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The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

A Leadership Fable

By Patrick M. Lencioni
15-minute read
Audio available
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick M. Lencioni

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team (2002) presents the notion that teams are inherently dysfunctional, so deliberate steps must be taken to facilitate great teamwork. A knowledgeable team leader can do a great deal to make his or her team effective, and the book outlines practical tools for achieving this.

  • Anyone interested in the prerequisites of great teamwork
  • Anyone interested in the kind of leadership and management that facilitates great teamwork
  • Anyone interested in the interpersonal dynamics of the workplace

Patrick Lencioni is president of The Table Group, a management consultancy. His previous bestselling books include Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Death by Meeting and Silos, Politics and Turf Wars. In 2008, CNN Money listed him as one of "ten new gurus you should know."

 

Patrick M. Lencioni: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team copyright 2002, John Wiley & Sons Inc. Used by permission of John Wiley & Sons Inc. and shall not be made available to any unauthorized third parties.

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The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

A Leadership Fable

By Patrick M. Lencioni
  • Read in 15 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 10 key ideas
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The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick M. Lencioni
Synopsis

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team (2002) presents the notion that teams are inherently dysfunctional, so deliberate steps must be taken to facilitate great teamwork. A knowledgeable team leader can do a great deal to make his or her team effective, and the book outlines practical tools for achieving this.

Key idea 1 of 10

What is in it for me: learn how to build and maintain a great team

Anyone who has ever had to work with other people to achieve something important has no doubt realized how crucial, and yet difficult, teamwork is. Indeed, great teamwork does not happen by accident; it requires concerted and deliberate efforts. This is because teams are inherently dysfunctional: they are made up of imperfect individuals who have egos and selfish goals.

Luckily, it is possible to achieve great teamwork by using certain tools and principles. Understanding how to implement them is crucial for any team leader.

For example, team leaders must build trust within the team so that members are comfortable engaging each other in conflict. Leaders must also set and monitor team goals so everyone stays focused. It is equally important for leaders to act as role models, exemplifying good teamwork themselves.

The book answers many essential questions about teamwork, such as:

  • Why is it so important to focus on teamwork, even if the team already has many great individuals?
  • Why is trust crucial, and why does it require team members to share weaknesses and mistakes openly?
  • How can team members be encouraged to focus on team results rather than individual goals?

The next eight blinks present the key ideas from the book.

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