Summary of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

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The Five Dysfunctions of a Team book summary
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Patrick Lencioni offers a fable about an executive wrestling to take hold of a company and create a smoothly functioning executive team. The novel is interesting, and you can read through it easily, getting to know the characters and participating in their business decisions. However, if you just want to learn about better teamwork quickly and leave, skim to the final chapters where the author outlines a detailed model for diagnosing the five dysfunctions of a team and provides exercises and techniques to ameliorate those dysfunctions. The advice is complete and concrete.

About the Author

Patrick Lencioni is president of The Table Group, a San Francisco consultancy. He is the author of The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive and The Five Temptations of a CEO.



The Story, in Brief

The new CEO of Decision Tech, Kathryn Peterson, is trying to cope with an executive team in chaos. She must muster her personal strength to diagnose what has gone wrong with her top staff members and try to fix it before the bottom line bottoms out. She learns some valuable lessons on the way to creating a functional team. In fact, team building is conceptually simple, uncluttered and straightforward. Two things are critically true about teams: most organizations fail to achieve teamwork and those which try run into five common pitfalls. Those five pitfalls, labeled "the five dysfunctions of a team," are:

  1. Lack of trust — When they don't trust each other, team members are afraid to communicate honestly and openly. They hide their real thoughts and feelings. They are unwilling to take responsibility for fear of making mistakes. If team members cannot communicate honestly, they cannot possibly build a platform of trust.
  2. Fear of confrontation — When they don't trust each other, teammates are reluctant to confront each other. Because they hide their feelings and do not communicate, they cannot engage in ...

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    F. H. 1 month ago
    Good cause
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    R. B. 1 year ago
    It seems to me that whenever Teams are working together to achieve Common Goals, there needs to be a spirit of genuine Emotional Intelligence, thereby putting aside all Emotional Egos! Afterall, it's not the individual that gets the credit, it's the TEAM, therefore having NO _I_ in TEAM!
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    S. T. 2 years ago
    When I am working with Senior leaders i go to this book as the foundation for how they can establish a winning culture. When leaders are aware of and apply the core concepts around the Five Dysfunctions, leadership groups become highly effective and successful. Not to mention improved engagement. Great book.
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    T. T. 5 years ago
    I had the privilege to work with some folks that interacted with Patrick on this book. Good ideas, however, simple. I kid of sad that these books still need to be written.
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    A. 8 years ago
    This a book that has been recommended to me by a friend and the summary makes me want to purchase and read the complete book. Certainly great tips on how to build better teamwork.
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    M. D. 9 years ago
    Good abstract on the book and a nice tip to suggest the reader skips to the back chapter if they want the utilise the fundamentals rather than read through the fable. Although, I would suggest reading the entire book as it a relative and fluid story.