The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni is a realistic fictional story that focuses on a real-world scenario focused on the importance of team building skills. In the story, a relatively young, yet successful company recruited a new CEO. Recently the company was falling into decline, apparently by the dysfunctions of the executive team. The story followed the CEO in her efforts to unite the team in an attempt to encourage increased productivity and most importantly, an understanding of how a team should function. This review will examine the way one might apply the suggested techniques to a real-life situation.
Lencioni describes a realistic group of people who are not working together as a successful team. With Katheryn, the team’s newly hired leader, the group explores and confronts the issues that are preventing them from being a successful team. The tense, realistic scenarios create a very interesting and entertaining text for the reader. However, the situations present useful techniques and skills that a leader could apply to real-life situations. The situations focus around business situations set in corporate America. The narrative text allows readers to envision the techniques in action; this book could benefit a leader who wants to acquire a few useful leadership skills while reading a relatively entertaining story.
Book Review: Patrick Lencioni’s (2002) The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, a Leadership Fable Many people experience having to work with people from various backgrounds; many have found that they have difficulty creating successful, well-functioning teams with many people for a wide variety of reasons. One must ask what impact this difficulty creates for the greater good of an organization. What are the benefits of working as a team? What is the impact of choosing to work alone? What would one use to evaluate the pros and cons of a particular team? In The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, a Leadership Fable, Patrick Lencioni describes the foundation of a successful team and discusses ways to address these issues. The author, Patrick Lencioni is a consultant who specializes in building strong collaborative teams through a variety of organizations. Patrick Lencioni has worked with many Fortune 500 companies as well as other prominent organizations. He has written eight nationally recognized books that focus on team development and organizational health. Lencioni is often referenced by popular news media for his knowledge of business management. Lencioni argues that a team that does not function properly will snowball overtime into a disastrous situation. Lencioni mentions that a team must be aware of what a team must do to function well and collaborate in a manner that will lead to higher success with all members working toward a common goal. Throughout the book, the author reminds the reader that true team building is a process that involves work and effort over a long period. He also reminds the reader that in many instances there will be regression as deliberate team building is in the implementation process.
Summary of Contents
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, a Leadership Fable follows Kathryn, the newly hired CEO of a fictional company called DecisionTech. DecisionTech is a relatively new company that experienced great initial success, but has failed to grow to its expectations. Kathryn inherited an executive team that processed a wide range of skills, extremely competent in their abilities to perform in their assigned position, but have disparate personalities. In addition to these varied personalities, team members also lack the ability to function as a team. Kathryn sees creating a strong, functional team as her first and most important goal before any business related results can be obtained. Kathryn schedules a series of team-building retreats in order to strengthen her team. Throughout the book, Kathryn has to battle criticism, lack of cooperation, along with numerous other obstacles. The book reminds the reader why it is important for Kathryn to maintain the importance of her vision while remaining sensitive to the needs of the members of her executive team. There are numerous instances where Kathryn must be firm in emphasizing the importance and relevance of what the team is trying to accomplish with their meetings.
Lencioni describes “the five dysfunctions of a team” that hinder the capacity of the team to operate as a whole. These dysfunctions are simple, yet essential to understand: absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability, and inattention to results. The book describes what these dysfunctions look like among this fictional team and describes what would need to occur in order to reshape these things into something positive. Throughout the story, there are sobering reminders that it is possible to experience a downfall both in the initial phases as well as during the rebuilding phases of a team that individuals simply are not a good-fit for a particular team regardless of their capabilities and skills.