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The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable Hardcover – 28 Mar 2002

4.6 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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In keeping with the parable style, Lencioni (The Five Temptations of a CEO) begins by telling the fable of woman who, as CEO of a struggling Silicon Valley firm, took control of a dysfunctional executive committee and helped its members succeed as a team. Story time over, Lencioni offers explicit instructions for overcoming the human behavioral tendencies that he says corrupt teams (absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability and inattention to results). Succinct yet sympathetic, this guide will be a boon for those struggling with the inherent difficulties of leading a group.

Building a cohesive team is not complicated, declares Lencioni, president of his own management consulting firm and author of The Five Temptations of a CEO. Departing from the dry, theoretical writing of many management books, he presents his case in the context of a fictional organization, and in doing so succeeds at communicating his ideas. The story is about a female CEO who is hired to bring together a dysfunctional executive staff to work as a team in a company that just two years earlier had looked promising. The scenarios that follow are recognizable and can be applied anywhere teamwork is involved, whether it is a multinational company, a small department within a larger organization, or a sports team. The five dysfunctions discussed are absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability, and inattention to results. At the end of the story, the main points are summarized, and clearly written suggestions and exercises are offered to help, bring about change. Concise and easy to follow, this book is recommended for academic and public libraries with management collections and for anyone who is a member of a team that needs improvement. —Bellinda Wise, Nassau Community Call. Lib. Garden City, NY (Library Journal, April 15, 2002)

"...there is a lot of good sense in this book...certainly offers some useful pointers..." (Supply Management, 28 March 2002)

"...is worth exploring..." (Progress, Summer 2002)

"...an entertaining quick read filled with information easy to digest..." (The star online, 12 August 2003)

From the Inside Flap

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 The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni offers a leadership fable that is as compelling and enthralling as it is realistic, relevant, and practical. Through his keen intellect and storytelling power, he turns 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? Lencioni's riveting tale serves as a timeless reminder that leadership requires as much courage as it does insight.

Throughout the story, Lencioni 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.

Just as with his other books, Lencioni has written a compelling fable with a deceptively simple yet powerful message for all those who strive to be exceptional team leaders.


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