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The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable (2002)

by Patrick Lencioni

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Leadership Fables

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,916453,249 (3.96)27
After her first two weeks observing the problems at DecisionTech, Kathryn Petersen, its new CEO, had more than a few moments when she wondered if 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 she accepted the job, however, was just how dysfunctional her team was, and how team members would challenge her in ways that no one ever had before. In this book, the author turns his keen intellect and storytelling power to the fascinating, complex world of teams. Kathryn Petersen, DecisionTech's CEO, faces the ultimate leadership crisis: uniting a team that is in such disarray that it threatens to bring down the entire company. Will she succeed? Will she be fired? Will the company fail? The author's story serves as a timeless reminder that leadership requires as much courage as it does insight. Throughout the story, he reveals the five dysfunctions that go to the very heart of why teams, even the best ones, often struggle. He outlines a powerful model and actionable steps that can be used to overcome these common hurdles and build a cohesive, effective team.… (more)

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» See also 27 mentions

English (43)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  All languages (45)
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
One of those modern business books that teaches through a story. Most of those book's stories are so contrived to make it easy to lose the lesson in the mess of the story. This book actually has a more reasonable story that makes helps make the lessons clearer.

I found the dysfunctions interesting and helpful and the quiz at the end could be valuable. If you try it, don't mention the name of the book or your team might rebel at being thought of as dysfunctional in any way.

Well worth the read. ( )
  Skybalon | Mar 19, 2020 |
This work straddles the fence between a short novel and a book on business. It covers a helpful topic of five common dysfunctions of a team. Through reading it, I helped identify pits that teams I have participated in have fallen prey to.

The story itself is relatively easygoing, if a bit short and superficial. A new CEO faces the scenario where her new form has more cash and more talented leaders, but is underperforming. Her answer, as indicated by the books title, is to address teamwork.

The company’s leadership gets shaken up, but (as it seems always in the novels of this genre) success is finally borne out by applying the right management principles. And everyone becomes more productive and happier in the end.

While this sort of novel is not particularly known for its depth, the format of fiction engages the reader in helpful discourse about the applicable principles of management. It’s a lot more fun, inspiring, and thought-provoking than just reading a dry theoretical treatment. (For those who like such treatments, look to the end of the book, which contains a section on theory.) A fan of this genre, I find that these types of works encourage me to see the interpersonal issues better than mere theory.

Lencioni’s book teaches common theories of leadership in a short and engaging way. It only took me about three-and-one-half hours to listen to the entire book. It’s a lot more edifying than listening to the top forty pop songs… again. Maybe I’ll be able to lead myself and my co-workers better in the long run.

( )
  scottjpearson | Jan 25, 2020 |
Let's be blunt: business books are all trash because capitalism is trash.

However, sometimes you just gotta read some interpersonal guides that shed light on the minds of the people who don't understand that the whole thing is toxic.

This book was slightly better written than average for the genre. ( )
  urnmo | Jul 29, 2019 |
In this book, Lencioni uses a story about the fictional DecisionTech Inc. to illustrate the five dysfunctions of a team and how they can be resolved. The dysfunctions boil down to a lack of trust (in the sense of not being able to feel like mistakes can be shared without reprisal), a fear of conflict that allows decision to be put off, and ultimately a lack of accountability — if people don’t feel like everyone is rowing in the same direction, then they can’t check in with the others to make sure they’re pulling their weight.

Using a story might be a slightly cheesy device for getting these concepts across, but admittedly it works better than a more abstract, academic discussion might have done. It also gives the author a chance to include skepticism and resistance, which the reader might have, and show ways to get around it. This is a light read—I plowed through it in an afternoon—and would certainly provide fodder for discussion at work.

This 3-star rating is an “it met my expectations” rating, so a good 3 stars. ( )
  rabbitprincess | Jul 28, 2019 |
I thought the fictional company was a genius move, a way of incorporating business theory and applying it to a situation that we can easily understand, and be invested in. I've known nearly every type of personality that Lencioni constructs and I couldn't believe how interested in the story I was. It forced me to look back at all the successful teams I've been apart of, and all the terrible teams I've been a part of and it's remarkable how true the book's lessons are and how they apply to all types of organizations in real life. Terrific! ( )
  hskey | Jun 14, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Patrick Lencioniprimary authorall editionscalculated
Nobel, JanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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