Three simple virtues that make for a good team player.
Most of us know what humility is — it means not being arrogant or self-centered but putting others ahead of ourselves.
When somebody lacks confidence and makes themselves small, that’s not humility. To deny our talents is actually a violation of humility, just like it is to exaggerate them. “Humility isn’t thinking less of ourselves, it’s thinking about ourselves less.”
- You have to be Hungry.
This simply means having a strong work ethic. Being hungry is not about workaholism, though. Workaholics are people who get their entire identity from their work. People who are hungry just want to go above and beyond what’s expected; they have a high standard for what they do, and they never do just the minimum.
- Being smart.
But it’s not about intellectual smarts; this is about emotional intelligence and having common sense around how we understand people and how we use our words and actions to bring out the best in others.
A person may be humble and hungry but they lack smarts — I call them the accidental mess maker.
Then there’s someone who’s humble and smart but they lack hunger — I call them the lovable slacker.
The most difficult type is the team member who is hungry and smart but they’re not humble — I call them the skillful politician.
So, what do you do with this information?
Next, apply these categories to yourself and the people around you. Sit down with your work team, and have everybody rank themselves in those three areas — which one they’re best at, second best, and third.
Then, go around the group and ask people to explain their third and why it’s theirs. Talk together about how they can strengthen this trait. Give each other advice; turn your colleagues, your team members, and your family members into each other’s coaches.
It’s time that we changed the way we think about success as a society and how we prepare people for success in life. By developing these three qualities in ourselves, we could start to change ourselves and improve our organizations, and our world.