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The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable Paperback – 2000
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Patrick Lencioni once again offers a leadership fable that is as enthralling and instructive as his first two best-selling books, "The Five Temptations of a CEO" and "The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive". This time, he turns his keen intellect and storytelling power to the fascinating, complex world of teams.
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I've read it once and listened to it on Audible twice. I give it to all the leaders I help develop and they all love it. It's easy reading, but presents it in a non-threatening way. Definitely should be required reading for all managers.
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.