“Success is not a matter of mastering subtle, sophisticated theory, but rather of embracing common sense with uncommon levels of discipline and persistence.”
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team is a fable about well funded with everything going for it that, without any explanation of apparent reason, is failing. Miserably.
A new CEO is hired with two objectives: 1) find the problem and 2) fix it. Through the quick read we follow the first few months of the new CEO, Katherine Peterson, on the job, meet her executives and learn what makes them tick. And we start to empathize with her problems quickly because they are our own.
Author Patrick Lencioni uses five executive characters to exemplify the five dysfunctions suggested in the book. These dysfunctions are extremely common place, most likely you have experienced all of them. They are:
Inattention to RESULTS: Ego and the desire for personal status become main motivators.
Avoidance of ACCOUNTABILITY: Team members lower their standards.
Lack of COMMITMENT: Ambiguity on goals and team targets.
Fear of CONFLICT: Artificial harmony is dominant.
Absence of TRUST: Team member strive to create an image of invulnerability.
A great strength of the book is that it avoids the all-too-frequent tendency of creating tension and then resolving it more quickly than would happen in real life. Reading the story gives you a sense of the effort needed to work through the dysfunctions of a team. The tools are presented to the reader, but without the illusion of a quick fix. Rather, “Five Dysfunctions” gives a simple message that inspires, energizes, and creates a vision of hope for how thing could be in a team.
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team is a book for executives. It’s a book for current parents, parents in the making and parents in the planning stages. It’s a book for anyone who’s ever been involved in a team dynamic and felt uncomfortable how things were going. It’s a book for all of us.