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The Three Signs of a Miserable Job

Narrated by: Dan Woren
Length: 4 hrs and 55 mins
Categories: Business, Career Skills
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,014 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In his sixth fable, best-selling author Patrick Lencioni takes on a topic that almost everyone can relate to: the causes of a miserable job.

Millions of workers, even those who have carefully chosen careers based on true passions and interests, dread going to work, suffering each day as they trudge to jobs that make them cynical, weary, and frustrated. It is a simple fact of business life that any job, from investment banker to dishwasher, can become miserable.

Through the story of a CEO turned pizzeria manager, Lencioni reveals the three elements that make work miserable: irrelevance, immeasurability, and anonymity. And he gives managers and their employees the keys to make any job more fulfilling.

As with all of Lencioni's books, this one is filled with actionable advice you can put into effect immediately. In addition to the fable, the book includes a detailed model examining the three signs of job misery and how they can be remedied. It covers the benefits of managing for job fulfillment within organizations, increased productivity, greater retention, and competitive advantage, and it offers examples of how managers can use the applications in the book to deal with specific jobs and situations.

©2007 Patrick Lencioni (P)2007 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • John
  • Flemington, NJ, USA
  • 08-30-07

Insightful, simple look at all employee's needs

Patrick once again has written a very insightful and entertaining book regarding leadership. In this case, he concentrates on how management can change the culture, increase output and productivity, and improve employee commitment and retention. He identifies the important traits/needs of everyone, and provides some great tools and examples of how to utilize these in motivating and working with your employees. By applying these, it would appear that drastic improvements of employee morale can be attained. To think that it is just three factors: Irrelevance, Immeasurement and Anonymity, that destroy our framework for working effectively in our jobs is just brillant, but so simple. This book is an easy and must read for all that manage people.

26 of 26 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Diane
  • ALEXANDRIA, VA, United States
  • 11-13-13

Another gem

Would you listen to The Three Signs of a Miserable Job again? Why?

Yes - The fable format works for me, making the concepts memorable.

What other book might you compare The Three Signs of a Miserable Job to and why?

Anything else by Patrick Lencioni. Everything he writes has some gems. He simplifies complex issues and yet keeps focused on organizational health.

Any additional comments?

The three signs are anonymity, irrelevance and lack of measurement. In other words, to enjoy a job, we must feel a personal connection, know that our work has meaning and know how to measure it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A good book

I great look at what motivates employees and can keep them motivated and working. Could help with employee retention.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Concept Is Great

I agree with the idea 100%; however, there were major flaws in the presentation and delivery. I understand using a story to present the concept. It makes you invested in the characters and their success, which in turn, makes you invested in the concept that is responsible for their success. Unfortunately, the author is piss-poor at executing proper dialogue or writing engaging storytelling at all. Additionally, the concept is broken down into three parts (the three signs), which are present, at least to me, out of order and illogically.
This book really does have a wonderful approach to management, and I would recommend it for sure. But it really could do with a full literary overhaul (not just a title change).

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  • PW
  • 10-22-19

great book

I have learned a lot from Patrick Lencioni. Sometimes the fable can drag on a bit and seem a little unrealistic but the core message is translated to the reader/listener and that is what matters. I highly recommend all of Patrick Lencioni's work.

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really enjoyed it

this book really spoke to me. I have a great high paying job and wondered why I was so miserable at work. although this didn't solve my issue it helped me to understand at a deeper level what I can do to change it.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I wish that I had read this years ago.

This is worth more than you'll pay for it. I sincerely wish I had found this when I first got into management. It carries over into teaching adults and team building, as well.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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great, like always.

another great, riveting story with tons of practical applications. if you have people reporting to you at work or elsewhere, it's for you.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Brilliant and Necessary

Every manager needs to read this book. Every person needs to read this book! Because of what I learned here I quit my miserable job of 12 years and I'm applying these principles to my freelance work.
As someone with degrees in management, HR, counseling, and spiritual formation, I cannot recommend this work enough. Why has it taken so long for someone in a position of power to recognize the impact of a miserable work culture?
We cannot afford to ignore these problems in our lives and in our culture. Read this book now. Seriously. Now.

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    5 out of 5 stars

A very important book.

Very good idea to present the theory while using stories. You learn how yo apply it in practice.
Every human who is involved in managing should definitely read this book.