Overcoming The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Field Guide for Leaders, Managers and Facilitators by Patrick Lencioni

The Impellus team regularly reads books and shares articles of interest to ensure that our Leadership and Management course delivery is backed up by appropriate external thinking.  This month David Ross, Impellus Learning and Development Consultant, writes a review.

Reason for reading

David writes: I read this book as part of my ongoing development, to check that my course delivery is supported by recognised opinion and to ensure that Impellus course content is continually evolving.

I heard of Lencioni a few years ago and wanted to explore further as I felt that his theories would really add to some of our course material.

My reasons for recommendation

My area of interest and expertise is Leadership and particularly the impact that leaders have on team dynamics and the operating environment.  This book is full of ideas, tips and hints about exactly what leaders need to do to create a high performing team.  It comes from the perspective of what will happen in a team if you don’t get it right and the symptoms to look out for.  I like that as it sort of shocks you into ensuring that the dysfunctions do not appear in your team and drums in that we, as leaders, are responsible for creating the right atmosphere.

I would recommend this book to all those who lead a team of people whether that be direct line management or project based.  It is laid out in bite size chunks making the content easy to digest.  There is also a questionnaire that allows you to assess which of the five dysfunctions may be present in your team - so some highly practical help is provided.

It is also a book that does not need to be read cover to cover.  You can dip in to the area that interests you if desired - Building Trust or Embracing Accountability, for example.

Supplementary learning

This book would be especially pertinent to the following Impellus’ management training courses:


4.5 star rating

This was a very interesting read.  I like the fact that each chapter has a key points summary, however there are lots of exercises at the back of book which seemed excessive to me.

Reference: ISBN: 978-0-7879-7637-8