Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Patrick Lencioni - 5 Dysfunctions of a Team

The speaker now is Patrick Lencioni author of 5 Dysfunctions of a Team and many other books. I am not a big fan of the book title - seems to me, for every Dysfunction, there is a Positive Function. Why dwell on negative.

Some gems:

"People need to be reminded more often than they need to be instructed."

We spend most of our time making our companies Smart - Strategy, Marketing, Finance, Technology but we need to spend more time on being Healthy - Minimal Politics, High Morale, High Productivity, Low Turnover, Minimal Confusion. The problem is the former are easier to measure. Being Healthy by these measures are the best sustainable advantage.

Leaders should over communicate. People need to be told 7 times before they actually believe it. Use different mediums. Often the leader worries that they are too redundant but they should not worry about that.

"People will walk through a fire for a leader who is truly vulnerable"

"I'd rather know someones Myers-Briggs type than their age or gender"

Institutionalize culture without bureaucratizing it.

Sometimes a change of just one person can dramatically change the team dynamic.

"Not holding people accountable for their behaviors is an act of selfishness"

"Behaviors precede results." Correct behaviors now, or face poor results later

The 5 Dysfunctions:

1 - Absense of Trust. So obviously, work to gain trust. Honesty, integrity and consistency are the key. Be willing to listen to other views (and be willing to change your own view if that is the right thing to do)

2 - Fear of Conflict. Passionate debate around an issue is a good thing. Conflict is a good thing. This ties to the first Dysfunction - you need trust to thrive with healthy conflict.

3 - Lack of Commitment. Healthy discussion (including conflict) builds buy in. Get everyone to weigh in. Consensus is a bad thing.

4 - Avoidance of Accountability. The team needs to hold themselves accountable. The leader need to hold people accountable ("the technical term for this is "don't be a wuss"")

5 - Inattention to Results. Leaders have to focus on the collective good. Stand up for what is right.

Lencioni is an entertaining speaker.


At 12:52 PM, Anonymous Monique said...

Sounds like a very good speaker - and a host of very good points. I've worked in organizations who did a lot more of measuring the wrong things and they were often very unhappy places to work. If I could find an organization who did things in a "healthy" way as described - I'd likely stay there forever!

I was really struck by the quote "I'd rather know someone's Myers-Briggs"... I suspect it's a rather easy tool and so gets overlooked. However, I suspect most of us are more true to that measure than many other personal assessment measures.

At 12:55 PM, Blogger Mary Jo Asmus, President, Aspire Collaborative Services LLC said...

Hi Jim,

I've been following your tweets on Lencioni's talk and connected to this post through Twitter.

I agree on the title. Its negative connotation kept me away from the book and materials for a long time.

Until....I had the opportunity to use his material with a dysfunctional team recently at the urging of a good friend who had used it successfully. I found Lencioni's stuff elegantly simple, easy for the team to follow and wonderfully rich in dialog. To me, it proved that the simplest interventions are often the best. I'll use his process when it makes sense to do so.

P.S. I really didn't like the book, but the process is great.

At 11:16 AM, Blogger Jeff McLean said...

I recently attended the World Business Forum where Patrick presented on leadership. Absolutely fantastic and spot on. Yes the title has a negative tone, but hey let's face facts; American business today is in a huge void of leadership and quite candidly Patrick's five dysfunctions are right on target. True leadership has taken a sabatical within industry today. Unfortunately there are many more examples of leaders inability to lead than there are examples of high quality leadership. Don't get me wrong; yes there are leaders who have led organizations to achieve greatness threading a culture that cements an organization in behavior, vision and team. That said, unfortunately I see the manifestation of Patrick's five indicators of poor leadership everyday in my business travels as well as in the business headlines. Yes, we have focused on making organizatons smarter and in the pursuit of that goal; the fundamentals of humanistic principles have been lost. Do your team members immitate you and your beliefs when you are not around?


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