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The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

By Patrick Lencioni

*A Book Review*

by Michael C. Gray

© 2018 Michael C. Gray

How do you create a team from a group of talented individuals?

According to author Patrick Lencioni, this is a dilemma faced by many companies. Management members tend to focus on their individual fiefdoms. Managers often get involved in office politics, trying to make themselves look good and others look bad. Managers don't trust each other, so they can't openly discuss and argue about areas of conflict to resolve them. Issues aren't resolved and fester, so the company doesn't operate effectively.

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team is a case study told as a story to make the concepts of building an effective clear through example.

Kathryn Petersen is hired as the CEO to rehabilitate DecisionTech, Inc., a struggling start up company. Kathryn has no technical expertise or experience in the industry of DecsionTech, but she does have a successful track record as a CEO of other companies and of building effective management teams.

The management team at DecisionTech consists of individuals who have had successful track records in their areas of expertise at other companies who don't have effective meetings and don't relate well with each other.

She successfully leads the disjointed management members through a process to build them into an effective team, through a series of offsite and onsite meetings that include educational sessions and discussing the goals and conflicts for the firm to solve.

Initially, many of the managers are skeptical of the process. It's challenging to move them from focusing on their department, such as sales, marketing, engineering and finance, to focusing on the company as a whole. Most of us are taught to avoid conflict as a social skill.

Some of the members require "hard counseling" to get on track, one is terminated and another decides to leave. The hiring process and "onboarding" process for their replacements is described.

Finally, Kathryn is successful in establishing a management team effectively working together to build a successful company.

Building an effective management team isn't easy. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team is a valuable guidebook for the process.

Buy it on Amazon: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable.

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