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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

David A. ZimmerPrint

 This is a really good book. Written in an allegory format, Lencioni weaves the 5 dysfunctions of teams into a story of a newly hired CEO who's job it is to turnaround a small hi-tech startup. In the end, she does, but more importantly, the reader learns some valuable lessons of build teams.

This book does not promote falling out of trees backwards in hopes someone will be there to catch you (I've done that - I did not learn trust as I was supposed to - I learned trust through experiences jointly shared with another person). It promotes methods of building team through interaction with others enabling transparency, understanding, and willingness to support others through accountability, confrontation, and a single desire to achieve the best for the team instead of self. It does not promote a "motherhood and apple pie" approach, but rather one where healthy discourse and disagreement followed by genuine buy-in from the team members actually produces better results.

After the story concludes, Lencioni provides a more traditional discussion of building team through the 5 levels described in the allegory. In more of a textbook fashion, he explores each dysfunction, its impact on the team and suggests possible ways of overcoming each level in order to reach the next level of a stronger team.

Overall, I found the book to be very enjoyable reading. In fact, I pushed two other books aside in order to read through this one. I didn't write my usual review because once I started reading, I essentially did not put it down. I learned a lot and will be incorporating the ideas into my seminars.

For those wondering, during the PMP training sessions, we describe the "team formation pattern." This book aligns very nicely with the formation using a different, but complimentary angle.

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