Book Category: Leadership, Business,

The Five Temptations of a CEO, Anniversary Edition: A Leadership Fable (book summary)

Author: Patrick Lencioni
Life Changing Principles
Quality of Writing
Overall Value
pros: Experienced author, great insight
cons: Narrow subject focus
overall rating

QUICK SUMMARY: The Five Temptations of a CEO, Anniversary Edition: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni introduces and explains five behaviors or “temptations” that must be avoided by leaders for success to be possible.

We love the way Lencioni uses storytelling to illustrate his powerful lessons, as well as his ability to simplify the complex challenges of leadership into small, digestible insights. The Five Temptations of a CEO is at the top of our list for inspirational, easy-to-read business books.


CEO’s face 5 major temptations:

1. Focusing on status over results
2. Focusing on popularity over accountability
3. Focusing on certainty over clarity
4. Focusing on harmony over productivity
5. Focusing on invulnerability over trust


1. Focus on results always, even after desired status is achieved.
2. Prioritize accountability that includes expectations and consequences.
3. Make decisions and forge a clear path.
4. Value healthy conflict that leads to better results.
5. Invite feedback instead of pretending to be perfect.
6. Don’t be afraid to be unpopular.
7. Give more trust.


You see, a great president of the United States wouldn’t be as proud of being elected as he would of actually accomplishing something.

The key to success, then, is not to avoid the susceptibility to the five temptations. While that would be desirable, it is an impossibility. The key is to embrace the self-examination that reveals the temptations and to keep them in the open where they can be addressed.

Accountability is the most overused buzzword in business today.

Interested? Buy the book here!