Summary of The Five Temptations of a CEO

A Leadership Fable

Jossey-Bass, more...

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The Five Temptations of a CEO book summary
So you finally got the CEO title. Congratulations. The easy part is over.


7 Overall

7 Applicability

7 Innovation

6 Style


Why do CEOs fail? According to Patrick Lencioni, they fall prey to common temptations that distract them from their only true responsibility: producing results. The temptations, like the tendency to focus on career status over corporate performance, boil down to very human weaknesses. You won’t necessarily learn any real success secrets here, but the reminder to keep these dangerous propensities in mind and under control will be valuable to all executives. This book has gotten rave reviews for its powerful simplicity and vivid prose, but we think the slim volume would have been more effective if it were made even slimmer by cutting out the fable that frames the CEO advice. But nevertheless, getAbstract recommends this book as fast and easy reading for CEOs or, likelier, for those still climbing the corporate ladder.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Which five reasons cause CEOs to fail
  • Why the bottom line should always be the CEO’s top priority
  • Why it’s okay – even preferable – for CEOs to be human


Andy and the Wise Janitor
As the fable begins, Andrew O’Brien is working late at his office in San Francisco. He is worried because he has a board meeting the next day, the first anniversary of his promotion to CEO. He frets because he is being held accountable for the complete fiscal ...
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About the Author

Patrick Lencioni is president of The Table Group, a San Francisco Bay Area management consulting firm. Besides working as an executive coach and consultant, he has written a number of screenplays. He previously held key positions at Sybase and Oracle, and began his career at Bain & Company. He has worked with hundreds of executive teams and CEOs.

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