Book Review: The Five Dysfunctions Of A Team by Patrick Lencioni

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“To achieve results. This is the only true measure of a team.”

As an emerging young business professional I’m constantly observing groups of people. Whether it’s standing in line at a busy café, waiting in the lobby of a doctor’s office to interacting with my coworkers during rush hour, I find myself making mental notes on the efficacy of communication styles and variable work ethics.

Five Dysfunctions of a Team is a leadership fable set in the backdrop of an emerging tech company in the Silicon Valley whose new CEO, Kathryn, is redefining the meaning of true leadership. Lencioni uses his fictitious executives to draw home the point that organizations are only as strong as their weakest links. Sometimes these weaknesses surface through conflict, pressure, lack of accountability and ultimately inability to produce results.

Often we hear people saying that “they run this restaurant or company like a well-oiled machine.” Another way of phrasing that would be to acknowledge that each member of the group is contributing towards a common goal.

This month’s book review highlights key issues that can become major pitfalls for any team if left unaddressed.

“Great teams do not hold back with one another. They are unafraid to air their dirty laundry. They admit their mistakes, their weaknesses, and their concerns without fear of reprisal.”

Book Sections: The Fable | The Model

Book Details: 221 pages | brief chapters |reader friendly |detailed summary of each dysfunction + suggestions for tackling them

The Five Dysfunctions:

  1. Absence of Trust
  2. Fear of Conflict
  3. Lack of Commitment
  4. Avoidance of Accountability
  5. Inattention to Results

As the executive team of DecisionTech Inc. gather at the management retreat, Kathryn leads the group through a series of team building exercises, assessments and attempts to establish a sense of “togetherness” amongst her colleagues.

Any leader, CEO and manager alike, serve as guides that navigate their peers in the direction towards success. Periodic check-ins and clearly defined goals allow organizations to capitalize on their strengths and set themselves apart from their competitors.

It’s crucial that our future leaders are equipped with the knowledge of how to lead by example. Their main responsibility has to be to spark vulnerable discussions, validate the point of views of their team members and ultimately encourage everyone to work in unison.

This book is a great resource for any manager, leader and established or emerging business professional. If you’re looking to improve the quality of your work environment, increase productivity, increase sales or wanting to realign your vision with a set strategy, give this book a read.

“Not finance. Not strategy. Not technology. It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both because it is so powerful and so rare.”

Thank you so much for joining me for this month’s book review! Catch you all on the next post.

Happy Reading!!

-Ashna

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