- Series: J-B Lencioni Series (Book 13)
- Hardcover: 229 pages
- Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1st edition (April 11, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0787960756
- ISBN-13: 978-0787960759
- Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.9 x 8.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1,929 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,420 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable 1st Edition
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Once again using an astutely written fictional tale to unambiguously but painlessly deliver some hard truths about critical business procedures, Patrick Lencioni targets group behavior in the final entry of his trilogy of corporate fables. And like those preceding it, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team is an entertaining, quick read filled with useful information that will prove easy to digest and implement. This time, Lencioni weaves his lessons around the story of a troubled Silicon Valley firm and its unexpected choice for a new CEO: an old-school manager who had retired from a traditional manufacturing company two years earlier at age 55. Showing exactly how existing personnel failed to function as a unit, and precisely how the new boss worked to reestablish that essential conduct, the book's first part colorfully illustrates the ways that teamwork can elude even the most dedicated individuals--and be restored by an insightful leader. A second part offers details on Lencioni's "five dysfunctions" (absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability, and inattention to results), along with a questionnaire for readers to use in evaluating their own teams and specifics to help them understand and overcome these common shortcomings. Like the author's previous books, The Five Temptations of a CEO and Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive, this is highly recommended. --Howard Rothman
From Publishers Weekly
In keeping with the parable style, Lencioni (The Five Temptations of a CEO) begins by telling the fable of a woman who, as CEO of a struggling Silicon Valley firm, took control of a dysfunctional executive committee and helped its members succeed as a team. Story time over, Lencioni offers explicit instructions for overcoming the human behavioral tendencies that he says corrupt teams (absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability and inattention to results). Succinct yet sympathetic, this guide will be a boon for those struggling with the inherent difficulties of leading a group. 100,000 first printing.
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The best part of the book is the model at the end, which gives a roadmap and concrete suggestions on how to fix each dysfunction.
Some of the information is obvious if people were to think about team dynamics, but when you are in the throes of such conflict, it's easy to get sucked into the drama and forget the tools. The "you're not alone" examples and concrete advice can help bring about real change.
Despite the negative-sounding main title, this book is actually a very positive look at team dynamics.
It starts with a "story" that describes how one leader put these practices into play to "save" a struggling leadership team at a tech company. The story part is entertaining and effectively demonstrates the steps to team effectiveness. I think it's interesting that the author couched the title in negative terms, a better title for this book would have been Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team. But maybe that was too long. The second half of the book deals in more direct, technical terms with the dysfunctions identified and how much time should be spent on overcoming each along with suggestions for steps to do so. The one thing I missed in this book was that there wasn't just a list of the Five Dysfunctions so that I could refer to it to refresh my memory.
The ideas were all ones I thought were obvious after decades as a team leader, but they were well-distilled into one place here, and this book would be a valuable addition to any leadership library. The big bonus was that I purchased it for Kindle, so my Echo Dot at home could read it aloud to me. I listened while I did my household tasks on a weekend, then I sat down with my mobile device and Kindle app, to review the more in depth portions of the book.
Overall, I found this book well-written and well worth an afternoon's time to read it.
The first 3/4 is a narrative following the newly hired CEO of a once-great tech company, now on the down-turn due to lack of leadership at the top and of course a highly dysfunctional (almost humerus) management team. Of course, there was a great cast of characters who were chalk full of dysfunction and most importantly, mirror exact teammates I have worked with in the past, making the story relevant to my life. The CEO took the characters through the 5 dysfunctions of a team, explaining where each of them were at fault, and encouraging them to be open and productively-confrontational in order to build on their individual strengths and face their weaknesses. The last 1/4 of the book started with a short quiz where you answered questions about a team you have worked with, and then based on where you scored low, offered suggestions for ways you and the team could improve.
Amazingly, every person (including me, who has been known to skim these "business help" books from time to time) in the 60 person class read the book, and I can safely say the 3 hour discussion we had as a class was one of the most enjoyable and intellectually interesting conversations I have ever been a part of. I would be shocked if there was a single person who did not learn something about themselves from the discussion.
This book is great, I think I have already seen some tangible progress in my actions as a team member, and I feel like my current team (who also read the book) have been better functioning since reading it/our discussion.
Highly recommended for anyone looking to improve their ability to contribute to teams, whether you are a manager, or a team member looking for ways to be a better person.