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The Truth About Employee Engagement


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Table of Contents

Introduction vii

The Fable

Shock 3

Part One: The Manager 5

Part Two: Retirement 21

Part Three: The Experiment 59

Part Four: Going Live 167

The Model

The Miserable Job 217

The Cost of Misery 219

The Three Root Causes 221

The Benefits and Obstacles of Managing for Employee Engagement 224

Exploring and Addressing the Causes of Job Misery 229

Case Studies 239

Taking Action 250

The Ministry of Management 253

Acknowledgments 255

About the Author 258

About the Author

PATRICK M. LENCIONI is founder and president of The Table Group, a management consulting firm specializing in executive team development and organizational health. As a consultant and keynote speaker, he has worked with thousands of senior executives in organizations ranging from Fortune 500s and high-tech start-ups to universities and nonprofits. He is the author of ten nationally recognized books, including the New York Times best-seller The Five Dysfunctions of a Team.

To learn more about Patrick Lencioni and his other products and services—including his newsletter and free resources—please visit www.tablegroup.com.


Lencioni, a consultant, speaker and bestselling author ("The Five Dysfunctions of a Team"), pinpoints the reasons behind and ways around what many consider a constant of the human condition: job dissatisfaction. According to Lencioni, job-fueled misery can ultimately seep into all aspects of life, leading to drug and alcohol abuse, violence and other problems, making this examination of job misery dynamics a worthy pursuit. Through the "simple" tale of a retired CEO-turned-pizzeria manager, Lencioni reveals the three corners of the employee unhappiness pyramid--immeasurability, anonymity and irrelevance--and how they contribute to dissatisfaction in all jobs and at all levels (including famously unfulfilled celebrities and athletes). The main culprit is the distancing of people from each other (anonymity), which means less exposure to the impact their work has (immeasurability), and thus a diminished sense of their own utility (irrelevance). While his major points could have been communicated more efficiently in a straightforward self-help fashion, his fictional case study proves an involving vessel for his model and strategies (applicable to managers and lower-level staff alike), and an appendix-like final chapter provides a helpfully stripped-down version. "(Aug.)" (Publishers "Weekly Annex" (Online), July 30, 2007) "Lencioni knows how to spin a good yarn and he weaves in plenty of advice...this book is essential reading." ("British Airways Business Life," October 2007) ..".well-written fable...a must-read" ("Accounting Technician," October 2007) ..".filled with actionable advice...A must-read for managers and employees alike seeking to get the most out of their jobs." ("Securities & Investment Review," November 2007) ..".written in such a way that you'll find yourself wanting to know what happens to the characters" ("Personnel Today," March 2008) ""As with all lencioni's books, this one is filled with actionable advice you can put into effect immediately."" (PublicNet, September 24, 2008)

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