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The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable
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The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  20,809 ratings  ·  1,156 reviews
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, D...more
Hardcover, 227 pages
Published April 11th 2002 by Jossey-Bass (first published January 1st 2002)
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Community Reviews

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To pharse things positively:

1. Trust one another in order to admit mistakes and ability to be vulnerable.

2. Have an ability to engage in unfiltered conflict around ideas. It is important for people to air disagreements and walk out without collatoral damage.

3. People need to commit to unified goals and plans of action. There needs to be some level of personal investment in order for dramatic, positive change.

4. People need to hold one another accountable for plans. They need to be able to confro...more
I've been in corporate America for just under 4 years now. In my time, I've never really bought into the majority of management strategies I've seen because well, they blatantly do not work; and if they do, its at an absurd cost of employee retention, dissatisfaction and needless overwork.

Passive aggressiveness, no accountability, scared of conflict... I see it too often, and I'm constantly frustrated by it. And just when I thought I was alone, I read this book and was completely blown away. Eve...more
Bear with me. I am doubly skeptical of models as methods versus tools (I will explain later) and of corporate literature. With that bias, this book would have been lucky to get three stars from me. Please keep that in mind.

What I mean by a model as a method versus a tool is that when a model is presented to help people try and understand how something functions I have no problem with it. Meyers-Briggs personality test is a great example. Fun to take and compare with people and get an idea of whe...more
This is a one of the best business novels out there. I love the idea of introducing concepts through a storyline of a fictional organization. The only thing better would be if it were based on actual events that was told in story form.

Kathryn is a CEO who takes over a company struggling with its market share and profit. She has the courage to attack the difficult issues rarely losing her composure and delivers criticism in a way that it mostly encourages discussion and positive conflict. I canno...more
Jan 25, 2009 jack added it
forced to read this one for work. did some awful group work with it also. really not that helpful in a bullshit retail situation.
First line: "Only one person thought Kathryn was the right choice to become CEO of DecisionTech, Inc.

Summary: Lencioni identifies five problems with executive teams, which he presents through a story (fable) and then analyzes.

Spoilers! In as much as reference books can have spoilers.

The 5 dysfunctions are:
1. Absence of trust. Where trust is comfort with showing vulnerability and admitting mistakes to teammates.
2. Fear of conflict. Teams need to be able to have passionate debate and walk away...more
Feb 12, 2013 Cassandra rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone interested in team dynamics
Recommended to Cassandra by: employer
Shelves: work
This was the first selection in my company's optional six-book book club, centered around management-type topics. Management is something I have no desire to get involved with, but I'm always game for a book club and I wanted to gain better insight into why the relatively healthy dynamics where I work now differ so strongly from those at every other job I've ever worked. And how to perserve these dynamics and flourish in them. Based on my prejudices and the (partial) title "The Five Dysfunctions...more
Daniel Silvert
Five Dysfunctions of a Team
As a consultant who has worked with hundreds of teams in organizations large and small, I can attest that model outlined in “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” is both accurate in it’s root diagnosis of team dysfunctionalism, and is as pervasive as human nature itself. As with all of Lencioni’s books, he opens with a fable and concludes with the model that is the basis for the story’s solution. In the fable, a new CEO is confronted with a dysfunctional executive team and...more
Robert Chapman
I read this book 10 years ago when it was first released. Back then I was at a point in my career where the lessons of this book were not really applicable to my circumstances. I decided to give it another read as I remembered it to be a good book and since its release it has also gained a reputation as one of the better books on the topics of Leadership and Organizational Development.

The book tells a story to illustrate the dysfunctions using the setting of an executive team in a fictitious com...more
Isaac Yuen
Usually books about leadership, teamwork, and organizational culture bore me to death, but this one is different; I finished it in around two hours, and it was an interesting read all the way through. As the description notes, Lencioni crafts a fictional but realistic story around a high-tech Silicon Valley startup in crisis: although they have better technology, expertise, and initial investments, in recent months they have been rapidly ceding their advantage to competitors. A new CEO renowned...more
Patrick Lencioni classified 5 dysfucntions of a team:
1. Abesent of trust
2. Fear of conflict
3. Lack of commitment
4. Avoidance of accountability
5. Inattention to result

The story is little bit strange to me as the recruit or promotion of a senior management seems to be so open and become a company decision instead of teh CEO make it final. It is not important for the theme of this book, just make me feel strange when reading this section. Is that cultural difference I found?

