Karen Darrin

As a professional development coach, there are certain authors that I follow. Since his groundbreaking first book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni has been one of those authors. In his recent book, The Ideal Team Player,  Lencioni builds on concepts he explored in 5 Dysfunctions.

Key to Lencioni’s work is his definition of leadership — a calling that requires putting the needs of others ahead of your own. I love that description of leadership. The best leaders I have known genuinely thought and acted with others’ needs top of mind. They were inspiring to work for and watch.

Those of us in leadership development love assessments and tools.  They can define where a client’s strengths, weaknesses, and triggers might be. They can pinpoint what is most important to the client’s current organization. These instruments can reveal detailed feedback that can help the client prepare for that promotion or big job.

In his new book, Lencioni tosses those assessments out. His view is that those tools are too complicated and layered for most people to truly follow-through and make those desired changes. Well, I’ve seen that happen a time or two. He does have a point.

Lencioni’s book dives into a simple framing which he calls the “Humble—Hungry—Smart Model.” Using his storytelling skills, his book dives into the application of the model when hiring, developing others, as well as how to successfully jettison your own development as a leader.

In reflecting on my own journey line of jobs and careers, I can see how this model might work. The times I knew I wasn’t “smart” enough for the job and I welcomed the challenge, I looked for and found a mentor to help me bridge the gap. I focused on developing my “smart” and I succeeded even more in that role.

Then, there was the time I just wasn’t “hungry” enough to work long hours for a company that wasn’t aligned with what I truly valued in the world.  It was painful. I began searching for a company that focused on what I was “hungry” about and eventually, made the switch. Lesson learned.

What about you in your current role? Take a moment to consider your behaviors when working on a team. How humble are you? Hungry? Smart? Which one of the three would you say is your weakest? Is it something you want to change? If so, what can you do to strengthen it? Take time to listen to what “your gut” has to say. It is always sending you signals.

If you are not a book reader, consider a podcast.  This 30-min episode from Ken Blanchard’s team encapsulates Lencioni’s key takeaways for you. Enjoy.

CALL TO ACTION:  Are you wanting to improve your leadership skills? Let’s brainstorm some strategies to try. Slot a complimentary 30-min consult here:  Schedule Free Consult.

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