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Patrick Lencioni great ideas blog

GREAT IDEAS: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni

Lessons from our interview with Patrick Lencioni

Dysfunction number one: Lack of Trust Teams can be destroyed if members are not capable of being vulnerable with each other.
  • It’s in building trust that we give our teams a fighting chance.
  • We have to know each other and be comfortable being real with each other. That’s the foundation of true performance-based teamwork.
  • Simple 10 minute exercise:  Have each team member share “This is where I grew up. Here’s how many kids were in the family, and where I was in the order, and this was the most challenging thing about my childhood.”
  • Personality testing tools go a long way to helping teams understand one another. Some people like to keep their options open, others like closure. Some think out loud, others think on their own; until you understand that about one another it’s really difficult to admit what you’re not good at. Pat uses the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.®
  • If the leader can’t be vulnerable first, if the leader doesn’t take that risk, other people won’t and shouldn’t. The leader has to say, “I will put myself out there and be vulnerable,” and 99 times out of a hundred that is honoured, and it works.
  • It’s why a leader is a leader. They have to be selfless more than the people they lead.

Dysfunction Number Two: Fear of Conflict Trust means that even if you disagree, even if you’re frustrated at each other on an intellectual level, it’s not going to transfer to interpersonal conflict. You’re just trying to find the best answer.
  • Mining for conflict. Look below the surface, like you’re mining for gold or for coal or something else. You’re looking and saying, “Okay, there’s a disagreement here, but nobody’s surfacing it.”

Dysfunction number three: Lack of Commitment When there’s no conflict, when people don’t weigh in, they don’t really buy in. They sit in a meeting and they nod their heads and go, “Okay, well we can do that.” And then they go back to their team and they say, “I don’t think this is a very good idea.”

Dysfunction number four: Avoidance of accountability  The primary source of accountability on a team should be peers. The best teams in the world do not see a problem and tell the manager. On a really good team 99% or 95% of the accountability comes from peer to peer.

 Dysfunction number five: Inattention to results The CEO has to say the results of the company are more important than any of the departments. Otherwise, they’ll pay attention to their own results, their department, their budget, their career, their ego.

Patrick Lencioni blog
PATRICK’S GREAT EIGHT, our eight getting to know you questions we ask all our authors.

What's a book you'd recommend?   Resisting Happiness by Matthew Kelly

If you could co-author a book with anyone, who would it be, and what is the book title?  Fiction writer Dean Koontz. He wrote a series of books about a character whose name was Odd Thomas, O-D-D Thomas, so it’d probably be something about him.

What's a great bit of advice you could share?   Be humble because it’s the ultimate virtue. It’s what allows us to build deeper relationships with people.

What's been your lowest moment, and how did you recover?  My father passing away… (also) eight or nine years ago I hit the wall in my career and in my work and in my life, because I wasn’t finding any joy in it anymore, because I think I lost sight of why I was doing it. And so I had to stop everything for two weeks, and really pray and find my purpose, and realise that everything I thought I was working for wasn’t real.

How do you relax? That is my biggest challenge. I don’t relax. I have four boys, I love them and I love my work and it’s all very busy and I love my wife. Relaxing for me is if I can go out and play nine holes of golf with one of my boys, there’s really nothing else I can do. So it kind of contains me. I’m terrible at it, but it’s fun. So, golfing, which I should probably commit to doing more.

What’s a fun fact that’s not widely known about you?  Oh, oh, here’s one. I think this is kind of fun. I have obsessive compulsive disorder and I’ve had it since I was five years old, which means I did all these little quirky things that most people didn’t know about, like counting on things. And every number has a gender and a personality, leading up to 12.

What's the secret of success? Loving what you’re doing in that moment. Don’t do something because it can make you rich, or because you think it’s going to lead to something later. Love it in the moment.

What's a prediction for 2025? I think people are going to realise that tech, the promises of technology are vastly overrated.... that it’s not satisfying, and in fact it’s dangerous. Hopefully they’ll realise that they need God to be satisfied.

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