True Teamwork

Everyone talks about teams and teamwork but Partick Lencioni, in his classic and bestselling book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable, shows us what this means.

We're introduced to a fictitious CEO and her new and very dysfunctional team. We get to see how she helps them build trust and start working together, and since it's told as a story, it makes for fast reading. Then in the second part of his book, Lencioni explains the model behind the fable and gives recommendations on how to apply each step.

To summarize, dysfunctional teams are lacking in—
  1. trust
  2. conflict
  3. commitment
  4. accountability
  5. results.
And each one builds on the next:
  1. Without trust, a team will not argue with each other.
  2. Without healthy debate and having their opinions heard, people will not commit.
  3. Without commitment, few will hold themselves and others accountable.
  4. And without accountability, there is no way to ensure team results occur and are of high quality.
It all starts with trust. Trust that you can be yourself and speak your mind without repercussions and trust that your leader and team have your back. 

And even though team members need to hold each other mutually accountable, the leader still must lead and cannot do so by consensus. Attempting to do so will cause the team to lose trust in his or her leadership...and bring you back to the first of the dysfunctions.

Have you worked in an exceptionally functional or dysfunctional team? Which of the listed characteristics made them so?

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