One of the best business books I’ve ever read is Patrick Lencioni’s classic, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, which explores organizational dynamics and offers solutions to help teams perform better. In light of our new world of work, where leaders are struggling to reconstruct ‘the office’ and their operations post-COVID, Lencioni says the most important thing they must do is regenerate a sense of teamwork.
His advice to make this happen? Get the right people on the bus. In addition to hiring for a values match, Lencioni says it’s crucial to hire people who possess humility, hunger, and smarts. “If even one of these is missing,” Lencioni says, “you are in trouble.” Lencioni goes on to say:
1. “Hire people who are not ego-focused, but team-focused. If someone is lacking humility, don’t hire them.”
2. “Hire people who are hungry. That doesn’t mean workaholism, but it doesn’t mean minimalism either. People who want to keep going. Excellence to them is never quite finished.”
3. “Hire people who are smart. Not intellectually smart, necessarily, but smart about people. They just understand. People who display common sense.”
Locating and hiring such people requires not hiring for skills, but for attitude instead. Lencioni suggests getting out from behind the interview desk and taking candidates shopping for underwear for your kids. Or taking them to your kids’ soccer practice and have them organize the cones for a drill, as such experiences will expose applicants’ natural behavior.
Jill, What Can I Do? In both my first book and keynote speech, I speak about the importance of getting the right person in every chair, which is akin to getting the right people on the bus. Rather than hiring people who have experience doing a certain job, hire people with a positive attitude – who possess humility, hunger, and smarts – and train them to do the job. As I always say, you can train any smart person to do any job. You can’t train for values. Hire for a values match and teamwork will flourish – a critical component in our new world of work.