However, I woul...more
Josh Meares
Dec 05, 2012 Josh Meares rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Aaron Giesler
Good book ... well, good ideas anyway. Just like I like the idea of a business novel/fable. I've just yet to see one that is written by a real writer with ... you know ... characters and action and stuff. Still, it's more interesting than the usual business book.

What sets this book apart is not the sophistication of its ideas. It's not the clarity of the presentation or the detail of its implementation. Each idea on its own is commonsensical. But, the combination of ideas, in particular, the com...more
Dec 11, 2011 Rebecca rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Rebecca by: Merrie
Shelves: nonfiction, business, m
This was helpful, I think. I liked the suggestions for nonintrusive team-building exercises re personal histories and work contributions (below). If you don't have time to read this, the 5 dysfunctions are:
(1) absence of trust (manifests as invulnerability),
(2) fear of conflict (manifests as artificial harmony),
(3) lack of commitment (manifests as ambiguity),
(4) avoidance of accountability (manifests as low standards),
(5) inattention to results (manifests as status and ego).

Personal history...more
Loy Machedo

What the book is about?
1. A fictional tale of the corporate personality & process challenges people face on a day-to-day basis.
2. Written in a clear, easy-to-understand manner with each character being portrayed in a manner that anyone can relate to.
3. Divided into two parts - the first part being attributed to the fictional story and the second part being dedicated to the non-fictional and at times academic style of teaching and preaching.
4. A call-to-action on the 5 dysfunctions of a team...more
Vam Norrison
I'm relatively new to the corporate world and observe heavy reliance on inane hierarchical-pyramid models and very linear "cycles" designed to describe organizations, relationships, goals, processes, progress and, ultimately, success. 'Five Dysfunctions' is a great example. While I'd love to rip into this book's awkward narrative structure, cartoonish characters, and childish melodrama, I'm certain many already have. If this book is to be considered a fable, it is only for its oversimplification...more
Jeff Yoak
I really enjoyed this little book. It's been on my list for a while, and got moved to the front of the list as we're going to discuss it at a management retreat next month. I can see why it is a classic. It covers several problems in team dynamic that resonate with things we're already discussing. It is immediately on-topic and actionable.
Matthew Morrison
Was chosen for a work thing, then we all realized that it didn't apply to our group, because we actually aren't dysfunctional at all, so we scrapped our plan to discuss it and went skiing instead!
That being said, I did learn some very valuable lessons...ok, I didn't...but I did read it, at least. For the good of the team.
Douglas Wilson
A lot of good sense in this one.
James Blackmore
Our CEO sent this book out to the team a couple of months ago and it really came at a good time.

The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team illuminates the major reasons why people fail to work effectively together, and does so it an easy to read business fable that illustrates the point persuasively.

I especially liked the definition of "politics" which will stay with me for the rest of my life. Politics is when people are more concerned about how they are being perceived than what they actually think, as if t...more
I'm usually not a fan of managerial leadership books, but I actually enjoyed this one. Perhaps it was the genre (an extended fable about a woman named Kathryn,who assumes the role of CEO of the fictitious DecisionTech, Inc in Silicon Valley). Lots of good, common sense about leadership and team-building, with a focus on the inter-personal dynamics at play.

