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The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  12,610 ratings  ·  760 reviews
There is a competitive advantage out there, arguably more powerful than any other. Is it superior strategy? Faster innovation? Smarter employees? No, New York Times best-selling author, Patrick Lencioni, argues that the seminal difference between successful companies and mediocre ones has little to do with what they know and how smart they are and more to do with how healt ...more
Hardcover, 216 pages
Published March 13th 2012 by Jossey-Bass
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Jan 18, 2016 rated it liked it
3 stars because I'm rating it as it is: a detailed checklist on how to build a cohesive team, set goals, communicate within the organization, have effective meetings, and so on (otherwise, I'd give it a 2 for an awful writing style, rushed last part and general consultant patronizing feel). It is like listening to a person you don't like at all, and yet knowing that there's some sense and truth in what he says. I'm focusing on the latter. ...more
Nov 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013-book-list
Great book. Some takeaways:

"The seminal difference between successful companies and mediocre or unsuccessful ones has little, if anything, to do with what they know or how smart they are; it has everything to do with how healthy they are. An organization that is healthy will inevitably get smarter over time. That's because people in a healthy organization, beginning with the leaders, learn from one another, identify critical issues, and recover quickly from mistakes."

There are six critical ques
Mindaugas Mozūras
No magazine or newspaper wants to run a story about a humble leader who continues to run her medium-sized company with discipline, common sense, and consistency.

I found “The Advantage” to be a great practical overview of how to create organizational health. Meant for senior leaders, but it might be interesting for any leader. Many of the concepts can be further explored in other books by the author.
Nathan Swedberg
Sep 25, 2021 rated it really liked it
loved the core value of one company being that everyone = floor sweepers...
I see that at Milestone - everyone is willing to pick up something off the floor, no matter their station.
Nov 09, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Disclaimer: I absolutely detest business books. For me, they are self-help books (which I also detest) for monolithic organizations. I don’t care about the habits of leaders; I don’t care about the dysfunctions of teams; I don’t care about strategy or process improvements. I read for good prose (which all business books lack), and I read for good stories (also, which business books lack). Every business book I’ve ever read I read because I was forced to read them; reading this book was for the s ...more
Ray Bliss
Feb 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed-general
The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni

The Advantage is about organizational health improvement. The four disciplines are building a cohesive leadership team, create clarity, over communicate clarity and reinforce clarity. That might not sound like much to you, but it’s everything. Having read almost all of Patrick Lencioni’s books, this is the first one I read that was not a parable. That made it a little difficult to start really getting into but once I reached page 20 I was hooked. What he presents
Samuel Kassing
Mar 31, 2022 rated it really liked it
1) Create a unified leadership team.
2) get clear on your number one value and priority.
3) Communicate this clearly.
4) Reinforce this over and over again.

When it comes to systems Lencioni is helpful. It’s common sense organizational sociology. Sadly it’s far easier said than done.
Brett Monge
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is the first book I’ve read by Lencioni and I really enjoyed it. The premise is simple: the single greatest “x factor” that gives an organization, company, church, or team an advantage is their internal health as a unit. This comes when leaders in an organization stave off confusion by fighting to pursue lock-step unity with one another around their ideals, values, and purpose for existing. Once this happens, leaders must clearly articulate and actively communicate their values and their pl ...more
Bailey L.
Dec 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This one is a must read for anyone who wants to run a healthy organization. He provides the six questions every leader must ask and answer with their team in order to be effective when it comes to vision, mission, goals, strategy, and objectives. It includes how to develop trust on a team, how to think about performance evaluations, how to run effective meetings, and what kind of meetings to have in the first place. Highly recommend.
Beth Melillo
Mar 11, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, hr, 2021
I want to like this, because it's positive and simple but I also hate it, because it's generic pablum. ...more
Yaniv Preiss
Aug 12, 2022 rated it really liked it
Very actionable.
Especially loved the part about company values.
Not sure how it plays together with other methodologies such as OKRs.
Dec 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Lencioni is one of my favorite business leaders to learn from. "The Advantage" might pack the most punch in terms of the advice Lencioni offers, but being a personal fan of his fable style, it was my least favorite book of his to read. That isn't because it is poorly written, it is just written in a typical business style.

In "The Advantage," Lencioni asks the question: what is the most important thing a business can do? The answer to that isn't found in an organization's strategy, intelligence,
Jeff Burket
Jun 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I had not read any Lencioni before this; that might have to change. From what I understand, several of his other books use narrative stories to convey leadership points; this book sought to bring together many of those lessons together with the key focus: that organizational health is the most important thing for a leader to focus on and for an organization to succeed. On why he wrote the book on organizational health: "it has never been presented as a simple, integrated, and practical disciplin ...more
Joya Cousin
Jul 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This easy-to-read leadership handbook is Patrick Lencioni's follow up effort to his earlier and very effectively presented business fables. The subtitle - why organizational health trumps everything else in business - is a theme that resonates with me, and would with any manager who knows what attempting to lead in a dysfunctional organizational feels like. Nothing gets done until you fix the core issues.

