Taking apart the Ideal Team Player-Pt. 1 Are you hungry?

Last month I described The Ideal Team Player by Patrick Lencioni and challenged you to use your values as part of your hiring process. Lencioni states that there are 3 important characteristics of an Ideal Team Player: that you be humble, hungry and smart. I skipped lunch today so hungry jumps out at me.

When I think of “hungry” as a characteristic, I get a little uneasy. I immediately imagine a pushy, aggressive individual that runs people over. Oh, is that how I am when I am “hangry?” Let’s get the definition out right away so we understand each other. Lencioni says “hungry people almost never have to be pushed by a manager to work harder because they are self-motivated and diligent….and they loathe the idea that they might be perceived as slackers.”

Most people understand that they need to project themselves as self-motivated in an interview even if they really aren’t. Then, the manager spends a huge amount of time trying to motivate, push or get rid of non-hungry team members.

So what should you ask in an interview?

Lencioni suggests questions like:

What is the hardest you’ve ever worked on something? You are looking for specific examples of joyful but real sacrifice.

Did you work hard when you were a teenager? Maybe, they were dedicated to debate team or soccer. Or maybe they had a job and did well in school, too. Look for determination to reach a goal.

What kind of hours do you generally work? Lencioni says “Hardworking people usually don’t want to work nine to five unless their unique life situations demand it.” I, on the other hand, have always disagreed with long hours meaning more effective. Give me the clever person who comes up with new ways to improve stupid processes so they don’t have to waste their time any day.

I say, listen to how they explain their thinking. Parents with small children are often the most effective workers you have on your team.

Whatever questions you choose to ask, do make sure you look for someone who is hungry. You will be delighted when you find team players who are self motivated and diligent. And, to keep them that way, you have to model it yourself. This week, is there some way you could show your team that you are hungry?

image courtesy of arageek.com

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