Are You Hungry, Humble and Smart?

As a business leader, your most important role is finding and inspiring the right team members. You can have the clearest vision, the perfect strategic plan and an exceptional product or service, but without the right team, you won’t get too far. 

Legendary business guru Patrick Lencioni, author of The Ideal Team Player, says to look for three essential values in every team member. “It’s the combination of the three where the magic happens.”

VALUE #1: Humble


This individual always puts the team before his or her self. They’re slow to seek attention for themselves and quick to point out the contributions of others. They leave their ego at the door. This doesn’t mean they lack self-confidence. In fact, it’s quite the opposite — they have the confidence to put the team first instead of simply looking out for themselves. 

VALUE #2: Hungry

This team member has a strong work ethic and is always looking to go above and beyond without being asked. This person is not a workaholic nor a people pleaser; but understands that “good enough” is never enough. 

VALUE #3: Smart 

This is a person who knows how to interact with diverse personalities in a positive way — being an attentive listener, showing empathy and using common sense.  It is understanding how one’s words and actions affect others. An individual can be “intelligent,” but not “smart.”

What if they only have one of the three values? Here’s what you risk: 

  • Just humble. They are a “Pawn.” They’ll do what you ask, but won’t be a great team player. 

  • Just hungry. They’re like a “Bulldozer.” They ignore the needs of the team and only focus on their own accomplishments.

  • Just smart. They’re the “Charmer” — fun to be around, but won’t get much done. 

What if they have two of the three? You risk the following: 

  • Humble and hungry. This is the “Accidental Mess Maker.” They want to do the right thing, but don’t realize that what they’re doing is causing problems for the rest of the team. 

  • Humble and smart. They are the “Lovable Slacker.” It’s the nice person who just doesn’t get things done, often creating resentment from the rest of the team. 

  • Hungry and smart. This is the “Skillful Politician.” They’re insincere and know how to game the system. This can be the most dangerous person to have on a team. 

Look for team members with all three of these values and empower them to work together to bring great results. This is your Ideal Team Player!