by Casey Holsworth

Virtues of a Team Player


VAST is very much invested in each of its employees in ways not all employers are. Being an employee of a company that truly cares about you in all aspects of life is refreshing and motivating. They care, support, and encourage you to grow not only in your career, but also as an individual. For example, what employer pays you to read a book?  VAST does!

Each year, management carefully selects a book for the employees to read that is focused on personal and business development. Once read, you do a report on the book that helps to identify the principals within the book, and strategies that can benefit yourself and the company. We also then review the material collectively as a group, which allows you to experience others’ perspectives, and gain additional insight that maybe you did not pick up when reading.   This year, VAST chose The Ideal Team Player by Patrick Lencioni.

This was a great book that focused on the three most important virtues of being a team player, which are HUMBLE, HUNGRY AND SMART (people smart.) These virtues are not only important in the workplace, but in your personal life as well. Having a great combination of all three allows you to be a most valuable or ideal team player. If you are lacking in one of the areas, it does not mean you cannot grow to become an “ideal” team player. Below are the definitions of each of these virtues. As you read them, think about which virtues you are strong in, and which could use some improvement.

HUMBLE: Most important of the three. “Great team players lack excessive ego or concerns about status. They are quick to point out the contributions of others and slow to seek attention for their own. They share credit, emphasize team over self and define success collectively rather than individually. Humility isn’t thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.”

HUNGRY: “Hungry people are always looking for more. More things to do. More to learn. More responsibility to take on. Hungry people work harder because they are self-motivated and diligent. They are constantly thinking about the next step and the next opportunity.”

SMART: We are not talking about intellectual capacity. In the context of team, smart simply refers to a person’s common sense about people. It has everything to do with the ability to be interpersonally appropriate and aware. Smart people have good judgment and intuition around the subtleties of group dynamics and the impact of their words and actions. They ask good questions, listen to what others are saying and stay engaged in conversations intently.

You can learn more about this, and find ways to improve by reading The Ideal Team Player by Patrick Lencioni.

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