Patrick Lencioni

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

In The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni uses the power of fable and storytelling to bring home some compelling truths about teams. He tells the story of a company called ‘Decision Stakes’ that has dysfunction within its team and we follow the CEO Catherine as she starts addressing the five dysfunctions in this team. It’s told in a really beautiful way and we become part of that journey and even hope that she is going to be succeed.

Through the book and its story, Patrick reveals the five dysfunctions that go to the very heart of why teams, even the best teams, struggle. He outlines a beautiful model and actionable steps that can be used to overcome these common hurdles. The five dysfunctions are:

  1. Absence of trust, which leads to invulnerability;
  2. Fear of conflict, which leads to creating artificial harmony;
  3. Lack of commitment that we see within teams, which leads to ambiguity;
  4. Avoidance of accountability, which leads to low standards;
  5. Inattention to results, which leads to team members taking care of their status and ego drive.

Patrick’s model and practical approach is my go-to when working with any team, as teamwork is still a rarity. This is because teams are made up of imperfect human beings and are therefor inherently dysfunctional. It doesn’t mean that teamwork is doomed. In fact, far from it, building a strong team is possible and remarkably simple, yet it’s painfully difficult. That is really the journey of the fable of the story and the practical steps it highlights in creating functional teams by addressing the various dysfunctions.

I’m so passionate about teams because if we could get all the people in an organisation running in the same direction, any organisation can dominate its industry, its market, against any competition, at any time. After all there’s a real power in teamwork – achieving more as a group than the individuals in that group could ever imagine doing alone.

The book is based on Patrick’s work with various CEOs and what he’s been able to do with them, so if you’re keen on helping your team overcome any of these dysfunctions then this is the book for you.

To find out more information about this book, visit Amazon HERE, or even better, order your copy at your local bookstore.


Not finance. Not strategy. No technology. It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both because it’s so powerful and so rare.

Ann’s Favourite Quote From The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, by Patrick Lencioni