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The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive: A Leadership Fable
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The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive: A Leadership Fable

4.11  ·  Rating Details ·  2,622 Ratings  ·  112 Reviews
In this stunning follow-up to his best-selling book, The Five Temptations of a CEO, Patrick Lencioni offers up another leadership fable that's every bit as compelling and illuminating as its predecessor. This time, Lencioni's focus is on a leader's crucial role in building a healthy organization--an often overlooked but essential element of business life that is the linchp ...more
ebook, 208 pages
Published June 22nd 2010 by Jossey-Bass (first published August 24th 2000)
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Jerry Fultz
Apr 11, 2012 Jerry Fultz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As usual, Patrick does not disappoint.

I read this book as part of an executive coaching program I'm involved with. The guidance provided is outstanding and is spot on. Fortunately, I'll be carrying the ideas forward as part of a follow up exercise with our team.

I'm really looking forward to processing this information with our team. Life is simply too short to deal with sluggish & confused leadership.
Qwantu Amaru
Mar 21, 2016 Qwantu Amaru rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good, Not Great

One of my favorite leadership books is Patrick Lencioni's The Five Dysfunctions of a Team because the parable format is highly suitable to demonstrating the concepts that prevent teams from becoming cohesive and the actions to increase cohesiveness really make a business impact. This book is a welcome addition to Lencioni's library on leadership and I took quite a bit away from it. I give it 5 stars only because the parable portion of the book wasn't nearly as compelling as that o
Batch Batchelder
Jun 22, 2012 Batch Batchelder rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Lencioni's material. It is simple and true; not easy to implement, but it makes complete sense.

Reading this gave me a better understanding of the content from The Advantage. He "parablizes" the four disciplines that I 1st read about in The Advantage and further expands on them. There are some minor differences, particularly in the six questions in The Advantage:
1. Why do we exist?
2. How do we behave?
3. What do we do?
4. How will we succeed?
5. What is most important, right now?
6. Who must
While it has a good message, and it deals with a different component of business than most books, but it was just average and a bit over simplified.

It looks at organisational health and is based on four basic principles. In saying the principles are basic isn't that they would be basic to implement but that the ideas and the concepts are basic to understand and basic to think about.

The first half of the book is a story about two CEOs and the business they run, one using the four principles, the
Karen Johnson
Aug 04, 2014 Karen Johnson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you are taking any type of Leadership course, then this book is for you. It is a succinct, engaging tale of what are best practices for a healthy organization. The four disciplines as outlined in the book have elements of many leadership theories that have been explored and researched over the years.

Other books by Patrick Lencioni that are great areThe Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fableand The Five Temptations of a CEO: A Leadership Fable
Michael Ames
Mar 05, 2009 Michael Ames rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
I'm marking this as "read" although I didn't completely finish it. Lencioni begins his management treatises as interesting parables, then ends them with a pedantic recap of what he already vividly described in the story. I put his books down after reading that first half.

Nevertheless, I recommend this for managers who, like me, sometimes find themselves too caught up in the details of day-to-day work to remember to keep their overall mission in mind. And I suspect you could finish it on a single
Bibhu Ashish
An entertaining read which throws light on the very simple practices which can help any organization to prosper if these are diligently put into practice. The author has given four disciplines which are "Build cohesive team, Create Organizational clarity, Over communicate, Reinforce organization clarity through human system" which can be practiced to create a healthy organization. The book suggests to Keep the things simple and have the discipline to follow the simple things, if a great and heal ...more
Chad P
Sep 07, 2016 Chad P rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love Patrick Lencioi's fictional stories of real life scenarios. In this book, you'll learn about the 4 areas that make for an extraordinary executive.

