Saturday, December 20, 2014

86. "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team" by Patrick Lencioni

Lencioni, Patrick. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2002.

224 pages.

Reviewed by J. d’Artagnan Love

Dysfunctional teams are something I’m sure many of you have experienced. You know the team—at a meeting one member stares off into space, another makes rude or sarcastic comments and the leader seriously fumbles the entire agenda. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team seeks to identify and alleviate the problems that arise when building a team. Lencioni argues that the success of a company depends largely on how successfully its leadership team acts as a high functioning team.

The first dysfunction is lack of trust followed by several others such as focusing on individual success rather than team success, lack of commitment to decisions, and an absence of healthy conflict. All of these concepts are first illustrated with a story about a team in the Silicon Valley experiencing some major dysfunction. To fix the problem, the CEO steps down and the board of directors brings in Kathryn, a woman with years of experience in leadership in the automotive industry, to fix the problems. Readers follow Kathryn as she walks the team through the steps of fixing the five major dysfunctions of the team.

Lencioni breaks down his concepts clearly and while some might think the story a bit cheeky, I found it really helpful to see how the concepts might play out in an actual organization. As a leader myself, I’m going to put some of these concepts to use and see how it goes!

3 darts out of 5

This book is FOR people who: want to learn more about management and leadership skills, and who may be interested in Industrial/Organizational psychology.

This book is NOT FOR people who: want empirical studies and intense management theory.

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