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The Five Dysfunctions of a Team


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Table of Contents

Introduction vii

The Fable 1

Luck 3

Part One: Underachievement 5

Part Two: Lighting the Fire 27

Part Three: Heavy Lifting 115

Part Four: Traction 171

The Model 185

An Overview of the Model 187

Team Assessment 191

Understanding and Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions 195

A Note About Time: Kathryn's Methods 221

A Special Tribute to Teamwork 223

Acknowledgments 225

About the Author 228

About the Author

PATRICK M. LENCIONI is the pioneer of the organizational health movement and the author of 13 best-selling books, including The Advantage, The Ideal Team Player, and The Six Types of Working Genius. For the past 25 years, Pat and his firm, The Table Group, have provided leaders with products and services to make their organizations more effective, their teams more cohesive, and their employees more fulfilled. Fascinated with the nature of jobs since his youth, he believes that one of the best ways to impact culture and society is through greater engagement and dignity at work.

To learn more about Patrick and The Table Group, please visit www.tablegroup.com.


Lencioni (The Five Temptations of a CEO) once again uses a leadership fable to set the stage for his material, this time focusing on team dynamics. He constructs his lessons around the story of a troubled Silicon Valley firm and its board's unexpected choice for the new CEO, a female manager previously retired from a traditional manufacturing company at age 55. Lencioni describes how the leadership team failed to function as a unit and how the new boss worked to reestablish essential conduct, pointing out that while teamwork can elude the most dedicated individuals, it can be restored by an insightful leader. The second part discusses the five dysfunctions: absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability, and inattention to results; provides a questionnaire to use in evaluating teams; and explains specifics on how to help teams understand and overcome common shortcomings. The rapid-fire narration by Charles Stransky may irritate some listeners, so look instead to the hard copy of this valuable book, which nicely complements Lencioni's other worthy titles. Recommended for business collections in university and larger public libraries. Dale Farris, Groves, TX Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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 College Library, 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)
"[...] Das Besondere an diesem Buch sind jedoch nicht die Inhalte, sondern es ist die Art der Vermittlung von Know-How und Praxiswissen. Lencioni gelingt dabei das Kunststuck, Sachinformation in ein packendes Fallbeispiel zu verpacken - eine Eigenschaft, die er mit vielen amerikanischen Autoren teilt. Das erleichtert die Identifizierung des Lesers mit den Erkenntnissen und sorgt fu eine ganze Reihe von Aha-Erlebnissen.[...] Dankenswerterweise lasst Lencioni den Leser dabei nicht allein mit einer spannenden Prosa, sondern liefert zudem auch Hinweise zur praktischen Realisierung des Erlernten." (personalmagazin, 07/2007)

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