The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Enhanced Edition: A Leadership Fable

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John Wiley & Sons, Jun 3, 2010 - Business & Economics - 240 pages
In The Five Dysfunctions of a Team Patrick Lencioni once again offers a leadership fable that is as enthralling and instructive as his first two best-selling books, The Five Temptations of a CEO and The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive. This time, he turns his keen intellect and storytelling power to the fascinating, complex world of teams.

Kathryn Petersen, Decision Tech's CEO, faces the ultimate leadership crisis: Uniting a team in such disarray that it threatens to bring down the entire company. Will she succeed? Will she be fired? Will the company fail? Lencioni's utterly gripping tale serves as a timeless reminder that leadership requires as much courage as it does insight.

Throughout the story, Lencioni reveals the five dysfunctions which go to the very heart of why teams even the best ones-often struggle. He outlines a powerful model and actionable steps that can be used to overcome these common hurdles and build a cohesive, effective team. Just as with his other books, Lencioni has written a compelling fable with a powerful yet deceptively simple message for all those who strive to be exceptional team leaders.

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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
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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A good, quick read with many valuable insights. Applicable to teams at all levels in a corporate climate.

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About the author (2010)

PATRICK M. LENCIONI is founder and president of The Table Group, a management consulting firm specializing in executive team development and organizational health. As a consultant and keynote speaker, he has worked with thousands of senior executives and their teams in organizations ranging from Fortune 500 companies to high-tech startups to universities and nonprofits. Lencioni is the author of 11 best-selling books, including The Advantage and The Ideal Team Player.

To learn more about Patrick, and the products and services offered by his firm, The Table Group, please visit

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