Lencioni presents the deceptively simple 4 disciplines model, which is centered on building
May 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
The author calls it "organizational health." I prefer to think of it as an authentic organization. Health gives the impression that it's a matter of following a regiment of good habits. Whereas authentic implies that it has to come from within the individuals. The book applies to leaders of an organization, not so much to workers. If you're not a manager, you will probably not get to practice the first discipline of building a cohesive team (build trust, work through conflicts, commit to decisio ...more
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: leadership, business
My pastor had all the team leaders at our church read this book. Leadership organization and business books are not usually my cup of tea, though they can be quite helpful. This one was great! I see lots of lessons and principles in here to use in my full-time ministry as well as my volunteer work at my church. It is great for ministry leaders, but is not faith based. Actually, it barely mentions churches at all. So if you're a business leader, this book would be great for you too. Basically, an ...more
Aug 24, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf, nonfiction, audiobook
As a former high school English teacher, I would have FAILED Lencioni. Never have I seen arguments so sloppily built and glaringly lacking specificity. I got an hour into the audiobook and had no evidence that Lencioni had ever actually met another person, let alone that he had any expertise in business worth listening to.

Coming on the heels of Kim Scott's magnificent RADICAL CANDOR, this was a non-starter for me.
Ashik Uzzaman
Jan 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: leadership, repeat
Today I finished the first book of 2021, "The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business" by Patrick Lencioni. In this book, the author introduces a model for achieving success for companies through organizational health. The following four disciplines are necessary for a healthy organization.


The first and most critical step in a healthy organization is creating a cohesive leadership team that is committed to do the ongoi
Rose Peterson
Mar 22, 2022 rated it really liked it
I never thought I'd have much in common with the leadership-book-reading high-powered executives at airports. I was right; I don't have much in common with them. Not the salary, not the fashion, not the TSA pre-check...just the literature choices 😂

I've been so frustrated with the dire lack of leadership at my job lately that I asked my dad's boss--a self-proclaimed leadership enthusiast--for her top recommendations for books on good leadership. The Advantage was her #1 choice.

In a lot of ways, r
Carol Sente
This book just moved into my top 5 business book list that I’m going to tell all my clients and friends to read. I’m a big Patrick Lencioni fan and was at first a little disappointed that this book wasn’t in his usual “fable first, then principles of the concept” style but soon got over my disappointment because the content was so spot on. Basically if you feel your organization has any level of dysfunction, this book will help you clarify where the dysfunction may lie and exactly how to fix it. ...more
Nov 21, 2021 rated it liked it
The Advantage is written by a Patrick Lencionion, a business consultant, who advises businesses how to create the most successful culture. Patrick Lencioni advises that the health of the organization, culturally, drives its success. One of the key drivers to the health of an organization is trust. He also identifies critical questions that the business must ask itself to develop its culture:
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,
Bonnie Irwin
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Like most of Lencioni's books, this one was written primarily for business, but I find it helpful when looking at universities as well. If the organization is not healthy, it will fail, and there are some basic things that leaders can do to ensure that health. Lencioni argues that there are six fundamental questions to ask to determine how the organization sees itself, the first of which is "Why do we exist?" A simple question that I imagine will have many answers.

This one is going to stick with
Aug 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
I'm coming to really enjoy Lencioni books. In them, he himself says that they're largely common sense (and I agree) but that sometimes feels like the most applicable content to make incremental change in an organization. I like how this one was tied into the 5 Dysfunctions (which I'd already read and likely you would get more value out of this book if you had read it too) but expanded on the concept rather than just reiterated. I especially liked his thoughts about the types of meetings and what ...more
Shireen Eldridge
Jun 21, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Since starting a management level role and leading a team at my church, this book has helped so much. As always, Lencioni has great insight and easy step by steps to follow to make the most of your role and team in this book. I love the focus on team/organizational health. So much has to do with keeping focused on the right things for your organization/department. I will for sure use these principles as I lead now and into the future. Highly suggest this book for anyone who leads people within a ...more
Szymon Kulec
Nov 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
The book starts in an unfortunate "I'm the expert, let me share my stories supporting my theories" way. Recently, whenever I read a book like this, I get a rash. Fortunately, beside patting on his own back, author delivers value.

The value delivered in this book, would create a perfect mix with "E-Myth Revisited". This one is all about creating a clear mission statement for the company, dividing between strategy and tactics, making the company better. One could argue that some arguments and appro
David Wreesman
Oct 02, 2018 rated it liked it
I had read one of Lencioni’s other works—5 Disfunctions of a Team—and thoroughly enjoyed it. This one was pretty dry and underwhelming. I actually really resonate with his thesis regarding the importance of organizational health. I just found myself wanting more—more anecdotes, more insights, more something.
Demetrius Rogers
Mar 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: leadership
Wow. This was terrific. There's no fluff here. Every paragraph serves its purpose, and there's just enough review for it to be helpful and not redundant. The clarity and comprehensiveness of this book is exhilarating. As a local church pastor, I plan to put much of this stuff to work. Thankful I've run across such an amazing resource. ...more
Hannah Moerman
Nov 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
the thing is, we’re reading this as a leadership team but who wants a book just chilling on their goodreads for the three months it takes us to get through? no no, friends — i read it all (also so i could be done with it) (also so i wouldn’t have to wake up at 6 am on the mornings of our review meetings to cram it in)
Romans Karpelcevs
Jul 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: leadership
Great book, short and very useful. Rhymes a lot with The Five Dysfunctions of a Team (and probably with other books of his), but isn't too repetitive to be boring.
Will definitely re-read and will start by implementing some of the things in the small(-er) team, not execs.
Dec 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
A great outline of how to structure a healthy organization. Though there are many great examples and tips, it is not an instruction manual... just an excellent first step toward creating a strong healthy organization.
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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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