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

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

by Patrick M. Lencioni
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable, 20th Anniversary Edition

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

by Patrick M. Lencioni

Hardcover(20th Anniversary Edition)

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Drawn from the actual experience of DecisionTech CEO Kathryn Petersen, this business handbook is a must for all leaders, managers and team members. It's a how-to for avoiding the pitfalls of teamwork and maximizing the efficiency of all involved.

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780787960759
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 04/11/2002
Series: J-B Lencioni Series , #13
Edition description: 20th Anniversary Edition
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 1,618
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)

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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Table of Contents

Introduction vii

The Fable 1

Luck 3

Part One: Underachievement 5

Part Two: Lighting the Fire 27

Part Three: Heavy Lifting 115

Part Four: Traction 171

The Model 185

An Overview of the Model 187

Team Assessment 191

Understanding and Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions 195

A Note About Time: Kathryn’s Methods 221

A Special Tribute to Teamwork 223

Acknowledgments 225

About the Author 228

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"As compelling, readable and practical as his other books. I'm sure this will be another business classic."
Richard Carr, President & CEO, TEC International

"Every manager and executive will recognize themselves somewhere in this book. Lencioni distills the problems that keep even the most talented teams from realizing their full potential. Even more important, he shows — in prose that is crisp, clear, and fun to read — how to solve them."
Geoffrey A. Moore, Chairman, The Chasm Group, Author, Crossing the Chasm; Inside the Tornado; Living on the Fault Line

"I read most best-selling business books. What sets Lencioni apart is his ability to provide insightful and practical solutions to complex management challenges."
Phillip Hildebrand, Executive VP and Chief Distribution Officer, New York Life Insurance Company

"A gripping analysis of what makes teams work effectively. This fine work is a must read for any leader that has come to grips with the fact that no one makes progress — much less succeeds — alone."
James Amos, president and CEO, Mail Boxes, Etc.

"Compelling and incisive, this will become the definitive guide on how to build and manage successful teams."
Jean Kovacs, president and CEO, Comergent Technologies


Author Essay
Overcoming Team Politics and Dysfunction

Because teams are made up of human beings with various agendas and frailties, many teams are easily susceptible to politics and inefficiency, especially within organizations. From first-line management teams to the executive suite, teams of all types experience some level of dysfunction and politics.

Fortunately, the causes of team dysfunction and politics are both understandable and curable. However, these problems don't die easily. Making a team functional and cohesive requires levels of courage and discipline that many groups simply cannot muster.

To better understand the level of dysfunction that may plague your team, ask yourself these simple questions:

  1. Do team members hold back their opinions?
  2. Do team meetings tend to be boring?
  3. Does the pursuit of consensus bog down your team?
  4. Do team members hesitate to call each other on their shortcomings?
  5. Do team members put their own goals and interests ahead of those of the team?
Although no team is perfect and even the best teams sometimes struggle with one or more of these issues, the finest organizations constantly work to ensure that their answers are no. Focusing on these issues helps any team benefit from the extraordinary power of true teamwork.

If you answered yes to many of these questions, your team is probably experiencing some level of dysfunction. The beginning steps in overcoming these issues within your organization are understanding that there are five dysfunctions and addressing them.

Building and sustaining a functional and cohesive team is not easy however, the rewards are significant. Functional teams avoid wasting time talking about the wrong issues and revisiting the same topics over and over again because of lack of buy-in. Additionally, functional teams accomplish more in less time and with less distraction and frustration. Finally, "A" players rarely leave organizations when they are part of a cohesive team.

Ironically, as desirable as these qualities are, they continue to remain elusive, making teamwork even more powerful. The fact is, in this age of nanosecond competitive advantage and instant commoditization, building a strong team remains one of the few opportunities for sustainable and significant differentiation, one that every organization should covet. (Patrick M. Lencioni)

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