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The Ideal Team Player

How to Recognize and Cultivate the Three Essential Virtues: A Leadership Fable
Written by: Patrick M. Lencioni
Narrated by: Stephen Hoye
Length: 5 hrs and 3 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (132 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In his classic book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni laid out a groundbreaking approach for tackling the perilous group behaviors that destroy teamwork. Here he turns his focus to the individual, revealing the three indispensable virtues of an ideal team player.

In The Ideal Team Player, Lencioni tells the story of Jeff Shanley, a leader desperate to save his uncle's company by restoring its cultural commitment to teamwork. Jeff must crack the code on the virtues that real team players possess and then build a culture of hiring and development around those virtues. Beyond the fable, Lencioni presents a practical framework and actionable tools for identifying, hiring, and developing ideal team players.

Whether you're a leader trying to create a culture around teamwork, a staffing professional looking to hire real team players, or a team player wanting to improve yourself, this book will prove to be as useful as it is compelling.

©2016 Patrick Lencioni (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about The Ideal Team Player

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Good start, but missing some important things

A few criticisms:
1. I don't think Lencioni defends the claim that we need to have "ideal team players" well enough. It's very brief when it happens. It seems we're supposed to already believe we should value teamwork over each individual's competency in their field. But how do you actually convince others that we need to value teamwork over hiring for talent?

2. The qualities of the idea team player are humble, hungry and smart (about people). This leaves out at least one thing: empathy, or concern for other's feelings. In the book, they discuss how someone who's smart does not necessarily care for the good of others. They could use their people smarts to manipulate others for instance. But they also say that someone who's humble will hurt other's feelings by being indelicate or rude because they just don't have the people smarts to know how to communicate. (Nancy in the fable.) How can both these things be true, but when you have all three qualities together, you then have someone who all of a sudden cares for you personally? I am surprised that this has evaded the author!

3. It completely ignores the role of context and culture and focuses solely on individual traits. I get that the book is about the idea team player, and this enables each of us to use it on ourselves. However, I'm surprised there is no discussion of how important it is for executives and managers to consider more than just each person's traits. It seems to suggest that a leader has no role to play in developing a team other than selecting good team players. A leader must also create an environment that rewards and encourages team effort. In fact, it may even be the case that these aren't traits one either has or doesn't, but skills one can develop, and thus something that leaders should focus on developing. The book Turn that Ship Around comes to mind because the author, Cpt David Marquet, was able to take the USS Santa Fe from worst in the Navy to best without letting a single sailor go. Not one person fired and they go from last to first (out of something like 40 ships). Obviously I'm very skeptical that each of these hundreds of guys was already an ideal team player. No! It was something about the culture that Marquet encouraged through his leadership that created a successful teamwork environment.

Taken with that in mind, I still find HHS to be a useful set of qualities to consider when hiring team members and creating your team. For that reason, despite 3 stars, I think this book is worth a read.

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Read it for work

The fable was pointless but the theory was sound. I will be able to apply much of what I learned.

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Great recruitment perspective

This book gives readers a lot to think about. It emphasis the importance of a company's values and how to use those values when recruiting new talent.

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Well worth the time and money

i learned a good deal from this book. Easily identified concepts and traits in the people I work with. i now see more clearly why some workers / colleagues fit a team persepective better and why others dont.

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Incredible. Practical. Stimulating. Useful.

I can’t imagine anyone who wants a better workplace and team not benefiting from this book. It’s based on principles which are universally applicable. Also an enjoyable story to bring it all out. You will find this book helps you pinpoint why you had a trouble in a workplace or success and why others thrived and others were toxic. Worth multiple listens.

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overall, fantastic

Fantastic book, well written, easy to follow yet profound concepts.

Great right up to the very end, where religion and sin was integrated and presented as established fact, like everyone was a part of that and no other beliefs were relevant or considered.

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Fantastic Insight into Building a Team

Whether in relation to business, sports, or aspects of family life what Mr. Lencioni writes in this book provides great wisdom on characteristics to work on, both on an individual level and a team level. The aspects of being hungry, humble and people smart are qualities that totally change the atmosphere in any setting. I highly recommend reading this book but most importantly applying the knowledge to your life and business. #Audible1

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Great Leadership book!

Great book for all in terms of leadership. I’m no longer in HR but looking back now, I believe this book should be read by all people involved in any recruitment process in any organization. Sports included. Great and easy read. Really enjoyed the “learning through story telling” fable portion of the book.

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  • jan
  • 2018-01-09

loved it!

I am so glad I listened to this book, I have learned so much about who I want in my team and how to improve on my own lacking

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  • Shawn N Price
  • 2016-09-20

Required Reading/Listening

Would you listen to The Ideal Team Player again? Why?

