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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
In The Five Dysfunctions of a Team 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.
Kathryn Petersen, Decision Tech's CEO, faces the ultimate leadership crisis: Uniting a team in such disarray that it threatens to bring down the entire company. Will she succeed? Will she be fired? Will the company fail? Lencioni's utterly gripping tale serves as a timeless reminder that leadership requires as much courage as it does insight.
Throughout the story, Lencioni reveals the five dysfunctions which go to the very heart of why teams even the best ones-often struggle. He outlines a powerful model and actionable steps that can be used to overcome these common hurdles and build a cohesive, effective team. Just as with his other books, Lencioni has written a compelling fable with a powerful yet deceptively simple message for all those who strive to be exceptional team leaders.
- Great practical insight for Executive Teams
I'm using this book as a part of a team coaching assignment with an Executive Team and it is providing extremely beneficial insight to members as they examine ways to become a more effective team....more info
- The Five Dysfunctions of a Team
These are books on cds. I enjoy them very much because you can listen to them in your car. The narrator is very well spoken and the information you get from them are very valuable to understanding the dynamics of a group. I highly recommend them....more info
- How to Avoid Crashing a Good Team
I initially bought this book on disk for my husband, he travels and wanted something to listen to. He leads a large team and he had asked me to see if I could find this on cd. He really liked it, but I also really like it. I am a Realtor and would love to develop a top team, in a previous career I lead several teams and saw some of the dysfunctions. If you are in a leadership position I recommend this book on disk. Buy it and pass it around to your peers, it will help you get on the same page....more info
- Spiritual leadership is the key.
The Five Dysfunctions of Leadership was given to me at a company leadership course. While the course itself was excellent the book is not the most technical of leadership guides. It uses a fictional premise to guide readers through a corporate teams rebuilding phase. It does a good job of giving the reader some insight concerning the thinking process leaders' face when rebuilding a dysfunctional team of capable individuals. It also does a good job of addressing the patient compassion leaders sometimes need to display when nurturing stubborn but talented team members. It does not, however, have the depth to serve as a legitimate all in one guide for corporate team building. For one, it approaches the subject matter from and elementary view. Relationships will always be complicated and conflict cannot be avoided. It also fails to capture the diversity element most companies face these days. Although it's not completely devoid of helpful information and can be read quickly, I do not recommend buying this book. Because it can be read so quickly, you'd be better served by setting aside a few hours at your local library for reading this book. ...more info
- Great book and easy to read
When I read this book I thought of our dysfunctional executive team and quickly understood what it will take to create a "real" team. Every CEO and Board of Directors members should read this book and take an honest look at his/her team to see if they have a dysfunctional team. I have consulted for over 20 good size organizations, advising executive teams and my experience indicates that about 70% fit the dysfunctional profile. ...more info
- Seagate spends $2 million annually to teach these lessons
Intrigued by an article in the 5.26.08 issue of Fortune magazine, p113-122, I had to read this book. The article was about how Seagate spends $2 million each year for the "lord of all lords" team building exercise for 200 of it's employees (mostly engineers) -- and each day of the week-long journey is based upon one of "The Five Dsyfunctions of a Team." Before employees arrive at the event, they are asked to read the book -- a fast read -- which explains, with an easy-to-relate-to story line, each one of the five:
Absence of trust, which leads to invulnerability of team members
Fear of conflict, which leads to artificial harmony
Lack of commitment, which breeds ambiguity
Avoidance of accountability, which leads to low standards
Inattention to results, which leads to status/ego being all too important
Then all 200 of them are put through the paces at the event in about every way you could imagine to get out of their comfort zone like never before and to really understand, at the cellular level, how to trust others, why conflict is good, how to really commit, how to be both accountable and results-oriented. Each day, they do team building exercises on one of the 5, and then have a team competition at the end of the event.
