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Publisher's Summary

In keeping with the parable style, Patrick Lencioni begins by telling the fable of a woman who, as CEO of a struggling Silicon Valley firm, took control of a dysfunctional executive committee and helped its members succeed as a team. Story time over, Lencioni offers explicit instructions for overcoming the human behavioral tendencies that he says corrupt teams (absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability and inattention to results). Succinct yet sympathetic, this guide will be a boon for those struggling with the inherent difficulties of leading a group.

Building a cohesive team is not complicated, declares Lencioni. Departing from the dry, theoretical writing of many management books, he presents his case in the context of a fictional organization, and in doing so succeeds at communicating his ideas. The scenarios are recognizable and can be applied anywhere teamwork is involved, whether it is a multinational company, a small department within a larger organization, or a sports team. At the end of the story, the main points are summarized, and clearly expressed suggestions and exercises are offered to help bring about change. Concise and easy to follow, this program is recommended for anyone who is a member of a team that needs improvement.

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team is also available in print from Wiley.

©2002 Patrick Lencioni
(P)2002 Random House Inc.

Critic Reviews

"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.)

Featured Article: 20 Best Leadership Audiobooks to Inspire You and Your Team


Often what makes leadership so difficult is not the responsibilities or pressure that comes with it, but the soft skills needed to effectively manage people. Unlike many goals, soft skills are difficult to measure, which can make them hard to improve upon. That’s why we brought in the experts. With advice from some of the best in the business to help you inspire your team and improve your workplace, here is our list of the 20 best leadership audiobooks.

What listeners say about The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The BEST book on teamwork available!

One of the great things about fables is the ability to identify with characters. Lencioni makes it easy to gauge where you are in your success and/or failure in building an awesome team. You will NOT be an effective leader without overcoming the 5 dysfunctions of a team.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Clear Headed Guidance on Building Teams

This book uses a story about a newly created management team as the backdrop for it's lessons. If you liked the clear and concise story approach used in "Who Moved My Cheese?" or "Fish!" you'll enjoy this audiobook. There is a good summary at the end which is well worth sitting down and taking notes from.

29 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great approach to the topic

At first I was annoyed by the fact that 80% of the book is a fictional account of an executive team working through the dysfunctions. But I've found that the story (and lessons) has stuck with me much better than had this been a straight non-fiction leadership book. I look forward to more books from this author.

28 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A coherent framework for thinking about teams

This was a worthwhile listen - short, sweet, and a great distillation of what most experienced team leaders have in their head as common sense. The five dysfunctions are real, readily applied in the real world, and I have yet to find a colleague who didn't immediately appreciate this way of looking at how people work together to solve problems.

Constantly wondering why your team isn't as effective as it should be? Listen to this book. I did, and it really helped me in how I lead my team (I am VP-Technology for a professional services firm). This is the first audio title, after 3 years of audible.com, that made me want to go out and get the hard copy of the book for my office reference bookshelf.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Simply stated

Lencioni does a wonderful job of characterizing the different personalities that are found within most organizations. You'll recognize co-workers in an instant! Lencioni breaks down the pitfalls of a team to five key points...and hits the nail on the head. I've begun to build my management team around these five principals and have experienced great success.

Double thumbs up!

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Good concepts and great medium to convey them...

Truly enjoyed the story. Leadership concepts conveyed in the book are, quality, basic ideas and to the point, re-iteration and real-life scenarios have been plugged in very well.
The usage of a storyline to convey the theme is quite effective for some folks, giving the content more "spice", other readers/listeners who do not like story based books might want to skip out on this one. The narrator does a great job as well, kudos to him and the authors.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent. Engaging. Uplifting

I strongly recommend this book. Situations were fictional but realistic. This is my first "non-fiction" fiction book and I like it! This is filled with positive energy.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Entertaining Education

The business fable is entertaining education. A great listen. I wish Patrick Lencioni had many more.

10 people found this helpful

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Almost Useful

I have to agree with the Five Dysfunctions of a Team:
Absence of trust, Fear of conflict, Lack of commitment, Avoidance of accountability, Inattention to team results
But the solutions proposed in this book, although they might help, seem inefficient and out of date. I have gone through almost identical programs with teams, and there was a little short term benefit but the techniques did not lead to lasting, meaningful change. Years later (after several intervening ineffective management initiatives) we adopted Scrum development which led, almost immediately, to evolutionary positive enduring change (which adds up quickly to substantial change). The off-sites in pretty places and trust-chairs described in this book are very slightly helpful, but Scrum is the first fully fleshed out system I have actually seen work.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Approach to Team Building

