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Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team

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Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team

A Field Guide for Leaders, Managers, and Facilitators


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

To make the teams at your company function better, solve the five problems that commonly impede team performance.

Editorial Rating



  • Comprehensive
  • Applicable
  • Well Structured


Patrick Lencioni wrote this as a follow-up to his 2002 “fable,” The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. It applies the earlier book’s concepts, and suggests many exercises, approaches, examples and explanations you can use as you apply those ideas. If you found the first book useful, you’ll want this one, though you can still get a lot of utility from it even if you haven’t read the original. Lencioni recaps his concepts clearly here, including developing trust among team members and keeping teams focused on their goals. The result is broadly applicable. getAbstract believes that readers who want a basic introduction to improving team function will appreciate this book. That said, those looking for more complex or theoretical approaches, or for tools to deal with specific challenges, such as knowledge management among teams, may need a more advanced manual.


Teams and Teamwork

Developing good, functional teams doesn’t require any special conceptual breakthroughs, but it does call for “courage and persistence.” Commit to making your team function smoothly, and then convince the other members that your dedication is real and they should share it. In the process of developing your team, make sure that you address several common misunderstandings and “five dysfunctions”: distrust, conflict, lack of commitment, lack of accountability and a failure to focus on results.

Start with the basics: Is your group a team? It doesn’t have to be. Many groups think they’re teams when they aren’t, and that misconception can frustrate people and waste time. A team must share goals and work toward them together. This requires some mutual performance evaluation. Team members must be willing to subordinate their personal needs to those of the team. True teams are “relatively small”; they might have as many as 12 people or as few as three. To build a strong and healthy team, address these five crucial issues:

1. “Building Trust”

Many people misuse the term “team” and disagree about the meaning of trust. Trust doesn’t mean being...

About the Author

Patrick Lencioni, founder and president of a management consulting firm, has worked with Fortune 500 senior executives and high-tech startup companies. He is the author of several other books, including The Five Dysfunctions of a Team and Death by Meeting.

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