The article starts out "Everyone here's going to die." The CEO tells them "Yes, everyone in this room will die - at some point ... Are you doing what you want to do in your life? Or are you just blowing through?" Watkins continues. "I'm challenging your life right now. What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail?..."
While most of us have been exposed by now to some type of team building event, I doubt there is one that is so life changing as this one. Seagate could have used any one of a number of books or team building programs -- or could have designed their own -- but they chose this one. Great testimony for how powerful it can be if an organization can overcome these team dysfunctions.
- Recommended for managers including executives
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable is a relatively easy and enjoyable read. Lencioni, rather than focus on what makes teams effective discusses Five Dysfunctions which impact team performance. He makes the book compelling by using a fable about a ficticious Silicon Valley IT company, DecisionTech, and its new CEO, Kathryn, as a vehicle to describe these dysfunctions and strategies to address them.
DecisionTech has strong competitive advantages including a leading technology, talented executive staff, and solid financial backing. However after two years, the company is underperforming and lagging its two closest competitors. The chairman of the board makes a controversial decision to bring in an outsider as CEO, Kathryn, who has a good track record with operations but no IT experience. The rest of the fable is about how she observes the dynamics of the executive team and concludes a reason for underperformance is that they act more as individuals with their own agendas and little mutual trust. She confronts the staff in a series of off-site meetings where she discloses the causes of their poor team performance and challenges them to work together to meet corporate goals. I won't ruin the plot by giving too many details, but not all the staff survives as she struggles to address the issues facing DecisionTech.
The dysfunctions (absence of trust --> fear of conflict --> lack of committment --> avoidance of accountability --> inattention to results) build from the bottom up - in other words if you don't have trust among team members you won't be successful in addressing the other issues.
One key point that Lencioni makes in the fable is that managers generally think of their direct reports as being the primary team they need to be focused on. Though this is extremely important, he emphasizes the primary team is really the peers of the manager because this extended team needs to work together to meet enterprise goals which sometimes requires reallocation of resources amongst groups for success to be achieved.
At the back of the book, Lencioni summarizes strategies for recognizing and overcoming these dysfunctions. Overall a good book - five stars.
- Recognizing And Correcting Ineffective Teams
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team a typical, but well written book focused on team effectiveness. It is typical in that the ideas that Patrick Lencioni presents are simple and straightforward yet rarely practiced. Lencioni spends the majority of the book illustrating the five dysfunctions through a fable about a fictitious executive team in the Bay Area. It is an interesting approach to see the concepts illustrated first in a fair amount of detail prior to being present formally. He actually spends less than 20 percent of the book on the actual concepts yet this is sufficient to provide enough clarity to be practical. The five dysfunctions covered are:
* Absence of Trust
* Fear of Conflict
* Lack of Commitment
* Avoidance of Accountability
* Inattention to Results
In addition to describing the symptoms of these dysfunctions, Lencioni also provides recommendations for team practices and special instructions for leaders in overcoming them. Whether you are a team member or a leader at any level of an organization, you will find practical guidance for improving team performance from one of today's leading business writers....more info
- Excellent guidebook for managers and team members....
"A camel is a horse designed by a committee," is one popular business quip. Insert the word "team" for "committee" and you have the attitude that many business people harbor about such groupings. This book, however, suggests that there are five common dysfunctions of teams and offers specific ways to attach each pitfall.
The author presents the lesson in a business fable, using a fictional Silicon Valley company that is struggling. The book closes with some specific prescriptions for overcoming each of the five dysfunctions.
At first, glancing at the book title, I thought it was an indictment of teams.
I was wrong. Rather, it indicts dysfunctional teams and is very BIG on teams as a way to get business done. Teams are "in" in modern business thought, like it or not. Anyone in a work setting who is part of a team (just about anyone, huh?) might benefit from reading his. One caveat is the sheer amount of time consumed by the process. Though we are assured that the time "investment" in team-building will pay off with later gains, it will still be a powerful temptation for harried managers to wonder how they are ever going to get the rest of their :"real work" done while they are stuck hour upon hour in the team meeting process.
