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on May 26, 2016
Patrick again makes something that appears complex easy to understand. In this case, employee engagement is clarified to three simple truths without leaving the reader in a theoretical realm with no actionable tools. The underlying symptom of job misery is a great place to start since managers are responsible for the work environment and culture. With the consequences of employee engagement (newest buzz phrase for creating an environment where human beings can flourish at work) being so important, managers will benefit greatly from reading this book. The restaurant context for this fable is fantastic for making his points! The quality and service dilemmas presented are a common experience for most of us. Great and easy read with a real return for your investment!
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on December 3, 2017
I have read a lot of articles and books on leadership and management over the years (my long plane ride activity is reading). I manage large teams and sometimes small teams depending on the project I am working on or the location that I am managing. This book really fits well with my management style. The "fable" style of the book keeps it engaging and illustrative, the summary sections at the end pull all the detail together well. It also matches what I have seen over the years quite well, I look forward to using the additional insight and approaches to enhance what I do today.
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VINE VOICEon July 9, 2012
Whether you manage a team that is large or small, there are many challenges you'll face as a leader. As I reflect back on the many challenges I have faced supervising and managing teams in contact centers, there are a number of challenges that I couldn't quite put words to until I read 'The Three Signs of a Miserable Job: A Fable for Managers (and their employees)' by Patrick Lenconi (Jossey-Bass, 2007).

'The Three Signs of a Miserable Job' is a leadership fable. The main character of the story is Brian Bailey, CEO of JMJ Fitness Machines. Brian loves his work at JMJ and his world suddenly changes when JMJ is sold. Now Brian must make a new life for himself in retirement. While Brian tries his best to enjoy retirement, there is something nagging at him. He wonders if the culture he created at JMJ was a fluke or something he could do again. Much to the surprise of his family and friends, he buys into a local pizza joint (Gene & Joe's) and takes on the role of assistant manager.

Brian spent a lot of time thinking through what it was that created the culture at JMJ and narrowed it down to the following:

*"People cannot be fulfilled in their work if they are not known." (anonymity)
*"Everyone needs to know that their job matters, to someone. Anyone." (irrelevance)
*"Employees need to be able to gauge their progress and level of contribution for themselves." (immeasurement)

Much of the story chronicles the ups and downs as Brian puts his plan into action at Gene & Joe's. Once Brian has things moving along at a good pace at the restaurant, he excitedly finds himself thrust back into the C-suite as the new CEO of Desert Mountain Sports. Now Brian has the opportunity to take what he put into action at Gene & Joe's and apply it on a much larger scale. The story makes for a fast and enjoyable read, so I'll end there with the spoilers.

I highly recommend this and every other leadership fable written by Patrick Lencioni. As leaders, we need to always be ready to learn and grow, so we can be better equipped to help our employees to find fulfillment, relevance, and success in the place that they spend nearly half of their waking hours Monday through Friday. 'The Three Signs of a Miserable Job' offers a reasonable framework to make that happen.
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on May 11, 2010
Patrick Lencioni continues his series of excellent leadership/management books with The Three Signs of a Miserable Job: A Fable for Managers (And Their Employees) (J-B Lencioni Series). As usual, he uses a fable to make his point. He tells the story of Brian Bailey, a retired CEO who is trying to determine why people hate their jobs and how it can be fixed. Through the fable and the more direct final section, Lencioni identifies three forces that make a job miserable: anonymity, irrelevance, and immeasurement.

When workers feel anonymous, especially to the boss, they tend not to care about their work. They just want to get through the day and go home. It is up to the manager to take a genuine interest in each person so that this anonymity is dispelled.

When people feel irrelevant to the company, they often decide that their work doesn't matter. While they may be key to the success of the organization, they may not know that. Someone needs to tell then the role they play and how their work helps others.

While immeasurement may be a word that Lencioni has created, it is a simple concept. Workers need to be able to measure success. They need to know that they have fulfilled their goal. We have to be careful to measure things that we can control, but we all need some way of knowing that we have succeeded.

Lencioni is clear that these are simple concepts, but his insights are excellent. As usual, Lencioni takes very simple things and shows that any manager can master them with some effort. This is one more really helpful tool in leading people.
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on September 7, 2017
Awesome read! This reminds one of everything about accountability and how it can make our jobs more enjoyable. It looks deep into why we're in business in the first place. It gives us a peak into why we went in business in the first place and why we should spend time working on these basics for our employees.
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on February 19, 2017
This simple book contains great ideas to improve any organization. Was simple concepts, it helps managers and staff understand their value and make a difference. The simple metrics keep everyone on track with actions valued by customers.
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on April 27, 2015
This book chronicles the career experiences of Brian Bailey, a seasoned manager who identifies three work satisfaction elements that best motivate workers in both large and small organizations. The lack of these three elements is the root cause of miserable jobs - worker misery can be traces to a combination of anonymity, irrelevance, or immeasurability. The first 75% of the book is a narrative of Brian's successful experiences leading companies then the last 25% describes the model. I enjoyed this order of presentation - story first then the model and theory. Brian was an excellent motivator of people.
I enjoyed the book. It gave me good insight into why I had difficulty in a recent job.
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on February 10, 2018
This is a fun read - the fable style makes it entertaining but also does a great job of making the main points of what our employees (and us as leaders) really need in order to feel fulfilled at work.
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on May 3, 2017
I enjoy Lencioni's style. The book makes some good points about the importance of leaders knowing their people, and using that insight to help employees measure success in the workplace.
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on January 1, 2015
I enjoyed this book very much. Being in the military, I've seen over my career a lot of individuals thrown into leadership positions that have no business being there and haven't the slightest idea how to perform that duty. The book breaks it down, makes it very simple to understand, how to by a good manager; which I personally think has some part in being an effective leader. I will definitely recommend this book to others, just as one of my leadership instructors did for me. Whether you're a CEO or a parent, you will walk away with something from this book.
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