The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

Infobox Book
name = The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

author = Patrick Lencioni
country = United States
language = English
genre = Business, Marketing, Management, teamwork
publisher = Jossey-Bass
media_type = Print (Hardcover)
pages = 229
isbn = ISBN 0-7879-6075-9

"The Five Dysfunctions of a Team" is a bestselling [citation|url=|title=The BusinessWeek Best-Seller List|date=January 30, 2004] business book by consultant and speaker Patrick Lencioni. It describes the many pitfalls that teams face as they seek to "row together." This book explores the fundamental causes of organizational politics and team failure. Like most of Lencioni's books, the bulk of it is written as a business fable. This ground breaking fable has enjoyed numerous appearances on national best-seller lists including: The New York Times, Business Week, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and

It is popular with sports coaches because the issues it describes are especially important in team sports. [citation|url=|publisher=USA Today|author=Del Jones|date=November 28, 2005|title=Business leadership book wins fans in NFL - Several coaches apply 'Five Dysfunctions' to game play]

"This gripping fable centers on Kathryn Petersen, an old-school CEO who comes out of retirement to accept the monumental task of transforming a dysfunctional group of high profile, egocentric executives into a cohesive and effective team. With an amazing gift for building teams, Kathryn forces her colleagues to confront the behavioral pitfalls that destroy most teams and adopt the five characteristics of a truly cohesive one." [As defined on the official web-site]


The five dysfunctions are [cite book|author=Patrikc Lencioni|title=The Five Dysfunctions of a Team|publisher=Jossey-Bass|year=2002|url=|isbn=0787960756] :

Absence of Trust

The first of the dysfunctions, absence of trust, stems from teams unwillingness to be vulnerable within the group. Team members who are not genuinely open with one another about their mistakes and weaknesses make it impossible to build a foundation for trust.

Fear of Conflict

This failure to build trust is damaging because it sets a tone for the second dysfunction: fear of conflict. Teams that lack trust are incapable of engaging in unfiltered passionate debate of ideas. Instead, they resort to veiled discussions and guarded comments.

Lack of Commitment

A lack of healthy conflict is a problem because it ensures the third dysfunction of a team: lack of commitment. without having aired their opinions in the course of passionate and open debate, team members rarely, if ever, buy in and commit to decisions, though they may feign agreement during meetings.

Avoidance of Accountability

Because of this lack of real commitment and buy-in, team members develop an avoidance of accountability, the fourth dysfunction. Without committing to a clear plan of action, even the most focused and driven people often hesitate to call their peers on actions and behaviors that seem counterproductive to the good of the team.

Inattention to Results

Failure to hold one another accountable creates an environment where the fifth dysfunction can thrive. Inattention to results occurs when team members put their individual needs (such as ego, career development, or recognition) or even the needs of their divisions above the collective goals of the team.

List of academic periodical reviews

* Harvard Business Review; Apr2002, Vol. 80 Issue 4, p28, John T. Landry
* Publishers Weekly March 25, 2002 v249 i12 p54(1),
* Top books of 2002: how to manage Jack Covert. Greater Baton Rouge Business Report Jan 21, 2003 v21 i10 p29(1)
* Booklist April 1, 2002 v98 i15 p1288(1)
* Library Journal April 15, 2002 v127 i7 p102(1)
* CMA Management July-August 2002 v76 i5 p6(1)
* Canadian Manager Fall 2002 v27 i3 p31(1)


External links

* [ The Patrick Lencioni Homepage]

See also

* First, Break All the Rules
* Beer School
* The 33 Strategies of War
* Experience Economy
* Blue Ocean Strategy

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