As the Chief of Staff for my organization I am designing and implementing the Team Development programs. These programs are based on The 5 Dysfunctions of Teams, The Ideal Team Player, and Sean Covey's The Four Disciplines of Execution. While "5 Dysfunctions" focuses on team level development, "The Ideal Team Player" focuses on individual development. I find that I "rewind and re-listen" often with Lencioni, and that I stop and take notes (OneNotes) and record thoughts.

What did you like best about this story?

The drama was fantastic. The characters and personalities engaging.

What about Stephen Hoye’s performance did you like?

Hoye's performance was great. I liked his energy and pace.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes!

Any additional comments?

While I began this book thinking about how to teach and share the principles of ideal team players with others, I came away with the determination to change my nature and to become a much better team player. Having and using this book is changing my life and making me a much better team player, and I am making my life a whole lot more fun and exciting.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Andrea
  • 2016-09-05

Lot of talk about a simple concept

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Sure, but the guy reading the book was terrible, almost put me to sleep several times. I would buy the book not the audible version. Go to the end and simply read the overview. If you have read a lot of Patricks stuff then this is repeated material on some levels. I do love Pats stuff so don't think I'm down on him, not at all, just that it is repeating material.

Has The Ideal Team Player turned you off from other books in this genre?

No

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Stephen Hoye?

Whoever it was that narrated "The hard thing about hard things" by Ben Horowitz, THAT was a great book and well narrated. Also, Steve Jobs narrator.

Did The Ideal Team Player inspire you to do anything?

Perhaps, but not much.

17 people found this helpful

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  • Lori
  • 2016-12-26

loved it

my husbands company required him to read this book. what a great way to show your company Style. it's nice because he's listening to it on his drive to work great motivator

4 people found this helpful

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  • R. Sttz
  • 2016-09-08

Great format, narration

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would definitely recommend this. I found the story form "fable" in the first 70% of the book to be a solid way to put the concepts into practice, so that the nuts & bolts description of the model was crystal clear.

What about Stephen Hoye’s performance did you like?

I listen to virtually all audio books at 1.5X speed, and I found that to be a good pace for this narration. The narration was very clear, contained appropriate inflections, and was engaging. For those who listen to audio books at 1X and find themselves getting distracted/bored, speed up the narration to a speed that will keep you engaged.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

It would be a lot of information for one sitting, but the "fable" portion could certainly be engaging for one sitting. The model/application would be something you'd want to listen to more than once. Since the book was split up in this fashion, one can listen to the nuts & bolts application portion and get a lot of benefit w/o having to listen to the entire book over again.

3 people found this helpful

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  • A. Yoshida
  • 2016-08-10

Humble, Hungry, and Smart

Like his other books, the business advice is provided through the telling of a story. The benefit of doing it this way is that it provides a context as if you're in the story and can relate to what the characters are going through. You gain an understanding of the advice and how it might apply in real life. However, the author should not have written the story as if it's a fiction book written for entertainment, where the plot is drawn out to create suspense and details are added to develop the characters. Finally after multiple meetings and discussions, the characters (executives of the construction company) conclude the three key qualities of an ideal team player are: humble (not arrogant or dismissive of people), hungry (wanting to do more and learn more), and smart (emotional intelligence). Then the story dragged on again as they met with employees to figure out if the employees possessed those qualities. The last few chapters were useful in explaining key behaviors expected from ideal team players, such as willing to display vulnerability and build trust, hold people accountable, and commit to group decisions.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Adam13
  • 2020-08-10

Good book, horrible voiceover

My only complaint here is the person doing the audio book itself sounds like he learned to speak from William Shatner. I feel like I’m listening to a Star Trek reading, his over enunciation is absolutely horrible and making this book a challenge to get through.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Luis Camacho
  • 2019-09-13

great advice and a worthy read

while the story writing is a little cheesy the message is great. I enjoyed this book and will listen to it again.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amanda J. Rawson
  • 2019-03-13

Team Building for a positive growing Company

Great ideas for team building to maintain the company culture to grow a company that will last.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-01-01

Great content and narrating

Similarly to 'The 5 dysfunctions of a team' the content is delivered in a form of a story which makes it easy to keep your focus on the audio book (with other books my mind drifts away much more often).
The book explains what traits does a person need to have to perform within a team and contribute to the teams performance. Especially helpfull for people who are establishing new teams or are trying to understand peformance issues in existing teams.

1 person found this helpful

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  • H. Fulcher
  • 2016-09-22

Great story

Loved that the majority of this book was in a story format. It made the content very digestible and easy to relate to.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mauricio Giommi Ochoa
  • 2020-09-15

great

Great tool for professional and personal development, highly recommended for anyone who wants to get better at life.