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The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  27,279 ratings  ·  1,411 reviews
After her first two weeks observing the problems at DecisionTech, Kathryn Petersen, its new CEO, had more than a few moments when she wondered is 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 sh ...more
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Published April 4th 2006 by Books on Tape (first published January 1st 2002)
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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
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
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
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
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
forced to read this one for work. did some awful group work with it also. really not that helpful in a bullshit retail situation.
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
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
Dec 11, 2011 Rebecca rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
Patricia Hamill
This is a story about a team of executives who are suffering from five dysfunctions that have pretty much crippled them. As repeated a few times in the book, they should be doing great. They have more money, a better product and more promise than their competitors, but they are failing. The heroine is Kathryn, the new CEO brought in to turn them and the company around.

Told as a story, this is a pretty good method of teaching what the dysfunctions are while giving examples of what they look like
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.
Tania Lukinyuk
Skeptical business book reader, I had zero expectations from this book. I only took it because it was less than 150 pages and was recommended by two people whose opinion I respected.

I am happy to admit that I was wrong. The book is written as a story of new leader coming to an IT company with poorly acting management team. The way she managed her new team members - very different, often contradicting and conflicting with each other or working in their silos - is great learning process on effect
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
Josh Meares
Dec 05, 2012 Josh Meares rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
This is an excellent read for anyone leading a team or who is a member of a team. The five principles are laid out very simply, and after the fable the author clearly outlines action steps for leaders and teams to take to improve teamwork and results. I'll definitely be treating this as a reference book to return to again and again.
Young Me had read this and panned it as "common sense drivel" in 2008, so re-approaching it 7 years later, I was trying to be less skeptical. This time, I saw it differently.

I ended up facilitating my first "executive retreat" a few weeks before reading this (the timing was off, I know), and so the notes on the actual exercises used in the off-site were very useful.

I wonder of the impact this book has had since it was first published? I certainly sense a greater openness towards valuing teamwo
Brent Doria
I've recently become a part of a very small team at work of me and three other people. Each one of us has a different personality and strengths that we bring to the table. In most roles that I have been in, I have mostly been a part of a much larger team, but I have usually focused on my own personal development and success. If all people on a team are not successful, then the team is not successful. I know it sounds cliche, but anyone who works or has worked on a small team can identify with th ...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.
Employing a small but striking fable of a fictitious Company named Decision Tech, Patrick Lencioni proceeds to illustrate the perils of a team working at cross purposes and displaying classic symptoms of discord, disharmony and dysfunctional behaviour.

Kathryn Petersen is elected as the new CEO of a once high flying, but now struggling Decision Tech. While excited at the prospect of new challenges staring her in the face, Kathryn soon realises that uneasy lies the head that adorns the crown! A d
Anselmo Martelini Junior
It was a very easy book to read, and the use of a fictional history help me get the concept. At the same time, the concept are simple that a blog post was enough to teach the them.
Since it was put in a book format, the author could describe more tools and techniques of how to address each problem. Still, the model of a pyramid describing the 5 dysfunctions of a team is good and helped me see clearly problems that are commom among teams.

My summary: (view spoiler)
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
Beth Hatch
I've been reading a lot of team building and leadership books lately, and this is by far one of my favorites. Written in story format, it tells the story about an female CEO who is hired to help a company in crisis. She is able to help them team build in order to be a more successful company by helping them recognize and change their dysfunction.

The biggest difference between a book like this and a book like "I'd Rather Be in Charge," is that one is self-focused, the other is team focused.

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
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
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Analysis 1 3 Sep 14, 2015 05:09PM  
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  • The Heart of Change: Real-Life Stories of How People Change Their Organizations
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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 about Patrick Lencioni...
Death by Meeting: A Leadership Fable...about Solving the Most Painful Problem in Business The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive: The Four Disciplines at the Heart of Making Any Organization World Class The Three Signs of a Miserable Job: A Management Fable About Helping Employees Find Fulfillment in Their Work The Five Temptations of a CEO: A Leadership Fable

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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.” 104 likes
“Remember teamwork begins by building trust. And the only way to do that is to overcome our need for invulnerability.” 67 likes
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