Key Points:   

  • Creating a culture of trust
  • Engaging in healthy conflict
  • Organizational Health Components


I have read a ton of business books over the past 25 years. Patrick Lencioni’s book, The Five Dysfunctions of a team has stood the test of time. Although Patrick Lencioni has written many books, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team is the one I use most frequently with my clients to help them determine if they have a sufficiently healthy culture to produce the kind of results laid out in their strategic plan or yearly goals.


When I choose to work with someone who wants to become a “Brave Leader” I look for a balance of their business IQ and their emotional EQ. If someone wants to create a high performance culture they first must work on building trust with their team members. Only then will they be willing to engage in the kind of healthy conflict required to get to the bottom of any issues that are holding the company back. Old style leaders try to dominate and control. A new generation of leaders have emerged who want collaborative, creative, and energetic teams who enthusiastically tackle issues openly and are respectful of one another throughout the process.  


This book is written in a “story format” and can be easily read by most managers. The story format is often a great way to get people starting to talk about the fictitious characters (less risky!) People can generally identify with a character in the book who has “their issue.” If the leader of the discussion knows how to facilitate healthy & non-attacking dialog,  the participants can more easily shift into talking about themselves.


If you do not like the story format, and prefer a more academic read, then I recommend:  The Advantage Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business, which is actually four Lencioni books rolled into one.

The most successful companies have always invested in creating a culture that encourages empowerment and ensures their organizational culture is a healthy one.  It’s hard work, but trying to get high performance out of a dysfunctional team is hardest of all.

If you do not like reading I suggest this Harvard Business Review Webinar featuring Patrick Lencioni.