The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team

Patrick Lencioni, 228 p., John Wiley (Pb.), 2002


  • Sinn und Werte
  • Haltung und Selbstorganisation
  • Innovation und Veränderung

Written like a novel, Patrick Lencioni makes the reader understand what is really crucial for a team. Much like a mystery novel, the reader is driven forward by the interest in "solving the case." Like the elements of a puzzle, insights are passed along piece by piece. The story is not only rewarding to read, but provides a perfect drive and good descriptions for someone who wants to prepare to perform in a top team. Already experienced leaders will advance quite quickly to The Model chapter. Here Patrick summarizes personal experiences from his 2002 book on the five derailing dysfunctions of a leadership team into a short diagram. The diagram includes five levels: the lack of trust, the fear of conflict, the lack of commitment, the avoidance of responsibility, and the inattention to results. In a few words, he describes the consequences of these dysfunctions. In the final pages of the book, Patrick shares practical tips on how to evaluate a team based on the above five performance indicators. He offers an easy-to-understand questionnaire with a response sheet. Clearly more important for any top team leader or -alternatively- a facilitator who works with top teams, however, are the relevant exercises with the team after an assessment has been conducted. Any team, especially top teams, can improve by using the book in areas such as building trust, addressing constructive criticism, demonstrating commitment to common goals, acting in a responsible manner, and giving attention to group results. As you read, thoughts immediately come to mind about how to improve teams. Here are some sample thoughts from a reader that, important to note, have nothing to do with the author of the book. Just imagine for a moment how much better our world as a whole could be if top leaders did not represent their units/countries, but instead redefined themselves as the top team in the world and were mindful of the outcomes of the politics and business management of the entire world. Enjoy for a second this idea: the heads of our countries address conflicts constructively and feel collectively responsible for the well-being of 7,8,9.... Trillion people.

If you think this idea is unfortunately too far-fetched, apply Lencioni's book to your current reality. Be confident that you can transform any team into a high performing team by applying the lessons.

Tripl3Leader recommends this book because we have tested the tools and approaches many times with great success. How much more can your leadership team achieve by eliminating these dysfunctions and unleashing the power of teams?

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