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The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

A Leadership Fable
Length: 3 hrs and 42 mins
Categories: Business, Leadership
4.5 out of 5 stars (10,486 ratings)

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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.

©2002 Patrick Lencioni
(P)2002 Random House Inc.

Critic Reviews

"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

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Mark
  • Raleigh, NC, USA
  • 01-18-03

Clear Headed Guidance on Building Teams

This book uses a story about a newly created management team as the backdrop for it's lessons. If you liked the clear and concise story approach used in "Who Moved My Cheese?" or "Fish!" you'll enjoy this audiobook. There is a good summary at the end which is well worth sitting down and taking notes from.

25 of 27 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great approach to the topic

At first I was annoyed by the fact that 80% of the book is a fictional account of an executive team working through the dysfunctions. But I've found that the story (and lessons) has stuck with me much better than had this been a straight non-fiction leadership book. I look forward to more books from this author.

24 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Will
  • Englewood, CO, USA
  • 04-04-05

The BEST book on teamwork available!

One of the great things about fables is the ability to identify with characters. Lencioni makes it easy to gauge where you are in your success and/or failure in building an awesome team. You will NOT be an effective leader without overcoming the 5 dysfunctions of a team.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A coherent framework for thinking about teams

This was a worthwhile listen - short, sweet, and a great distillation of what most experienced team leaders have in their head as common sense. The five dysfunctions are real, readily applied in the real world, and I have yet to find a colleague who didn't immediately appreciate this way of looking at how people work together to solve problems.

Constantly wondering why your team isn't as effective as it should be? Listen to this book. I did, and it really helped me in how I lead my team (I am VP-Technology for a professional services firm). This is the first audio title, after 3 years of audible.com, that made me want to go out and get the hard copy of the book for my office reference bookshelf.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Good concepts and great medium to convey them...

Truly enjoyed the story. Leadership concepts conveyed in the book are, quality, basic ideas and to the point, re-iteration and real-life scenarios have been plugged in very well.
The usage of a storyline to convey the theme is quite effective for some folks, giving the content more "spice", other readers/listeners who do not like story based books might want to skip out on this one. The narrator does a great job as well, kudos to him and the authors.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Gensho
  • Lynnwood, WA, USA
  • 08-07-04

Simply stated

Lencioni does a wonderful job of characterizing the different personalities that are found within most organizations. You'll recognize co-workers in an instant! Lencioni breaks down the pitfalls of a team to five key points...and hits the nail on the head. I've begun to build my management team around these five principals and have experienced great success.

Double thumbs up!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mark
  • Singapore, N/A, Singapore
  • 02-02-03

Excellent. Engaging. Uplifting

I strongly recommend this book. Situations were fictional but realistic. This is my first "non-fiction" fiction book and I like it! This is filled with positive energy.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Entertaining Education

The business fable is entertaining education. A great listen. I wish Patrick Lencioni had many more.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Marty
  • East Thetford, VT, United States
  • 12-23-10

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jason
  • Erie, CO, USA
  • 04-08-05

Improving yourself and your team

This book was both enjoyable and educational. Patrick Lencioni lays out the principles needed to create great business teams. I'm having everyone at work listen to it and they find it just as intersting and helpful.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Browns View
  • 12-23-12

Compelling listen

Thought provoking listen, which had me hooked. Most of the book revolves around the goings on in a fictional - and, of course, dysfunctional - company; many of the scenarios raised in the will resonate. (The last part of the book, which goes through each of the five dysfunctions in a more formal way perhaps works less well in audio-book form.)

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jamie Hart
  • 02-14-18

Concise and useful

Like the way he introduces the concept in a story and then gives practical tips on its implementation.
One to keep and return to.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • C. Griffiths
  • 09-20-19

A Must Listen for Anyone in Leadership...

Toxic work cultures kill...people's drive, their capacity for creativity, their spirit and their joy.

So why do business leaders still tolerate the poison apples?

