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The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable | [Patrick Lencioni]

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable

In keeping with the parable style, Patrick Lencioni 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. Succinct yet sympathetic, this guide will be a boon for those struggling with the inherent difficulties of leading a group.
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Publisher's Summary

In keeping with the parable style, Patrick Lencioni 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.

Building a cohesive team is not complicated, declares Lencioni. Departing from the dry, theoretical writing of many management books, he presents his case in the context of a fictional organization, and in doing so succeeds at communicating his ideas. The scenarios are recognizable and can be applied anywhere teamwork is involved, whether it is a multinational company, a small department within a larger organization, or a sports team. At the end of the story, the main points are summarized, and clearly expressed suggestions and exercises are offered to help bring about change. Concise and easy to follow, this program is recommended for anyone who is a member of a team that needs improvement.

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team is also available in print from Wiley.

Executive Producer: Karen DiMattia
Producer: John McElroy
© 2002 Patrick Lencioni
(P)2002 Random House Inc.

What the Critics Say

"A gripping analysis of what makes teams work effectively. This fine work is a must-read for any leader that has come to grips with the fact that no one makes progress - much less succeeds - alone." (James Amos, president and CEO, Mail Boxes Etc.)

What Members Say

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  •  
    Eugene El Cajon, CA, USA 02-10-05
    Eugene El Cajon, CA, USA 02-10-05
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    "Bland"

    This book discusses the 5 key fundamental problems with teamwork, and hopes to illustrate its concepts with a fictional story. While somewhat interesting and humorous at times, the story was excessively detailed and does not relate to the principles directly. Hence, I could not remain focused on the story.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Walter Reade Appleton, WI United States 03-12-03
    Walter Reade Appleton, WI United States 03-12-03 Listener Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very Practical and Insightful"

    This is a genuinely significant book for anyone who works in a team environment, whether at work, in sports, in the community, at home, etc. Of all the business books I have read on team building, "Five Dysfunctions" stands at the top of the pack. The strength of this book lies in the fact that it gets at the ROOTS of team failure. Anyone who has been forced to go through corporate "team building" sessions and sing with their fellow co-workers knows that it is an approach that doesn't work! The principles presented in "Five Dysfunctions" are solid and will get results.

    A great strength of the book is that it avoids the all-too-frequent tendency of creating tension and then resolving it more quickly than would happen in real life. Reading the story gives you a sense of the effort needed to work through the dysfunctions of a team. The tools are presented to the reader, but without the illusion of a quick fix. Rather, "Five Dysfunctions" gives a simple message that inspires, energizes, and creates a vision of hope for how thing could be in a team.

    One "a-ha" experience I had while reading this book is that some of the teams I have been on - teams where we all got along just fine - shared at least some of the five dysfunctions which made them less than effective. While these teams were quite accomplished at the superficial types of team building activities that are so popular, we avoided the core issues that Lencioni discusses in his book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erika 01-26-15
    Erika 01-26-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Wonderful"

    This was a very thought-provoking story and kept my attention for the full time. Whenever I felt I missed something important, I jumped back and listened again. Worth it!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marty East Thetford, VT, United States 12-23-10
    Marty East Thetford, VT, United States 12-23-10 Member Since 2008

    Marty Jacobs consults in the areas of strategic planning, board governance, leadership development, and community engagement.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Approach to Team Building"

    This book is written as a fable about a high tech firm that is struggling to make head way in its market, and the key issue is that the leadership team does not function effectively as a team. Lencioni uses this fable approach because it makes it easier for the reader to identify with the characters, and thus, the learning sinks in more effectively. The approach certainly worked for me. As the story evolves, Lencioni reveals each of the five dysfunctions (absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability, and inattention to results) and how this particular leadership team overcomes these dysfunctions. He emphasizes that creating functional teams is an on-going process and not a one shot deal and that the process isn't linear - there is often back sliding and then movement forward again. At the end of the book, he includes a guide for using the model which covers an overview of the five dysfunctions, details of how to overcome each dysfunction, and a discussion of how the five are integrated. He emphasizes that the model is simple in theory, but it is difficult in practice.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roman 05-04-08
    Roman 05-04-08
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    "Usefull. Highly recommend."

    Book would be useful for anyone who has to work in groups. I could relate to the story though being a technical leader of a small team at the IT company.
    Very entertaining fable as well.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jerry Germantown, WI, USA 02-04-04
    Jerry Germantown, WI, USA 02-04-04
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    "Best book I've heard from audible!"

    Great business 'fiction'. Useful / applicable lessons. Terrific narration. This one has it all. I plan to listen to it again soon to help the lessons sink in. The book is fun and easy to listen to. The principles aren't revolutionary, but I count the time well-spent.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heizenberg Wisconsin 10-18-03
    Heizenberg Wisconsin 10-18-03 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Must Read for Any Manager"

    Patrick Lencioni again does an awesome job of covering some of the most fundamental and important pitfalls that leaders must learn to avoid. This is a must read for new or experienced managers, directors, COOs, CEOs, etc. If you've ever wondered how some people seem to rise up so fast in an organization and then amazingly fail even faster, listen to this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Crozet, VA, USA 09-04-03
    David Crozet, VA, USA 09-04-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Logical, Entertaining, and Useful"

    I was skeptical about this book until I read the other reviews. Their praise convinced me to try it and I found their guidance quite accurate. This was a well-written book on a timeless and important topic to anyone in business today. The narrator was excellent and made listening a pleasure. The book was presented in a story example of a company run by a disfunctional team and their new CEO who was chosen to fix it. It is easy to see parallels from this team to any team. The CEO's approach was also interesting to hear and I learned from her actions in the story as well.
    I found myself wishing I could take notes and paused the book at the end so I could listen to the summary of the points with paper in hand.
    I will be looking for others from this author and this narrator as a result of this positive experience.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dan houston, TX, USA 02-19-03
    Dan houston, TX, USA 02-19-03
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    "Very Interesting Story"

    The management story was very captivating. I think this should be a must read for anyone stepping into a management position with a new company. Lays a good framework for dealing with the political struggles that are bound to arise. The only negative was that the recap information (after the story) seemed to be a bit rushed, almost as though the author was running out of disk space.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kyle 08-28-15
    Kyle 08-28-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Great book"

    fabulous narrator, he gave a great performance and made it easy to distinguish different characters throughout the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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