Book Review – The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

Coming off my high from The Great Alone, this next book would not have been my choice in any way, but work calls… I’m all for healthy organizations, but reading organizational health books, to me, is like watching paint dry. Plus, it’s just really hard to read a book I didn’t choose for myself when I have a stack of books on my shelf, itching to be read.

Book 7:
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable
by Patrick Lencioni

Organizational Health

July 2002

Synopsis According to Mandi:
Without spoilers, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team is a leadership fable that explores, well, the five dysfunctions of a team. Lencioni outlines those common dysfunctions as the following:

  • Absence of trust—unwilling to be vulnerable within the group
  • Fear of conflict—seeking artificial harmony over constructive passionate debate
  • Lack of commitment—feigning buy-in for group decisions creates ambiguity throughout the organization
  • Avoidance of accountability—ducking the responsibility to call peers on counterproductive behavior which sets low standards
  • Inattention to results—focusing on personal success, status and ego before team success

Favorite Quote:

Success is not a matter of mastering subtle, sophisticated theory, but rather of embracing common sense with uncommon levels of discipline and persistence.

― Patrick Lencioni, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

Awards (based upon my brief research):
None noted.


My Overall Rating:
2 – I’ll admit, I came into this ready to give it a one simply because it’s not my cup of tea. However, I will also admit this book held my interest for probably the first two thirds because it’s written in fable form for that portion. As soon as it turned into the preachy, preachy, this-is-how-you-have-a-successful-team type of stuff, however, I had to read and re-read sentences because I was reading without actually taking it in. Snooze-fest. (I’m sorry Patrick!) If you lead a team and you need help, sure, go for it, but I can’t say it’s better or worse than the next organizational health book because they’re all kind of the same, aren’t they?

P.S. Sorry for the boring book review, but a book read is a book read.