Lencioni is not suggesting that everyone sit in a circle, hold hands and sing "Kumbaya." Nor does he endorse other vogue-ish practices such as Outward Bound or falling blindfolded into the arms of waiting teammates to develop trust. Rather, he offers practical ideas to cement effective teams.
I'd love to comment further, but I'm overdue for another ... team meeting!
- Good solid, simple, common sense advice.
Sometimes we need a fresh story to remind us of the common sense we already have. This is one of those. I bought a few copies for my leadership team to help get us all on the same page - focused on the issues not the politics....more info
- Great inspiring leadership book
Wonderful and inspiring book. I also would recommend the newly published, "Running with the Rhinos" as well for good companion book. Running with the Rhinos: Courageous Leadership for a Complex World...more info
- Still applicable two years after reading especially after merger
I brought my "Five Dysfunctions of a Team" by Patrick Lencioni book into the office last week and wanted to draw on the examples from the book in relation to a reporting problem we were having. I read it a few years ago but it just jumped out as still applicable once I picked up the book again. I once heard someone say it is the books that stand the test of time not the books on the current best sellers list that are worth reading. This is one of those books, as it was still valuable two years later.
After pondering our problems due to recent mergers I think this case study illustrates many of the larger issues post merger companies have had and will continue to have in my now merged together company. These problems will never go away in most companies, especially in the era of so many mergers, so periodic review and trying to improve them will be a constant struggle.
- Worth Reading
I was a little skeptical of the book's usefulness, but I've seen some practical value in my management approach. It's easy to read, a little corny, but the fundamentals of team dynamics are worth thinking about....more info
- "Five Dysfunctions" Book May Help Streamline Your Teams
I read "Five Dysfunctions of a Team" the first time several years back when I was researching leadership and team dynamics. I've always enjoyed building teams and understanding why some work and some don't. This book explores the topic and describes a simple formula for identifying what works, what doesn't work, and what to do about it.
The book calls subtitle is "A Leadership Fable." It's two hundred or so pages are written in large print so you can get through the whole thing in a few hours. It's about a fictitious Silicon Valley technology company that is clearly struggling. The board has decided to demote the company's founder and replace him with an outsider. The new CEO, Katherine, makes a point of spending her first few weeks observing the executive management team. It's an interesting bunch, but no more interesting than a lot of the people I've worked with over the years.
She takes little action until she holds her first executive off site retreat a few weeks into her tenure. There she tackles the team problems head on. She gets the push back you would expect from a team that's been doing things wrong for a while, but by addressing the shortcomings the team starts making progress. The team takes some forward strides, then falls back. Some of the team members embrace the changes, others dislike it and quit. As the story progresses, she shows the team (and the reader) how a lack of trust among team members leads to poor results and what are the root causes that need to be addressed. Using a simple pyramid drawing, she shows how the concepts work together for success.
The book reads well and illustrates the lessons very clearly. It doesn't seem contrived. On the contrary, it sounds more like real life than I would like to admit. What I most like about the book is that it breaks down the issues that makes teams work and shows how the dysfunctions, if allowed to fester, lead to poor performance. It can easily be used to teach leaders to explore where they may want to make changes for making poor teams better and good teams great.
When I interviewed with my current boss, I noticed she kept a copy on her shelf. After working with her a few months, I asked to borrow it. It was a good refresher and helped me put into words what I know in my gut and how to put it into practice.
- Quick read, great information. Well worth your time
I read this in a couple of hours and it was well worth it.
I think that the first line on page 88 pretty much sealed this as a classic in my library. What was it? Well you will need to read it.
This works for all teams from married couples to Girl Scout troops to the corporate world.
It would be helpful to anyone but a hermit.