1. Build and Maintain a Cohesive Leadership Team - A cohesive team trusts one another, engages in constructive conflict, commits to group decisions and holds one another accountable.
2. Create Organizational Clarity - Healthy organizations clarify topics such as values, strategies, goals and roles & responsibilities
3. Over-Communicate Organizat
Jim &
Oct 10, 2014 Jim & rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nothing earth-shaking here, but as always, the PL narrative/fable style makes the fundamental principles he teaches spring to life. I am truly inspired after reading this to fight to keep my leadership teams strong and healthy, and to clearly define and act on the core values that gird our health.
Kent White
I'm surprised I hadn't read this book yet, though I've loved all of Lencioni's books. I am often amazed at the simplicity of the ideas, but the discipline and courage to do so is really what is lacking.
Austin Carroll Keeley
More fluff of a business book. Parables and leadership fables always seem to conveniently have leaders make the right decision at the right time to illustrate a point. Makes me think we could cut it out and get to the last 30 pages where the author lectures in a nonfiction essay style. The four disciplines are:

1) Build and maintain a cohesive leadership team.
2) Create organizational clarity.
3) Over-communicate organizational clarity.
4) Reinforce organizational clarity through human systems.

Feb 29, 2016 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second leadership fable by Lencioni weaves a story around a set of principles that can easily be taught, but carried out with difficulty, to any executive team. Lencioni is masterful at moral-based story telling. Any reader picking up the book whether a lower level employee, or a corporate executive, can look at instances in their past when they've encountered behaviors mentioned in this book and learn from them. The lure of the story skillfully holds our attention as we wonder what will hap ...more
Apr 08, 2016 Chad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A modern business fable about company culture. I really like this author. He does an excellent job taking a realistic business story and illustrating a great business theory as part of the book. The characters are well written, but the way the story weaves the principles of the book into a modern favor is excellent. This book is about a couple executives but really it is about how to create a great corporate culture. At the end of the book, it transitions the story into practical application. Ev ...more
May 30, 2012 Ken rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fair Lessons, But Good If You Haven't Read Much Books On Running A Company "",

This book is a fairly decent fable on running a business. Patrick builds up the story about two rival companies, but despite being rivals, one outperforms the other constantly. Patrick starts the story by describing each firm and the internal clockwork that keeps them running. He then goes on to describe the rival company that's constantly outperforming the other. which all boils down to 4 dis
Sep 16, 2012 Frank rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
For professional advice, I am not that engaged by data and facts wrapped in supposedly moving and educational stories. Don't get me wrong: I believe that stories are the greatest method to engage people ("Made to Stick" is the handbook for that). There is a trick to blending behavioral research and/or common sense management points into a story to make an engaging prose narrative, and this book doesn't have it for me.

There are too many books that portend greater understanding of the business wo
Tom Leary
Aug 16, 2007 Tom Leary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who manages teams of people or defines the direction of an organization
I’ve previously read Death By Meeting by Patrick Lencioni. I really connect with his ability to tell an engaging story which communicates the point. He then spends the last third of this book describing the four principals and how to put them into practice within the organization.

The four disciplines of a healthy organization are:
1. Build and Maintain a Cohesive Leadership Team
2. Create Organizational Clarity
3. Over-Communicate Organizational Clarity
4. Reinforce Organizational Clarity Through
Oct 27, 2012 Erin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: growth
A grounding book for leaders at any level. Lencioni's books are justifiably called "parables" because the stories feel rather cardboard, but they are effective and I come back to them repeatedly for guidance and inspiration.

The four leadership disciplines outlined in this book are:

Discipline One: Build and maintain a cohesive leadership team. Build trust to openly acknowledge one another's unique strengths and weaknesses. Openly engage in constructive ideological conflict (i.e., fight about id
Rick Yvanovich
The Four obsessions are really four things that you really need to focus on. They sound so simple and innocuous but when you think through it they are powerful and not necessarily easy to do. So many things can come in your way that might make you think they are too simple and can;t make a difference and that will derail you. The challenge is to become obsessive enough about them and ensure they take root and spread in the organisation. Looking forward to ginning this new obsession!
Roger Scherping
I've read most of his books, but this one is very lightweight and full of soft, mushy principles that are difficult to translate into actionable material. This is exemplified by everything after the Afterword.