The 5 dysfunctions (and their corresponding behavioral manifestations) are accessibly presented in a Pyramid (with dysfunction #1 being the b...more
This is pop-business at its most simplistic...didactic leadership material light enough to be a beach read (which I did!). The characters in the "fable" were nearly just caricatures of a modern day executive team. The CEO is an old school matriarch come to save the modern organization gone worthless, and her schemes to make wise her lost executives are more and more cloying with every convenient payoff. The problem I worry is that many will read this book simply looking for ways to compare or ca...more
Josh Wilson
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team
Patrick Lencioni tells a compelling story in his book The Five Dysfunction of a Team to illustrate the problems with impede teams and the strategies which can help to overcome them. In easy, flowing prose Lencioni tells the story of Decision Tech, Inc and its new CEO Kathryn. Kathryn is abruptly hired to turn around Decision Tech, a company with loads of talent and potential that seems to perpetually underachieve. Lincioni describes the early days of Kathryn’s ten...more
A quick read. Had some useful info that I will use to improve my already fantastic team. I didn't like that it had an underlying assumption that the pursuit of profit (or whatever the organizations goals are) justifies treating people rather ruthlessly. I know it was just a story to illustrate some points, but I'd like to think that the greatest team leaders would value people as well as profits. A good team leader should be able to inspire and motivate people to bring out their strengths as wel...more
Some very good stuff in this book for anyone who has to work in an office environment. The way that Lencioni's leadership principles are couched into a fiction story makes it more interesting to read, and actually much more useful. It's a bit like watching actors play out tense office scenes that everyone has had the unfortunate privilege of being stuck in the middle of- except in this case the reader gets to be the "fly on the wall" who sees how these problems can be navigated more effectively.
I'm so sad that this is the first book I've finished in 2012. It was chosen for a book study at school. It's an easy read, and has some very good points and good information for team building. But, books like this are just annoying to me. I'm not a fan of fables. It feels condescending. They just aren't my thing.

Kathryn takes over as CEO of a software company and works to rebuild the leadership team of vice-presidents. She ruffles feathers, but ultimately prevails in building a cohesive, goal-or...more
Sarah Evan
Interesting way to conceptualize how a leader can lead and manage leaders for better working relationships. I read it in preparation for a leadership retreat I'm going to lead for a group I "coach" and found it one of many good resources to use as preparation. I especially liked the narrative and "case study" it uses to explain many aspects. I find the pyramid of 5 dysfunctions helpful but I wish it were in the affirmative as opposed to negative - my own version will have the "functional" compon...more
Although geared toward a business world audience, this book should be read by a wider audience. Reason 1: The dysfunctions of a team are dysfunctions that plague every relationship in some way. Understanding and working to change the dysfunctions will strengthen all types of relationships. Reason 2: The story gives valuable insight about conflict and how it can be embraced. The characters do not avoid or gloss over conflict as I do. Instead, we watch them navigate it in effective ways. I really...more
Carre Gardner
I never imagined I would give a business book a 5-star rating. In fact I never imagined I would even pick up a business book, but a friend passed this on to us, and being somewhat short of English-language reading material here in Russia, I gave it a try. The things that make this book readable are: 1)it's short, and 2)it's told as a story. The principles aren't just for businesspeople. They're sound advice for marriage, ministry teams, or any time you have more than one person forced to work to...more
Bob Wallner
Must read for anyone that works in teams. As relevant now as it was 12 years ago!

I personally enjoy business books written in fiction. They reel me in and excite me in a way that a non-fiction or text cannot. 5 Dysfunctions of a Team reeled me in completely. Even though I have not held executive office - I HAVE been on that team!

As usual I listened to the Audible version of this book and it was read well. The narrator captured the mood of the book perfectly.

Lastly I loved the fact that the autho...more
Ok so I started reading this book as a favor to my husband.
He loves this Author and I guess that seems fitting since his Dad works for this Author and teaches this model to companies all over the World.
Anyways, I was fully prepared to read a boring, drawn out business book but I was surprised to see that the Author taught us his model through an actual story or analogy.
This book in short basically teaches the proper functions of a team in the workplace and I could see things I was doing wrong...more
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Patrick Lencioni is a New York Times best-selling author, speaker, consultant and founder and president of The Table Group, a firm dedicated to helping organizations become healthy. Lencioni’s ideas around leadership, teamwork and employee engagement have impacted organizations around the globe. His books have sold nearly three million copies worldwide.

When Lencioni is not writing, he consults to...more
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“Trust is knowing that when a team member does push you, they're doing it because they care about the team.” 81 likes
“Remember teamwork begins by building trust. And the only way to do that is to overcome our need for invulnerability.” 57 likes
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