1. Failure to recognise the culprit/s
2. Inability to challenge bad behaviour
3. A stupid misconception that it will all work itself out
4. An equally stupid belief that friction is good ...(yes really)
5. Lack of a back bone

If you're working in a toxic hell-hole - give your boss and your colleagues this - if you can expense it - even better, if not, it's worth the investment!

If only listening to this was mandatory for all managers / leaders....

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • DEAN
  • 05-09-17

well worth a listen. focused at senior managers

good listen and interesting story, as a manager of a large team of field based engineers it would prove difficult to implement some of the model. but a good book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Joe Foran
  • 12-15-16

loved it

Great book. Brilliantly explained principles on team development and performance. A must for every manager. Thank you Audible.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kirsty
  • 12-23-12

Powerful

Love the way this book is written as a story. It makes it easier to digest. It provokes some powerful questions about the teams you work in but provides the insight to help make them. It's logical and easy to understand. It's a must if you want to take your team to the next level and beyond.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-19-19

Good and solid title

Provides good tools and methods to implement in your team. The story just helps to get a better grip on the situation

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-04-19

Amazing

Loved every bit of the book. It has some deep insights into team working. As easy it may seem sometimes it is indeed difficult to have a cohesive team rowing in the same direction.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • "onefortheroad"
  • 10-17-19

What’s with the accent? It’s offensive

Great book, good content but what is the deal with the appalling English accent for one of the characters. It borders on offensive to the English. None of the other characters have an accent and I assume that are are all not from Blandsville USA! Please re-record these lines

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Louise Snowdon
  • 10-14-19

helping to identify what needs to change

I really found the idea of having most of this delivered in story form very helpful. Nice and clear, broken down into 5 key areas that need assessing for any team. Lots of awareness and practical tools given to implement in your team.

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  • Shane
  • 09-16-19

Great listen, good information.

A lot to take in but very worthwhile. I will certainly revisit the last section on how to implement as there was a lot of information to absorb.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • James
  • 08-29-19

Brilliant - 5 people recommended it so I read...

No wonder so many people said to read the book- phenomenal! If you are apart of any team or run a team in a Business, School, Not For Profit than this book is a must read!!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Luke
  • 07-27-19

A very easy read

The use of a fable to describe the 5 dysfunctions of a team was entertaining, engaging and easy to understand

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-21-19

Relevant and practical!

Loved this. Fable made it easy to understand the practical implications and implementation of the model. Couldnt stop listening.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Bruce
  • 10-11-18

Brilliant

This is a brilliant guide to leading a team not only in the workplace, but I all areas of life. If you interact with people, at all, I strongly recommend this book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Laure
  • 10-02-18

A must for everyone leading a team!

Everyone leading a team or who wants to be part of a successful ream should read this book.
I wish I had discovered it before.
Simple concepts are shared in a story very easy to read.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • nikki
  • 07-23-18

Worth listening to again

The first time I listened to this I didn’t get it & wasn’t sure what all the fuss was about. But a year or so later after a difficult year with a team that should have been successful but just couldn’t get it together I have listened to it again and see clearly why my team didn’t succeed. We were dysfunctional and I didn’t see it. Now I am excited to start implementing strategies to bring us together.

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  • Art
  • 10-31-16

Great fables and some practical how to at the end

Easy to listen to, engrossing and very inspiring from beginning to end. Advice: pause and/or rewind for reflection to make the best use of it

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kimberly Smith
  • 07-15-16

Compulsory Leadership reading

This is a must read (& must understand) for anyone leading teams or working in them.
Understanding the foundation of trust and the NECESSITY of conflict are keys to healthy team dynamics and more productive outputs.
The allegory is a good way to get the reader connecting to personalities and relating them to one's own team culture.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • kris
  • 07-05-16

Narration performance is outstanding.

Narrative format make the content easy to digest. The content in this audio book will be useful for any team, not just executive teams.