- Good for team improvement
This is an easy read. The principles are applied within a story. Useful tool to use for improving team moral....more info
- Quick, Easy Read...Read it Twice To Apply
The fictional style of Lencioni's book makes it a quick and easy read. I would have given it 5 stars, but the fictional team in the book was meade up of pretty high level players, and the average team us made up of middle management. I found to really comprehend all the dynamics of a team, and apply it to your own - read it twice. The first time, I overlooked areas that I thought initially didn't apply to my own team. While not every team can take the approach that was taken in the book to display and uncover their disfunctions, the second time you read it you can determine creative ways to uncover and resolve what may apply to your own group. ...more info
- Lose Yourself in a Story
The introduction asserts that we learn more effectively by losing ourselves in a story, and I agree. It asserts that genuine teamwork remains elusive and describes the 5 dysfunctions that build on one another. 1. Absence of Trust 2. Fear of Conflict 3. Lack of Commitment 4. Avoidance of Accountability 5. Inattention to Results. Everyone will see themselves in the story and can benefit from the guidance given. ...more info
- Good information, but a little too trite
The author has great information to share, but takes the allegorical device a little too far. It is easy to read, but the "cuteness" took away from the message. It is a decent primer for the issues that cause teams to break down, but the fixes are a little utopian....more info
- If you need this book to be a good manager...
This book is over-hyped. My commanding officer ordered all captians to read this book and discuss it. Look, if you need this book to know what a dysfunctional team is, then you are beyond any book to help. This is not a "how to" book; this is a script by someone who seems poorly grounded in reality team dynamics. If I were looking to hire someone and they said this book formed their leadership instincts, then I'm not hiring them. They would likely gain better leadership instincts from military service, playing sports, or having been in the boy or girl scouts. I'm convinced that this book will not help make you a leader of people. You won't even be able to use this book to help you lead workers to the water cooler. There was a young captain I observed who needed a little guidance on his teams and I tried to figure out where he kept getting all his bad leadership ideas. Then I read this book as I was ordered to and it was obvious that he had read this book previously. Almost line by line he was regurgitating the exact script of this book...and there it was, featured behind his desk on his bookshelf. No way! Reading a book to figure out how to lead is as bad a plan as reading a book to figure out how to cook or how to perform surgery or how to paint a portrait. Some books will offer a good leader some skill-sharpening ideas...this one does not. Good leaders do not need this book and bad leaders will only get worse by reading this. So where do you learn to lead when you don't know how to lead? Answer: Not in a book...not in a library...not in this book. ...more info
- Great Book on Teams and How to Move Them Forward
In The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni uses a fable to present to the reader a dysfunctional team and the steps, and time, needed to move forward towards becoming functional. He then concludes the book with a simple self-test to help the reader evaluate his or her team and then provides steps for the team and the team leader to take in moving the process forward for the team.
Personally, I found this presentation of the topic very useful in being able to see myself and the teams I am on or lead. Some reviewers have stated a desire for a more real-life example based book, but I don't think you could get to the nuances of the team in such an easy to identify way with real life examples. I saw shades of every personality each of the fabled team members had in members on my team but divided across the individuals. This was very helpful in relating to the team and the topic, which I never would have done if it was some team from deep in the depths of GE or IBM. The steps provided at the end of the book to help overcome the dysfunctions are simple and straight forward. I look forward to using them.
Overall, this is a simple to read book that can be completed in 3 hours. Nothing is presented that we don't know or haven't heard before. However, it is presented in a way that gives the reader confidence to put the steps in place and to not give up as the team takes the inevitable steps backwards....more info
- The Five Disfunctions of a Team
It's all about TEAM WORK. It shows how disfunctional most companies are.
It can be used in any situation. It makes sense all working together for the common good....more info
- Great Business Book
I am the CEO of a family company. The history and the bad blood goes back to childhood. We all get along, but we all sabotage each others progress. There are walls up between the group, and we have hit the wall in our growth. After purchasing this book for the group i believe we seen the light of our misgivings, and can proceed to grow to the next level. The book has a strong message, if you execute upon it.
