The Five Dysfunctions of a team is a powerful book that offers a practical framework for people particularly the readers to form successful and formidable teams within an organization. Patrick Lencioni is the author of the book. He is the president and founder of the Table group, a consulting firm that focus on organization health and executive team management. The book published in the United States by Jossey-Bass Publishers in 2002.
Sources of Information
Five dysfunctions of a team have two parts the fable, which is a fictional tale with short vignettes and demonstrations. The second part entails the models that serve as a guidebook for strategies and achieving success. The sources of information are based on the fable in the first part of the book that involves the corporate crisis in Decision tech Inc. The model and dysfunctions mentioned in part two of the book originates from the fable. There lacks mention of any scientific data studies that the author uses to arrive at the five dysfunctions.
The main purpose book is to explore the key causes of team failure and organization politics and highlights the greatest pitfalls that teams face towards their quest for success. Moreover, the book highlights the basic characteristics of an ideal and effective leader within a team organization setting. In addition, the author aims at outlining workable and powerful steps that are useful to overcome common barriers and construct a compact and effective team.
Furthermore, the book outlines the cornerstones of success for an organization or a company in search of accomplishing its goals and constructing and maintaining a meaningful and healthy leadership team. Finally, the book through the elaborate practical guides, seek to allow students and leadership development experts to identify weak team behaviors, steps to enhancing team work and methods to analyze their skills collectively.
This book highlights five dysfunctions that essentially lead to the absence of trust, team ineffectiveness, fear of conflict, avoidance of accountability, lack of commitment and inattention to results. Patrick Lencioni portrays team leaders as positional; however there I believe that there is a strong relationship that needs formation among team members. In the fable, Kathryn at no instance positions her above or outside the team, she is well part of the team. Lencioni, views teams as interdependent entities, which not only share same goals and purposes but also must perform activities collaboratively in order to achieve those goals. Leaders ought to conduct sequence of key decisions and actions that are relational. From the fable, the reader can see Kathryn performing several tasks and actions such as coaching the staff through team building exercises, plans leadership development retreats and she directs the team on goals and manages healthy conflict (p.222).
Furthermore, another significant point in this book is the fact that leadership processes often affect team process positively. The role of the Leader in this book is precisely to guide the creation of effective team groups by example. Kathryn and the senior leadership team at the Decision tech, Inc. is more effective in making the rest of the team aware of the dysfunctions and subsequently pushes the team through them in order to become successful.
Furthermore, another significant point in this book is the fact that leadership processes often affect team process positively. The role of the Leader in this book is precisely to guide the creation of effective team groups by example (p.201). Kathryn and the senior leadership team at the Decision tech, Inc. is more effective in making the rest of the team aware of the dysfunctions and subsequently pushes the team through them in order to become successful.
Factors such as the need for certainty and consensus are some of the pitfalls that show false sense of commitment. Therefore, leaders must be at all times comfortable in making the hard decisions and cannot be afraid to be wrong. Accountability furthermore strengthens and builds relationships between team members. Thus, allowing them to be more cooperative and develop high expectations. This will steer a culture of accountability in the team (p.216). Finally, yet importantly, team leaders should separate their personal agendas and focus on team results and goals this in turn facilitates the mission and vision of the team toward the realization.
Pat Lencioni proposes a positive approach that collectively harmonizes the five-dysfunction model include a team that trust each other, practice unfiltered conflict revolving on ideas, focus on achievement, commit to plans of action and decisions and finally, hold each other accountable for aiding against those plans (p.190). From the above explanation, it sounds easy at least in theory. However, in practice, it is extremely hard since it requires high levels of persistence and discipline that only a few team groups can master and collectively yield positive results.
The justification is from the fact that the majority of leaders and managers lack proper and adequate skills in the art of team building. Thus, minute problems normally left untreated and pile up further into the daily-witnessed politics and ugliness in various companies where the top management and various divisions are at loggerheads. The author focuses on the root causes of dysfunction and politics and the ultimate solutions to overcoming them on teams in various organizations. The book is a testament to the competitive advantage and the power of teamwork it carries with to any organization. Pat Lencioni reminds the world that success in business even though difficult to achieve, it is not complicated Success entails more persistence and discipline than intellectual prowess.
This book has influenced positively in various aspects of promoting and developing both personal and professional excellence. Due to Its practical nature, the book steers leadership programs since it aligns with other leadership models. These programs are significant in ensuring objectives and mission of various organizations or institutions succeed with ease through cooperation amongst the teams involved.
Pat Lencioni work is by far means an additional reference to observe how teams should operate to be effective. Same to other leadership developmental theories for example, the Leadership challenge and Social challenge Models; the book advocates the importance of teamwork and team dynamics for students to understand the power of fostering healthy norms and team dynamics. Furthermore, since the book focuses on the main elements that teams fail to do, it creates a platform in which leadership students and subsequently professionals can develop steps and practices to enhance teamwork and individual skills.
The book develops students to acquire, enhance and analyze critical aspects leaders in team group have such as preferences for making a decision and the choices that come up within a situation. These preferences include thinking and feeling. According to these preferences, there are people who are more analytical, logical, tough minded and factual, these leaders are thinkers. Then there are those leaders who are artistic, compassionate, and subjective. These features are all common in human nature, and the difference with an outstanding team leader is where they apply each of these preferences integrated with a team that supports his or her vision collectively.
Five dysfunction of a team by Lencioni contributes vast management and leadership skills that leaders, managers, coaches and team leaders in any forum can subscribe. This goes a long way in perfecting their roles and productivity in their various positions. If institutions and companies meet their organizational goals, the society benefit from practices such as the Corporate Social responsibility. Moreover, functional teams ensure organizations’ profitability that leads to better salary packages and increases the income per capita and buying power of employees.
Value of the Book
Finally, the model Lencioni presents is pure user friendly and practical. In the fable, he highlights several examples that contrast between strong and poor performing teams. Furthermore, he provides strategies and activities readers can use to break from these dysfunctions to show case to the readers how much team leaders ought to spend with their members in order to succeed.
Lencioni fails to show leadership develops within his model and story. Kathryn the team leader in the fable is an already successful and accomplished leader and her key role involves enhancing positive development of team followers and members. Even though the model highlights her involvement in developing team processes it fails to show the number of team members who identify themselves with the skills and consequently develop in the future into team leaders. Lencioni would have conducted a further analysis for a better perspective.
Secondly, the book lacks any empirical studies or literature that any of the reader might be aware. Therefore, it is only anecdotal and practical since it is difficult to test Pat’s model without any theoretical framework. Therefore, from the book it may appear that all the dysfunctions have the same weight; however, in reality this may be false. Teams are different and therefore, may be true for another team might not necessarily apply to others. Thus without proper procedural guiding principles it can be difficult to fully implement this model.
Finally, the book is successful due to its practicability nature and its application is beneficial to all the stakeholders in leadership and management. Pat Lencioni uses a different approach in addressing team problems as they naturally occur and provides a useful framework model that transform teams into productivity and sustainability.
Lencioni, P. (2002). The five dysfunctions of a team: A leadership fable. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.