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The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable [Hardcover]

Patrick M. Lencioni
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 11 2002 J-B Lencioni Series (Book 13)
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.

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The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable + Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Field Guide for Leaders, Managers, and Facilitators + Death by Meeting: A Leadership Fable...About Solving the Most Painful Problem in Business
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Product Description

From Amazon

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

From Publishers Weekly

In keeping with the parable style, Lencioni (The Five Temptations of a CEO) 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. 100,000 first printing.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Not finance. Not strategy. Not technology. It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both because it is so powerful and so rare. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Help for Dysfunctional Teams Dec 3 2002
Patrick Lencioni has written an exceptionally interesting fable on optimal team performance. He has prescribed guidelines for team success and applied them in an interesting, easy to read story with a twist. He has defined easy to follow principles that with practice can lead any group or team, large or small to be great.
The book begins with a story of a potentially great company with a dysfunctional executive staff. Even though this company assembled some of the best executives and attracted top tier investors (compared to their closest competitors), the company was on a downslide. Morale was slipping and key employees were leaving. The CEO (and co-founder) was relieved of his title by the board and the search for his successor began.
This company, Decision Tech, was a high profile, two years old company with much at stake. The chairman of the board pushed for hiring Kathryn, an ancient fifty-seven years old by Silicon Valley standards. Employees and the executive staff were stunned with the news of the new hire.
The story develops by weaving Lencioni's team dysfunctions into its web. The fable is enticing and not typical of your "how to produce" guidelines book. The author keeps your interest while at the same time introducing and teaching his methods.
At the end of the story, Mr. Lencioni reviews all levels of team dysfunctions and summarizes and reiterates each. Therefore reinforcing his principles and eliminating confusion.
This is the first book I have read by this author. I found it entertaining, yet very informative. I enjoyed the novel format while receiving important informational steps for success in a team or group.
I would highly recommend this book to any person or group seeking to improve or turn around the team in which they belong. It would be a great tool for corporate teams or even the local high school basketball team. All teams would greatly benefit from Mr. Lencioni's advice.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Five Dysfunctions of a Team - 31/2 Stars Dec 22 2003
By A Customer
The fictitious story used to expand on the five dysfunctions was very entertaining at the least. Ultimately, the principles outlined in the book are the utopia of teamwork. However, they are not really practical. I find myself after reading through the book still waiting for the true message on team work that I could really apply in the real world. The author does attempt to expand on his view at the end of the book but falls really short in my opinion of adding any real value.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Superficial non-"real world" advice June 21 2002
By A Customer
I am an avid reader, especially of books in the self-help and management classification. I must honestly say that in the last 10 years, this book ranks as the WORST book I have read in the area of management and leadership.
To be fair, it is well written, and an easy read. In fact I was able to read it in just two sittings during travel. Moreover, the overall concepts that the author presents are clear and seem reasonable. So why the bad review?
The fact is the author takes a far too simplistic approach to dealing with the frailties and motivations of individuals. The fictional case study is far too perfect. It is like watching a re-run of "Father Knows Best" and using that as the typical American Family. It is nice to think it, but in practice the world is not that way.
The book does not do justice to some of the real world issues in team leadership: backstabbing employees, co-dependent relationships, substance abuse, neurosis, and overall un-manageable people.
While the book presents some general principals which might work in a "laboratory setting" the leader who trys to follow this verbatim may be in for a shock at the results.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Whose team are you on? Jan. 21 2008
This is one in a series of "leadership fables" in which Patrick Lencioni shares his thoughts about the contemporary business world. His characters are fictitious human beings rather than anthropomorphic animals, such as a tortoise that wins a race against a hare or pigs that lead a revolution to overthrow a tyrant and seize control of his farm.

In this instance, Lencioni focuses on "the rarity" of effective teamwork, noting that "teams, because they are made up of imperfect human beings, are inherently dysfunctional." Is teamwork therefore doomed to failure? No. According to Lencioni, productive collaboration can be achieved by certain behaviors that are "at once theoretically uncomplicated, but extremely difficult to put into practice day after day." Moreover, the principles that guide and inform these behaviors "apply to more than just teamwork. I fact, I stumbled upon them somewhat by accident in pursuit of a theory about leadership" that he discusses in an earlier work, The Five Temptations of the CEO (1998).

Here's the fictional situation. A new CEO, 57 year-old Kathryn Petersen, has been hired by the board of DecisionTech to replace its co-founder and former CEO, 37-year-old Jeff Shanley, who continues to head the firm's business development. He was (in effect) forced to step down primarily because, although DecisionTech's 150 employees "seemed to like him well enough personally, they couldn't deny that under his leadership the atmosphere within the company had become increasingly troubling. Backstabbing among the executives had become increasingly troubling."

Almost immediately, it becomes obvious that Kathryn "just didn't seem to fit the DecisionTech culture" and that is a key point for reasons best revealed within Lencioni's narrative.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Either is fine, since the point is not a compelling story ...
This book was helpful in illustrating the basic challenges of team development. It was short and developed the points quickly. The fable was simple, perhaps even simplistic. Read more
Published 6 days ago by Robert Lee
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow
Must read book.
Published 3 months ago by Stéphane Pilon
3.0 out of 5 stars Good information but not fun to read
Good information but not fun to read. That said, it's possible to relate the characters to your work mates and identify where your behavior and that of your team is hurting your... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Scott F
5.0 out of 5 stars Book review
Great book, I've read other work from Patrick too. Also saw him at the 2013 Willow Creek Global Leadership Conference
Published 4 months ago by Arnie Wohlgemut
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Team Development Resource
I found this publication to be quite helpful to me in completing an assignment on team development. Understanding the model helps identify a team's strengths and weaknesses.
Published 5 months ago by Denise Harrison
3.0 out of 5 stars not the best of Patrick's book, but good!
I had to read for a Team Building seminar at work, which introduced me to Patrick Lencioni's work. Since I have read many other of his books and others are much more interesting. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Marie
5.0 out of 5 stars great story about teams
The book is separated into 2 sections. The novel or story section is truly captivating and engaging. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Daniel Cayouette
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Fable
Lencioni has a very easy to read and interesting writing style. Great lessons for the novice and veteran leader. I've read it more than once!
Published 10 months ago by Michele
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book, love this author!
This author is so easily readable and easy to understand - he writes like a fable or a story, so it isn't dry and you actually want to keep reading. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Cecily Bengert
5.0 out of 5 stars Do your Management Team a favor. Read this book!
Without a doubt, this is my favorite management team book for understanding team dynamics. The situations are real, the dysfunctions are real and the suggestions for building a... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Vince Hanson
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