The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable, 20th Anniversary Edition

· Sold by John Wiley & Sons
254 reviews

About this ebook

The New York Times best-selling team leadership handbook for modern executives, managers, and organizations

After her first two weeks observing the problems at DecisionTech, Kathryn Petersen, its new CEO, had more than a few moments when she wondered if she should have taken the job. But Kathryn knew there was little chance she would have turned it down. After all, retirement had made her antsy, and nothing excited her more than a challenge. What she could not have known when she accepted the job, however, was just how dysfunctional her team was, and how team members would challenge her in ways that no one ever had before.

For twenty years, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team has been engaging audiences with a page-turning, realistic fable that follows the travails of Kathryn Petersen, DecisionTech’s CEO, as she faces the ultimate leadership crisis. She must unite a team in such disarray that it threatens to derail the entire company.

Equal parts leadership fable and business handbook, this definitive source on teamwork by Patrick Lencioni reveals the five behavioral tendencies that go to the heart of why even the best teams struggle. He offers a powerful model and step-by-step guide for overcoming those dysfunctions and getting every one rowing in the same direction.

Today, the lessons in The Five Dysfunctions of a Team are more relevant than ever. This special anniversary edition celebrates one of the best-selling business books of all time with a new foreword from the author that reflects on its legacy and lessons.

Ratings and reviews

254 reviews
A Google user
May 29, 2012
A good book and quick read. Overall I liked the book because it focuses on a topic that doesn't seem very popular in the business press: teamwork. There are a handful of great take-aways in this book. Although it could apply to almost any team, it's really geared toward organizational behavior of executive teams.
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A Google user
July 24, 2010
Teamwork is an art that goes to anything that we do whether it is the family unit, a client with various business partners, or a corporate environment. Our life is made up of teams and we could not function effectively without a team environment. Relationships are so crucial to learn from and adapt to to move towards an over all goal. Many times a failure evolves out of the failure of a team to gel and to be able to connect - communicate. Relationships are key and vital to earn trust and teamwork. If you are not able to have lively discussions and be able to trust and respect each other, then the team will just end up dysfunctional and unproductive. Cultivating a climate of trust is essential to any end goal.
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A Google user
May 18, 2010
This book has presented the model of five dysfunctions. These are in form of a pyramid, and they are starting from Bottom of pyramid to the Top 1) Absence of trust -> Leads to invulnerability 2) Fear of conflict -> Artificial harmony 3) Lack of committment -> Ambiguity 4) Avoidance of accountability -> Low standard 5) Inattention to results -> Status and ego Good points about this model: a) Leaving aside personal ego and working towards the common goal together b) Have healthy debates -> by keeping aside ego and working towards common goal c) Need a good leader to spot the dysfunctions at any level (but this can be -ve point as well) Not so good points about this model: a) Looks like overlap of points 3) and 4) b) Healthy conflicts still possible without ego but possible sides having equally good / bad points (for eg compilation of code O2 space vs time). This can lead to waste of time and needs to be curbed. (Personally, I have received this as a point for improvement) c) Overly simplified model - is this practical in real life ? More things required (see below) d) Assumption within the model of capable people having the right competency. This also means that the non-competent people may engage in conflicts, which may NOT be in the right direction at all, resulting in total waste of time e)Problem in the model -> after satisfying 1) to 4) isn't 5) inevitable or not possible ? f) Model falls short in the foll: Sometimes need to experiment a few things before going ahead full steam. Need encouragement from team lead / management. Need guts for overcoming fear of failure. This is not captured in the model at all. g) Sacking of unaccountable team members not always possible - as this depends on team level, composition. Also approaching skip level may not necessarily solve the problem. Overall summary : The model is good including quite a few of its steps. But it is not complete / sufficient. More steps are required for eg a) right competency b) need good leadership skills within th team.
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About the author

PATRICK M. LENCIONI is the pioneer of the organizational health movement and the author of 13 best-selling books, including The Advantage, The Ideal Team Player, and The Six Types of Working Genius. For the past 25 years, Pat and his firm, The Table Group, have provided leaders with products and services to make their organizations more effective, their teams more cohesive, and their employees more fulfilled. Fascinated with the nature of jobs since his youth, he believes that one of the best ways to impact culture and society is through greater engagement and dignity at work.

To learn more about Patrick and The Table Group, please visit

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