The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

In The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni once again offers a leadership fable that is as enthralling and instructive as his first two best-selling books, The Five Temptations of a CEO and The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive. This time, he turns his keen intellect and storytelling power to the fascinating, complex world of teams.


Kathryn Petersen, Decision Tech’s CEO, faces the ultimate leadership crisis: Uniting a team in such disarray that it threatens to bring down the entire company. Will she succeed? Will she be fired? Will the company fail? Lencioni’s utterly gripping tale serves as a timeless reminder that leadership requires as much courage as it does insight.


Throughout the story, Lencioni reveals the five dysfunctions which go to the very heart of why teams even the best ones-often struggle. He outlines a powerful model and actionable steps that can be used to overcome these common hurdles and build a cohesive, effective team. Just as with his other books, Lencioni has written a compelling fable with a powerful yet deceptively simple message for all those who strive to be exceptional team leaders.


Overview and purchase from Amazon


The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team:

Dysfunction #1: Absence of Trust
The fear of being vulnerable with team members prevents the building of trust within the team.


Dysfunction #2: Fear of Conflict
The desire to preserve artificial harmony stifles the occurrence of productive ideological conflict.


Dysfunction #3: Lack of Commitment
The lack of clarity or buy-in prevents team members from making decisions they will stick to.


Dysfunction #4: Avoidance of Accountability
The need to avoid interpersonal discomfort prevents team members from holding one another accountable.


Dysfunction #5: Inattention to Results
The pursuit of individual goals and personal status erodes the focus on collective success.

The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team


There are my thoughts. They are nuggets or seeds to get you started.


This was one of the books that sparked the flame to really explore my leadership style as well as look at things from a deeper and different set of lenses.


Results should be primary goal. This goes without saying as you ready the book – as you go up the model, that is the primary goal.


We need to work as a team
•  Less egos – all have them but win as a team in most important.

Here is an example:
Basketball team can be full of people with large egos, but if only one of them is a good player, they may want the spotlight and show off their 55 points, but if the team loses, what is the goal? What was achieved?

Consider a football team. On a football field, a scoreboard focuses on everyone’s efforts on one thing: winning.


It doesn’t display defensive statistics or offensive statistics or even individual player statistics. It provides unambiguous information about how the team is doing, and how much time the members have left if they want to improve the final outcome. That leaves little room for individual interpretation.


Imagine the quarterback of a team that is losing by 14 points with 3 minutes to go in the game saying to the coach, “Well, I feel pretty good about thins. I mean, my performance was not bad, and my stats look good.”


The coach would be furious. He wants that quarterback and everyone else on the team to be focused on one thing: winning (or results).


Meetings – compare to movies. What is the single ingredient that makes movies interesting and keeps us motivated to watch them – conflict. This is what keeps us engaged and interested.


“Politics is when people choose their words and actions based on how they want others to react rather than based on what they really think.”
Patrick Lencioni


These are other key words and/or thoughts:
•  Positive Debate
•  Positive Confrontation
•  Communication
•  Lack of debate
•  Discomfort in challenging each other
•  Willingness to participate
•  Trust
•  All need to be engaged
•  High standards of behavior and performance
•  You have brought up great points and put on Park List (create page)
•  Look for opportunities for people to get out of their chairs.


This is by far one of the best books I have read and highly recommend it. It provided me a great foundation to enhance my journey as well as created many new directions to take my thinking and learning. Read the book!
Great Summary Video

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