Patrick Mahomes – The Ideal Team Player

When you lose something you really worked for it is supposed to hurt.  There is a lot of hurting going on in the Chief’s Kingdom.  No matter what anyone says it is hard to accept defeat when victory was in your grasp.  This year the Kansas City Chiefs reached a championship game they had not been to in 25 years, largely because of the impact of their young quarterback sensation, Patrick Mahomes.

Most of us have heard the stories of how he was born into a family where his father was a professional baseball player.  No one will argue that genetics aren’t a significant contributor to one’s ability to be a world class athlete.  But it takes more than athletic ability.

You need only reflect on the current football season to be reminded that raw athletic ability will only get you so far.

Kareem Hunt learned that.  

In business you can have an incredible product or service, but that doesn’t guarantee the company providing it will always be there to deliver it.   Though Mahomes put up statistics in his first full season that made him super human, the reality is it still takes a team to win games and it takes a team to win in business. 

In the past 5 years one of our favorite books on building a team is “The Ideal Team Player” by another Patrick.  Patrick Lencioni is a master at simplifying complicated topics.  What’s interesting is he only stumbled across this subject after being asked so frequently about the success of his own team over the last 20 plus years.  In the end, he boiled it down to three leadership traits, he calls “virtues” that make up an ideal team player.  They’re Humble, Hungry, and Smart.  


Humble:   Ideal Team Players check their ego at the door.  They are quick to share the success of others and often are slow seek attention for themselves.   They are more likely to talk about the team success than individual successes that have achieved.   Mahomes did this throughout the season, regardless of the athleticism he displayed in a game, he was always quick to give credit to the receivers, the line, or others for their contribution to the game. 

Are You a Humble Leader?  Does Your Team Have Humble Players?


Hungry:  Ideal Team Players are hungry.  They are self-starters.  They’re always trying to get better.  They’re always looking for the next opportunity, the next step.  They are lifelong learners.  They welcome more responsibility.  You never question if they’re giving 100%.    If you’re a Chiefs fan this one should get you excited.  Mahomes probably already has playoff dates circled on his calendar for next year.  

Are You a Hungry Player?  Does Your Team Have Hungry Players?


Smart:  Ideal Team Players are smart.  We know Mahomes is football smart. But this is about being People Smart.   Smart team players have good judgment.   They’re good at the interpersonal skills required for effective communication.  They know they are judged by their words and actions.  They simply have good common sense.   Mahomes has done an incredible job demonstrating this in his short professional career.

Are You a Smart Player?  Does Your Team Have Smart Players?  


Patrick Mahomes is the Ideal Team Player.   He’s Humble, Hungry, and Smart, and I am so glad he is a Kansas City Chief!  It was a great run this year and although it didn’t end the way the Chief’s Kingdom planned, it feels a awful lot like the Royals in 2014 and we know how that went the following year.  

What about your business?  Do you have Ideal Team Players?  Are they Humble? Are they Hungry? Are they Smart?    As always, we value your comments in the space below.  Go Chiefs!  

Chris Steinlage Kansas City Business Coach