Sep 19, 2022

Book Review: The five dysfunctions of a team by Patrick Lencioni


 I first read this book sometime in 2010. Though the framework made sense, I couldn't relate to it at a deeper level. As I re-read this book 12 years later, I could appreciate the intentions behind the recommended framework, having gone through multiple work experiences.

The book talks about the five dysfunctions that prevent a team from achieving an organization's goals. The author has used an interesting fable as a backdrop to explain the five dysfunctions. The characters that we come across in the fable are quite relatable that makes you think, "Ah, isn't this character seem like the one I encountered at <company>?"

What I loved about the framework is how each of these five dysfunctions is interlinked and how it feeds onto one another, both in positive and negative ways.

As we grow in our professional work experience, I realized that the two of the most important values are TRUST and RESPECT. The other factors (salary, title, role, etc) cannot compensate in the long term when these values remain unmet.

The author beautifully explains how the Absence of Trust can cascade into a multitude of issues. Being vulnerable and open to sharing your weaknesses with your team are some of the ways by which trust gets built over time. Unfortunately, in today's hustle culture, there is hardly any time left for intentional trust building.

Fear of Conflict and Lack of Commitment are the dysfunctions that follow when there is a lack of trust. Productive ideological conflict without personal attacks can only happen when team members trust each other.

The author has also elaborated the framework in detail, along with understanding and overcoming the five dysfunctions. There are a lot of actionable takeaways in the final chapter.

If you are leading a team, then do check out this interesting book. You might find a few valuable insights to put into practice.

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