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The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

3.97  ·  Rating Details  ·  33,498 Ratings  ·  1,676 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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Catherine Tackett The author of this book does not mean it to be weak or vulnerable in that sense. In this context, he means that all parties drop walls that we put up…moreThe author of this book does not mean it to be weak or vulnerable in that sense. In this context, he means that all parties drop walls that we put up to keep ourselves to appear stronger than the next individual. Basically, leveling the field to create equals instead of fostering a competitive environment. This includes the "leader". It's not about making others feel sorry for one another but seeing that each of us have strengths and weaknesses that can contribute to the team environment. This helps drop walls in order to proceed forward with honest problem-solving and not defensive or evasive behavior. (less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Esmeralda
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
Neil
Dec 03, 2008 Neil rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jacob
Nov 30, 2015 Jacob rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 wh
...more
Daniel Silvert
Jul 13, 2011 Daniel Silvert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Nikki
Dec 23, 2011 Nikki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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
jack
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
Feb 26, 2013 Vam Norrison rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jim B
3 stars means "liked it." This book contains a lot of wisdom, some of which is counter-intuitive for some people who've never worked on a positive team. For example, the first dysfunction -- lack of trust -- is hindered by the need to be invincible and helped when people learn to be vulnerable, to "trust that their peers' intentions are good and there is no reason to be protective or careful around the group." Some people will read those words and think that there is no group of people where the ...more
Marleigh
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
Rebecca
Dec 11, 2011 Rebecca rated it liked it  ·  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
...more
Robert Chapman
Sep 14, 2012 Robert Chapman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: leadership
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
Jan 23, 2016 Isaac Yuen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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
...more
Matthew Morrison
Mar 19, 2008 Matthew Morrison rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 26, 2015 Tania Lukinyuk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Sam
Nov 10, 2010 Sam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 really liked it  ·  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
...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
Jamie
Feb 19, 2012 Jamie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aglaia
Jun 24, 2016 Aglaia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, reviewed
This book is a decent read for "chief" officers of any sort. It lays out principles that any teamwork book would: trust, conflict resolution, commitment, accountability, and attention to results. These principles are presented in a heavy-handed fable with characters that are nothing more than polemic mouths. The narrative provides only enough information to create a vague story around in which to place the principles.

That said, having read this book as part of a "team building" effort, I found i
...more
Kristy
Apr 03, 2016 Kristy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was asked to read this book as part of a management team building exercise. I was truly hoping that this book would help me understand some of the personalities that are harder to get along with but this book seems to justify some of their behaviors.

I do understand the concepts in this book and I can see how they can be beneficial but I also struggle with how this book can be used to justify being an asshole. I understand that a management staff needs to be able to trust that they can be hone
...more
Kevan
Jan 29, 2015 Kevan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Brent Doria
Feb 19, 2015 Brent Doria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Stephanie
Jan 01, 2016 Stephanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Helen
Apr 24, 2016 Helen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Super raamat! Põhjus, miks ma viit tähekest ei anna, on lihtne - jutustus ei kuulu just maailmakirjanduse klassikute hulka. Raamatu lõpus olevad paarkümmend lehekülge kokkuvõtvat teooriat ja näpunäiteid olid minu jaoks aga palju suurema väärtusega. Sain siit raamatust häid nippe ja vaatan meeskonnatööd nüüd hoopis uue, värskema pilguga. Olen juba mõnda nõuannet kasutanud ja märganud oma meeskondades positiivset tagasiside ja soovitud muutusi. Muidugi ei saa vaid ühe raamatu ja teooria põhjal iga ...more
Venky
Mar 23, 2015 Venky rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bibliocase
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
...more
Jacques Bezuidenhout
I listened to the Audiobook narrated by Charles Stransky.

The book was pretty enjoyable with some useful bits of information.

I liked the first half of the book, that took the form of a fable more.
It was easier to listen to, and it had some nice moments of clarity.

There wasn't much to the story or the characters themselves, but I didn't expect there to be, since the book is pretty short.

The characters all had a specific stereotype they had to portray, so that was enough for me to get the underlyin
...more
Douglas Wilson
A lot of good sense in this one.
Mitchell
This book is all about improving the teams that you are on. I'm pretty sure I read this at Tripwire quite some time ago, though I don't have a goodreads review to go on - it certainly felt specifically familiar. And yet it almost certainly came in with the then new VP of Engineering there - who went out of his way to say that Tripwire needed more conflict - which this book certainly pushes.

This book is both simple but not easy. On one side it tells a story of how a team experiences growth and co
...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
More about Patrick Lencioni...

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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.” 118 likes
“Remember teamwork begins by building trust. And the only way to do that is to overcome our need for invulnerability.” 78 likes
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