This time I think the fable format really worked against him because it really didn't lend itself to a better teaching approach than if this had just been a 10-page pamphlet. In fact, I think the book would have been much better as a 10-page pamphlet.
Jul 26, 2016 Dmytro rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book starts out with a fable/story ... if you want to skip right to the advice/content skip to page 139.
The 4 disciplines that the author talks about are:
1)Invest time to make sure the members of the executive team know each other really well which will help them be more comfortable around each other.
2) Set a clear direction for your company/team in terms of them accomplishing objectives
3) Keep repeating these objectives to your team non-stop (repetition, simplicity, and communicating the
Metapon Amorntirasan
A fun story to listen to. But the model is the brief version of "The advantage" by the same author, so I didn't learn much although it is good to go over the material again. It makes you feel that you can do it and organization health is very important. The 4 Disciplines are create cohesive leadership team (5 dysfunction), create organizational clarity, over communicate core values, reinforce value through human capital interaction.
Krishna Kumar
I am not a great fan of parables and stories, because they can be easily manipulated to suit one's viewpoint. However I find Lencioni's disciplines very consistent with my personal experiences in organizational behavior. The disciplines and the details mentioned can serve as a good guide for upper level management in establishing the right foundation to move the company forward.
Sep 26, 2016 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love the ideas discussed on this book mainly because a lot of people do not think of them as important as they really are.

The core ideas of the book are summarized at the end of it with extraordinary precision; one could just read that last part and still keep all the key points. I did enjoy the story being told throughout the book though.
Huy Tran
Nov 22, 2015 Huy Tran rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another great book from Patrick. I personally find the story this time is built even better than the previous book i read - the Five Dysfunctions of a Team. I hardly put it down once started the first page. A highly recommended book for anyone who wants to learn more about management, how to build and maintain a small team or even a company.
Bibhu Ashish
Feb 25, 2016 Bibhu Ashish rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
simple and to the point, this book tells the story of an organization which was more successful than the nearest competitor because the owner followed some time tested principles. This book has again reaffirmed my hypothesis that it is all about team and only teams which can decide how successful an organisation can become. It is always a marriage of coherent team and great organizational values which can result in a great organization. Nice book and highly reccommendable.
Apr 24, 2016 Brett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: leadership
Lencioni, like any good leadership author, likes to make it sound easy. "Just do these four big things, with these fifteen subthings for each big thing and don't forget to do these other side things along the way and you too will realize success." However, I still continue to learn and grow from his books.
Dec 11, 2008 Krissy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, just finished. This book was recommended to my by a consultant at our office. We are currently under going a major over-haul. I am supposed be starting the licensing department but have major reservations about doing so. Upon reading this book I see the potential our company has and the things I would love to point out to our CEO. I hope things work out and find this book very insightful and helpful in identifying what we need to work on. I want this company to succeed as it has been around ...more
Dec 02, 2014 Joan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a book that I had to read for a class I was taking and I was pleasantly surprised by actually enjoying it. The story was easy to follow, the examples shown in the story were duplicatable and workable in a actual office/business. Moved along at a good pace and kept your interest.
Jason Carter
Sep 05, 2016 Jason Carter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like most (but not all...) of Lencioni's books, this one is communicated in the form of a parable. In this case, it's about two rival consultancies and their differing methods and relative successes. One of them (surprise!) has a CEO who practices the 'four obsessions' and one of them doesn't.

This book is a companion book to Lencioni's "The Advantage" in that the four obsessions are the same:

1) Build and Maintain a Cohesive Leadership Team
2) Create Organizational Clarity
3) Overcommunicate Organi
Mike McAuliff
Mar 22, 2016 Mike McAuliff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quick read. The content is solid, which is to be expected from Lencioni. As with most business parables, the story ends how you'd expect and a little too neatly for reality. However, I'd recommend the read, especially the content summary at the end of the book.
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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
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“No amount of intellectual prowess or personal charisma can make up for an inability to identify a few simple things and stick to them over time.” 0 likes
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