This book is written as a fable about a high tech firm that is struggling to make head way in its market, and the key issue is that the leadership team does not function effectively as a team. Lencioni uses this fable approach because it makes it easier for the reader to identify with the characters, and thus, the learning sinks in more effectively. The approach certainly worked for me. As the story evolves, Lencioni reveals each of the five dysfunctions (absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability, and inattention to results) and how this particular leadership team overcomes these dysfunctions. He emphasizes that creating functional teams is an on-going process and not a one shot deal and that the process isn't linear - there is often back sliding and then movement forward again. At the end of the book, he includes a guide for using the model which covers an overview of the five dysfunctions, details of how to overcome each dysfunction, and a discussion of how the five are integrated. He emphasizes that the model is simple in theory, but it is difficult in practice.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jamie Hart
  • 02-14-18

Concise and useful

Like the way he introduces the concept in a story and then gives practical tips on its implementation.
One to keep and return to.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Browns View
  • 12-23-12

Compelling listen

Thought provoking listen, which had me hooked. Most of the book revolves around the goings on in a fictional - and, of course, dysfunctional - company; many of the scenarios raised in the will resonate. (The last part of the book, which goes through each of the five dysfunctions in a more formal way perhaps works less well in audio-book form.)

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • C. Griffiths
  • 09-20-19

A Must Listen for Anyone in Leadership...

Toxic work cultures kill...people's drive, their capacity for creativity, their spirit and their joy.

So why do business leaders still tolerate the poison apples?

1. Failure to recognise the culprit/s
2. Inability to challenge bad behaviour
3. A stupid misconception that it will all work itself out
4. An equally stupid belief that friction is good ...(yes really)
5. Lack of a back bone

If you're working in a toxic hell-hole - give your boss and your colleagues this - if you can expense it - even better, if not, it's worth the investment!

If only listening to this was mandatory for all managers / leaders....

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • DEAN
  • 05-09-17

well worth a listen. focused at senior managers

good listen and interesting story, as a manager of a large team of field based engineers it would prove difficult to implement some of the model. but a good book.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Joe Foran
  • 12-15-16

loved it

Great book. Brilliantly explained principles on team development and performance. A must for every manager. Thank you Audible.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kirsty
  • 12-23-12

Powerful

Love the way this book is written as a story. It makes it easier to digest. It provokes some powerful questions about the teams you work in but provides the insight to help make them. It's logical and easy to understand. It's a must if you want to take your team to the next level and beyond.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Rasa
  • 11-15-21

Amazing book about team building

Easy to follow story, with key team building principals included. This is first book I have listened to and will remember on key principals of functional team building, very much recommended

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • E L BENNETT
  • 11-04-21

A lovely fable

Very easy to listen to (apart from the narrators attempt at an English accent). I enjoyed it.


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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-31-21

Great to revisit this book again

Loved this tool in a training programme with both of my teams. Great to hear again to put into practice with my own business.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Andrew
  • 10-30-21

Simple and compelling view of what makes a top team

A simple yet compelling view of what makes for a high performing top team. Most teams don’t focus on how they work together rather than what they individually achieve. Lencioni takes the refreshing approach of explaining top team management theory through an illustrative story.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-01-21

Loved it.

Simple yet effective tools to build high performing team. I love the story telling approach.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-28-21

good for insomnia

average content. very boring naration. interesting content but not much substance to the story.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-06-21

Must read for anyone leading a team

Amazing listen, easy to follow and the storyline makes it real-world.
Excellent summary to toe it all together at the end

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-18-21

still very much relevant

doesn't matter what kind of team you manage, or what industry you're in, this book can help you be a better leader and support your team to deliver their best work.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • tom
  • 02-22-21

Not bad

Not bad, I can see how that relates to all teams. sometimes you may have not have access to appropriate staff which limits your options.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • gallluke
  • 01-08-21

Good and concise

Interesting format. Very thought provoking listen. I need to go through the conclusion again I think.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-18-20

Very useful, love the narrative style

Loved that this book was so easy to understand and relate to. So many examples that are immediately applicable to our team. Now for the difficult part - putting it all into practice. I’m going to be listening to it again and taking notes.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Rolls
  • 07-30-20

Brilliant

Brilliant. Easy to listen to, good story that keeps you listening with realistic and useful lessons.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-01-20

Relatable

LOVED IT!!
Although the scenario itself was far off from my office, the dysfunctions and environment was very relatable. Throughout the descriptions I was even able to pick up on some of the dysfunctions protested in my own team that I didn’t realise was a problem.
Definitely recommend for rookie managers wanting some insight and guidance.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jason
  • 03-13-20

A blueprint for getting the best from your team

Blows apart the common myths, like what trust is and is not, when conflict is essential, how to get everyone to hold each other accountable. Packed into a relatable story, and explained afterwards in black and white.