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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
3,120533,187 (3.97)28
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 28 mentions

English (51)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  All languages (53)
Showing 1-5 of 51 (next | show all)
Interesting book; unfortunately, it only really applies when you actually have control of a team with autonomy to make your own decisions.

May be useful later on though. ( )
  youngheart80 | Jun 15, 2021 |
The model of teamwork and the team dynamic described in this book are catered to the needs and desires of the leader. This book gives leaders a set of additional problems to identify and blame their subordinates for, and also pits the subordinates against one another. However, it doesn't provide a cooperative model that uplifts those subordinates. I also don't see the applicability outside of teams with a powerful leader and a small number of equal subordinates.
The principles presented in the book are oversimplified to the point of uselessness, but they could be boiled down into an even simpler set of principles:
Assume the best of one another
Treat one another with respect

The actual practical suggestions included in the book (such as the idea that meetings which don't have a conflict to resolve are a waste of time) are nice, but they are extremely few and far between. ( )
  wishanem | May 27, 2021 |
The beauty of this book is the way it turns the discussion of leadership and team building into a compelling story rather than having the usual abstract discussion with examples. I am not convinced that it’s lessons are that different from many other books on teams and their potential dysfunctions. ( )
  WiebkeK | Jan 21, 2021 |
This is a very short read that mostly states the sort of obvious thing (e.g. trust is the foundation of high functioning teams) that it's easy to not have front-of-mind when just trying to get the day-to-day stuff done. I took away no earth-shattering insights but found the book somewhat useful (if only because it got me thinking about stuff abstractly that I don't often have front-of-mind) and pretty palatable. The fable was a little annoying in how it portrayed corporate stereotypes, and it was a little patronizing, but I've read worse. ( )
  dllh | Jan 6, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 51 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Patrick Lencioniprimary authorall editionscalculated
Nobel, JanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Dad, for teaching me the value of work.

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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.

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