ever wondered why a team of all-star soccer players can still consistently lose matches? Such teams can be considered dysfunctional, and there can be five possible reasons for this.

    First, in a dysfunctional team, team members might not care about the team’s overall results, as each member is too focused on personal success. A star player might be so determined to score a goal that he refuses to pass the ball to a teammate ready to take a shot. As a result, the team as a whole misses a chance to score.

    Second, members of dysfunctional teams may lack accountability. This means that the team doesn’t call its individual members out for mistakes, such as a player showing up late or even hungover to practice. This attitude lowers the team’s standards overall, as members see it’s acceptable not to give their best.

    Third, dysfunctional teams struggle with committing to collective decisions. If a soccer team decides on a strategy but one player does his own thing during a match regardless, the strategy falls flat and the team fails.

    Fourth, dysfunctional teams often suffer from a fear of conflict. When team members avoid necessary conversations or debates, issues fester and the potential for conflict grows.

    Finally, dysfunctional teams are marked by an absence of trust. When a team member distrusts the team as a whole, that member will hide weaknesses, avoiding asking for help even when needed. In turn, a member who hides weaknesses won’t be trusted by other team members, either.

    So how can you avoid the pitfalls of dysfunctional teams when building an organization?

    Great teams are made of team players. A bad team player can disrupt not only the work of an entire group but also an entire company – just like that soccer player who refuses to get on board with the team strategy.

    Employees with good social skills and who are driven workers – the team players you should cultivate and reward – won’t stick around if your team is ineffective or even hostile. Thus you need to be proactive by hiring team players, coaching dysfunctional staff and letting go of those employees who won’t change.

    But how can you ensure you have the right people on your team? Let’s explore the three traits for which you need to keep an eye out in current and potential employees.

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    What is The Ideal Team Player about?

    The Ideal Team Player (2016) explores the role teamwork plays in today’s business environment and shows you how to build a team geared for success. These blinks explain what makes a good team player, how to find them and which strategies you’ll need to build a company around the concept of teamwork.

    The Ideal Team Player Review

    The Ideal Team Player (2016) by Patrick Lencioni is a valuable resource for anyone interested in building effective teams. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • It offers practical insights on the qualities that make someone a great team player, allowing readers to enhance their own collaboration skills.
    • The book presents a compelling framework for identifying and developing team players, making it highly applicable in various professional contexts.
    • With its engaging case studies and relatable stories, the book brings the concepts to life, ensuring an interesting and relatable reading experience.

    Best quote from The Ideal Team Player

    Id bet my job on the fact that we could get more work done with fewer people if we had real team players.

    —Patrick Lencioni
    example alt text

    Who should read The Ideal Team Player?

    • Human resources specialists and business leaders
    • Professionals curious about their capacity teamwork
    • Employees struggling with team relations at work

    About the Author

    Patrick Lencioni is the founder and president of The Table Group, a consultancy. He is also a highly acclaimed public speaker who has written 11 bestselling business books.


    ©Patrick Lencioni: The Ideal Team Player copyright 2016, John Wiley & Sons Inc. Used by permission of John Wiley & Sons Inc. and shall not be made available to any unauthorized third parties.

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    The Ideal Team Player FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Ideal Team Player?

    The main message of The Ideal Team Player is the importance of being humble, hungry, and smart to build effective teams.

    How long does it take to read The Ideal Team Player?

    Reading time for The Ideal Team Player varies, but it typically takes a few hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The Ideal Team Player a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Ideal Team Player is worth reading as it provides practical insights on teamwork within organizations.

    Who is the author of The Ideal Team Player?

    The author of The Ideal Team Player is Patrick Lencioni.

    What to read after The Ideal Team Player?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The Ideal Team Player, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek
    • Getting Naked by Patrick Lencioni
    • Deep Work by Cal Newport
    • Radical Candor by Kim Scott
    • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
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