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

Patrick M. Lencioni
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
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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.

From Library Journal

Building a cohesive team is not complicated, declares Lencioni, president of his own management consulting firm and author of The Five Temptations of a CEO. 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 story is about a female CEO who is hired to bring together a dysfunctional executive staff to work as a team in a company that just two years earlier had looked promising. The scenarios that follow 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. The five dysfunctions discussed are absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability, and inattention to results. At the end of the story, the main points are summarized, and clearly written suggestions and exercises are offered to help bring about change. Concise and easy to follow, this book is recommended for academic and public libraries with management collections and for anyone who is a member of a team that needs improvement. Bellinda Wise, Nassau Community Coll. Lib., Garden City, NY
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

The final installment in a trilogy that includes The Five Temptations of a CEO (1998) and The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive (2000), this fictional story demonstrates how a new CEO reforms a dysfunctional executive team with a series of sometimes-painful off-site meetings designed to break them of bad habits. The company has superior tangible and intangible assets yet is behind its competitors in terms of revenue and customer growth. When Kathryn is brought on board to figure out why, she forces her reluctant team to examine their interpersonal behaviors, such as letting individual ego get in the way of team goals. She demands healthy conflict and accountability among the group and vigilantly prevents them from sliding back into old habits. Losing a couple executives in the process, she succeeds in turning the company around. Lencioni demonstrates his points effectively by getting the reader involved in the characters and the tension between them. He wraps up this "leadership fable" with a brief discussion containing additional suggestions on overcoming the five deadly dysfunctions. David Siegfried
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

In keeping with the parable style, Lencioni (The Five Temptations of a CEO) begins by telling the fable of 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, president of his own management consulting firm and author of The Five Temptations of a CEO. 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 story is about a female CEO who is hired to bring together a dysfunctional executive staff to work as a team in a company that just two years earlier had looked promising. The scenarios that follow 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. The five dysfunctions discussed are absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability, and inattention to results. At the end of the story, the main points are summarized, and clearly written suggestions and exercises are offered to help, bring about change. Concise and easy to follow, this book is recommended for academic and public libraries with management collections and for anyone who is a member of a team that needs improvement. —Bellinda Wise, Nassau Community Call. Lib. Garden City, NY (Library Journal, April 15, 2002)

"...there is a lot of good sense in this book...certainly offers some useful pointers..." (Supply Management, 28 March 2002)

"...is worth exploring..." (Progress, Summer 2002)

"...an entertaining quick read filled with information easy to digest..." (The star online, 12 August 2003)

Review

"As compelling, readable and practical as his other books. I'm sure this will be another business classic."
Richard Carr, President & CEO, TEC International

"Every manager and executive will recognize themselves somewhere in this book. Lencioni distills the problems that keep even the most talented teams from realizing their full potential. Even more important, he shows — in prose that is crisp, clear, and fun to read — how to solve them."
Geoffrey A. Moore, Chairman, The Chasm Group, Author, Crossing the Chasm; Inside the Tornado; Living on the Fault Line

"I read most best-selling business books. What sets Lencioni apart is his ability to provide insightful and practical solutions to complex management challenges."
Phillip Hildebrand, Executive VP and Chief Distribution Officer, New York Life Insurance Company

"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.

"Compelling and incisive, this will become the definitive guide on how to build and manage successful teams."
Jean Kovacs, president and CEO, Comergent Technologies

From the Publisher

"As compelling, readable and practical as his other books. I'm sure this will be another business classic." (Richard Carr, President & CEO, TEC International)

"Every manager and executive will recognize themselves somewhere in this book. Lencioni distills the problems that keep even the most talented teams from realizing their full potential. Even more important, he shows -- in prose that is crisp, clear, and fun to read -- how to solve them." (Geoffrey A. Moore, Chairman, The Chasm Group, Author, Crossing the Chasm; Inside the Tornado; Living on the Fault Line)

"I read most best-selling business books. What sets Lencioni apart is his ability to provide insightful and practical solutions to complex management challenges." (Phillip Hildebrand, Executive VP and Chief Distribution Officer, New York Life Insurance Company)

"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.)

"Compelling and incisive, this will become the definitive guide on how to build and manage successful teams." (Jean Kovacs, president and CEO, Comergent Technologies)

From the Inside Flap

After her first two weeks observing the problems at DecisionTech, Kathryn Petersen, its new CEO, had more than a few moments when she wondered if she should have taken the job. But Kathryn knew there was little chance she would have turned it down. After all, retirement had made her antsy, and nothing excited her more than a challenge. What she could not have known when she accepted the job, however, was just how dysfunctional her team was, and how team members would challenge her in ways that no one ever had before.

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, DecisionTech’s CEO, faces the ultimate leadership crisis: uniting a team that is 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 riveting tale serves as a timeless reminder that leadership requires as much courage as it does insight.

Throughout the story, Lencioni reveals the five dysfunctions that 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 deceptively simple yet powerful message for all those who strive to be exceptional team leaders.

From the Back Cover

Praise for Patrick Lencioni

"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 H. Amos Jr., president and CEO, Mail Boxes Etc.

"Every manager and executive will recognize themselves somewhere in this book. Lencioni distills the problems that keep even the most talented teams from realizing their full potential. Even more important, he shows–in prose that is crisp, clear, and fun to read–how to solve them."
—Geoffrey A. Moore, chairman, The Chasm Group; author, Crossing the Chasm, Inside the Tornado, and Living on the Fault Line

"This book is as thought-provoking, insightful, and rich with ideas as The Five Temptations of a CEO. I’ve used it with my team and it works!"
—Phillip J. Hildebrand, executive vice president and chief distribution officer, New York Life Insurance Company

"Compelling and incisive, this will become the definitive guide on how to build and manage successful teams."
—Jean Kovacs, president and CEO, Comergent Technologies

"As practical, readable and compelling as his other books. I’m sure this will be another business classic."
—Richard Carr, president and CEO, TEC International

About the Author

Patrick Lencioni is president of The Table Group, a San Francisco Bay Area management consulting firm, and author of the best-selling books The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive and The Five Temptations of a CEO. In addition to his work as an executive coach and consultant, Pat is a sought-after speaker. Prior to founding The Table Group, he worked at the management consulting firm Bain & Company, Oracle Corporation, and Sybase, where he was vice president of organizational development. He is on numerous advisory boards and sits on the National Board of Directors for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America. Over the years, Pat has worked with hundreds of executive teams and CEOs–all struggling, at one time or another, with the potential for dysfunction among their teams.
Pat lives with his wife, Laura, and their twin boys, Matthew and Connor, in the San Francisco Bay Area. You can reach him at The Table Group’s web site, www.tablegroup.com, or at patricklencioni@tablegroup.com.

From AudioFile

Using the fable mode, listeners get a fly-on-the-wall perspective of a management team's interactions. Charles Stransky tidily characterizes each of the players at a high-tech company--the newly hired CEO and his highly dysfunctional team of managers, including the former CEO, the CFO, the COO, etc. Each character has his/her own agenda, and the listener can also hear his/her voice, thanks to the skillful Stransky, who delivers a solid narration, along with an inspiring strategy. Business leaders can glean strategy, examples, and determination through this fable. At the end, there are no-nonsense step-by-step directions to follow to create a functional team within any organization. D.L.M. © AudioFile 2006, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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