Thursday, May 08, 2014

Five Dysfunctions of a Team

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

I have a lot of super-awesome volunteers at my library. One of them has a fancy-schmancy day job as a high-level executive. When I became branch manager, we were talking about my new role and management stuff and she highly recommended Patrick Lencioni, this book in general. So I read it.

I loved it. It’s a “Leadership Fable” which made it a much easier read for me. The first 75% of the book is a story about a dysfunctional software company and how a new CEO came in and fixed the team and the problem and successes they had along the way. As a story, it wasn’t that awesome, but as someone who thinks in story, it was a much easier, faster, and accessible read than a normal “how to” management book. I read it in an evening and the points made are going to stick with me for a lot longer because of it. I was skeptical going in, but I really appreciated the style. The last 25% is a little more “how to” that goes a little more in-depth on the 5 dysfunctions, how to spot them, and how to get over them.

I also think Lencioni makes good points on how to make a team work. He really focuses on the overall goal of the team, and not individual success and ego. Part of this is a good dose of conflict (because good conflict creates better buy-in) and holding each other accountable. I also liked how his team-building exercises and overall method wasn’t touchy-feely. (No trust falls!) and stays largely focused on the actual business at hand, while still being broadly applicable.

I also liked how he has five dysfunctions, but they really play into each other and are all part of a larger problem, and how if you have problem in one area, you almost definitionally are going to have problems in another.

Now, I work with an awesome team, so I won’t be putting what I learned into direct process, but I’ll be keeping it in mind to evaluate if we continue to be awesome in the future.

And, I’ll be checking out Lencioni’s other leadership books.

(ooo.. there’s also a manga version)

Book Provided by... my local library

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