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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
    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 14 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.

21 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • 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.

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.

6 of 6 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

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  • Michael
  • Walnut Creek, CA, United States
  • 05-03-17

Almost Useful

I have to agree with the Five Dysfunctions of a Team:
Absence of trust, Fear of conflict, Lack of commitment, Avoidance of accountability, Inattention to team results
But the solutions proposed in this book, although they might help, seem inefficient and out of date. I have gone through almost identical programs with teams, and there was a little short term benefit but the techniques did not lead to lasting, meaningful change. Years later (after several intervening ineffective management initiatives) we adopted Scrum development which led, almost immediately, to evolutionary positive enduring change (which adds up quickly to substantial change). The off-sites in pretty places and trust-chairs described in this book are very slightly helpful, but Scrum is the first fully fleshed out system I have actually seen work.

4 of 4 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!

4 of 4 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

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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.)

3 of 3 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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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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  • Helen Dunnett
  • 07-09-13

Learn why building trust, builds your team

Would you consider the audio edition of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team to be better than the print version?

I loved the audio edition so much I bought the book. The book contains some great practical exercises at the end of the book to do with your team to build trust, to manage tough topics etc, so while I will probably listen to the book again, I use the print copy for reference.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team?

There were many lightbulbs moments in the book, but a couple that made me smile were when the CEO had her first face-to-face challenge with her sales manager, who had purposely booked a customer meeting in the middle of her first management retreat to avoid going. The way she managed it was poetic. Then other was when she told the story to her team about her own career mistakes. As a young consultant she hadn't understood the importance of The Team, and through her own naive logic promoted the team's high performer who was also the top team destroyer. She got fired.

What does Charles Stransky; introduction by Patrick Lencioni bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

I always prefer audio books that have been recorded with the author. It shows a level of care for the audience that I greatly appreciate. In this case Patrick recorded the introduction to set the scene, and having the voice and the picture, really helps me connect with him.

Charles Stransky does a great job telling the story (even if his English accent is terrible ;) ) His voice skills helps the listener focus on the meaning of the content rather than having to imagine the scenerio. Great job.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I was totally inspired after reading this book. I immediately starting discussing the concepts with my colleagues and I have the book with me as a constant reminder. It's not something that I can fully take on board in one go, so I plan to go through it again on my next road trip, to cover the key topics more thoroughly.

Any additional comments?

Highly recommend it. The storytelling approach really worked for me to understand how to apply the theory. Thumbs up!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-22-18

Super digestable, valuable content

Loved the unique take on teaching leadership by telling a story. It's a short book that's filled with useful content tht you can start implementing within your own teams without disrupting the flow of work. Highly recommended!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Dení a.
  • 09-25-18

Good short story

Enjoyed listening to it, it was highly recommended. As any other book or course it is practise that makes a real difference

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ben
  • 08-22-18

Informative and thought provoking

I liked the way it was written, using a story to get a roos the points made it an easy listen and enabled me to better associate it to my current challenges.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-19-18

Interesting book

Good book for those who work with teams or are trying to develop there team. its a good book to start with to understand to how to build a collaborative team. I learned a lot.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jeff Griffin
  • 08-07-18

good read

good read to get you started or add to your toolset in business management and learning

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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
  • 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.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • 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
  • 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.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • sanjiv
  • 06-21-16

Leadership Concepts explained in a case study

Loved it
found very difficult to pause.
highly recommended.
leadership concepts explained in a story setting.
The five dysfunctions can become a base for any management teams success.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Michelle Bourke
  • 05-19-16

Brilliant parable

Really listenable and I loved the format of a story based approach then followed by going through the dysfunctions in detail.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Daniel
  • 04-16-16

Great book

Great story and a lot to learn from it as well. Will listen to it again :)

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Katie
  • 02-15-16

Amazing book!

I loved the story format of this book. Such a refreshing change from the usual advice and example format.

There wasn't anything I disliked. I'll probably end up buying the paper or kindle version.