Book Category: Leadership, Business,

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

Author: Patrick Lencioni
Life Changing Principles
Quality of Writing
Overall Value
pros: Great examples, unique approach
cons: Conventional wisdom
overall rating

Quick Summary

Lencioni’s The Five Dysfunctions of a Team details the challenges of creating and maintaining a healthy team environment via a very clever fable.

Key Insights

We are introduced to The Staff:

  • The Chairman
  • Kathryn (CEO)
  • Mikey (VP of Marketing)
  • JR (CSO)
  • Nick (COO)
  • Jeff (Former CEO; Head of Business Development)
  • Carlos (VP of Customer Relations)
  • Jan (CFO)
  • Martin (CTO)
  • Joseph (new CMO)

Team’s face 5 major dysfunctions (from the top down):

  • 1. Inattention to results (Status and ego)
  • 2. Avoidance of accountability (Low standards)
  • 3. Lack of commitment (Ambiguity)
  • 4. Fear of conflict (Artificial harmony)
  • 5. Absence of trust (Invulnerability)

Practical Application

  • Encourage healthy conflict
  • Make sure everyone knows everyone
  • Meetings should be like a movie; always has conflict
  • Do more off-site meetings with senior leadership
  • Look into the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI)
  • Don’t always create agendas for meetings
  • Define key objectives after meetings our complete
  • Stick to deadlines
  • Focus more on team achievement rather than individuals achievement

Meaningful Quotes (optional)

“If you could get all the people in an organization rowing in the same direction, you could dominate any industry, in any market, against any competition, at any time.”

“Great teams do not hold back with one another.”

Interested? Buy the book here!