- Anoter Great Book by a Great Author
I purchased this book along with several others. I can't even remember why I bought and assume it was due to Amazon's suggestions. It was one of the last books I read, but the only one I couldn't put down.
The software company I work at is doing agile programming and core to it is self-managing teams and core to that is trust. Not only has this had immediate impact for me and our team, it is a book that is quickly going around our office.
Like his other books, I recommend visiting his website and downloading some of the supporting documentation.
I have also purchased his suporting book on how to lead teams through the five dysfunctions and it is good as well....more info
- great point of reflection
just gets the mind going in some good thoughts. a great, quick read to plug some new ideas into one's head. i recommend....more info
- Not my favorite business leadership book
I think I enjoyed the concept of this book more than the actual implementation. Told like a fairy tale, the book tells the story of a team in trouble and a company facing internal failure. A professional "team builder" is hired as CEO to restructure and revitalize the team.
The new CEO struggles to establish a team mentality among her newly acquired executives. Rampant mistrust and confidence issues are paralyzing them. The author chronicles the steps Kathryn takes to overcome these obstacles and begin establishing a self-sufficient group.
In theory, if your team is suffering these sorts of issues, the book should work. This book was required reading for my workplace, and while I found it to be an easy, entertaining, and perhaps even insightful read, I couldn't quite relate to it. Yes, the same sorts of issues are prevalent on my own team at work. However, Kathryn was dealing with eight or nine team members. There are many more on mine. Technically, it should work no matter the size of the team. The problem is convincing everyone on board that this is a good plan.
I would recommend reading the book if for no other reason than to gain more insight into the workings of a team...particularly the ones that aren't working....more info
- Great Leadership Book
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable
Exceptional book-simple, easy read and gets the points of why you have dysfunctional teams. It really hit home for me. ...more info
- Mediocre book
Team is dysfunctional - Team hires new CEO - Team goes on offsite - Team is honest in feedback - team is energized - And they live happily ever after. Felt more like a Enid Blyton novel. I was expecting management advice in Ken Blanchard style. Disappointed....more info
- Foundation for Team Building
We are launching Strategic Planning for the next 5 years...our facilitator of our Strategic Planning suggested that all 16 employees read this book before we launch our planning sessions...it was terrific! Gave everyone a volcabulary and context in which to work as we journey forward to make our own organization totally functional!!!!...more info
- Best book I've read all year
I read a great number of titles on leadership, organizational development, and team building.
This book, told as a fable, is a very quick read and will seem unlike any other book of this sort you've read. As you read it, you'll feel as though the author has been following you through your life at work. It's a very eerie feeling when you realize that each of the characters already works with you at your office.
I particularly enjoyed the focus on organizational alignment, team building, and healthy conflict. These are essential ingredients to the recipe for an excellent team!
I've recommended this book to several other executives where I work and have received 5 star ratings in return. ...more info
- Useful Model for Managers
One of the strongest books in Patrick Lencioni's growing body of publications, "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team" offers a solid Model for the practice of management. Utilizing Lencioni's "fable" storytelling framework, a clear articulation of the Model underlying the fable and the uncommon approach of showing what does *not* contribute to good teamwork (as opposed to what *does* work), this is an interesting and useful book for managers.
Readers with managerial responsibilities should find the Model espoused in this book both useful and straightforward. As in other Lencioni publications, this Model is simple to understand, but difficult to implement. While challenging in that respect, the principles put forth in this book make sense and are well articulated....more info
- Review - The Five Dysfunctions of a Team
Although this book is a quick read it lends itself completely to those in the corp, education or .org world or anyone looking for some easy, clear and doable steps to a better functioning team. The fable format was interesting and intriguing. The context of the book and its issues comes to life in most board rooms across the country and world. You will use the simple strategies recommended in this book for life. READ THIS BOOK, you will not be disappointed....more info