The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

If you’ve ever been on a team and scratched your head as to why it sucked so bad when everyone on the team was good individually – or almost everyone was good, but that one jerk who needed to re-evaluate their personal agrandizement quotient – then you’ve probably faced The Five Dysfunctions of a Team head on. Patrick Lencioni writes in a fiction/parable format about the key elements of a team that is individually made up of stars, but collectively a black hole of suck. He identifies key issues that are wrong with teams starting with trust. Reading this short novel was sometimes awkward thinking how much of the problem was personally relevant and familiar.

The Five Dysfunctions are as follows:

  1. The dysfunction of lack of trust
  2. The dysfunction of lack of healthy conflict
  3. The dysfunction of lack of commitment
  4. The dysfunction of lack of accountability
  5. The dysfunction of inattention to results

These dysfunctions build on top of one another so the team in the book is walked through building trust to lead to a place for the sub-sequent dysfunctions to be dismantled. Ideally progress within the team will lead to higher functioning.

I have bought this book for myself to re-read, I’ve recommended it for others, and I would love for you to tell me what you think, too.

If you’re not sure these principles are for you and your team check out this youtube video of the author. It is at a Catholic event of some sort and contains a small amount of Catholic interjection, but predominantly for uses on the 5 dysfunctions.