The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team

the5dysfunctionsofateamNo matter how good you are as a leader or how good your team, there is always room for growth.  No matter how matter how many teams a leader has led, a new team always brings new challenges.  Or as I said to my last HR Director, I’ve managed plenty of people before, but I’ve never managed THIS person.

I was lent this book to get a fresh perspective and I really enjoyed it.  Told as a fable of a new president coming into a failing company, it takes you through the critical building blocks that need to be in place for a team to work.  It seems simple enough to say trust or accountability, but the fable is a good way to show what a team looks like when those pieces aren’t in place.  At the end of the book there is a helpful framework for evaluating the dysfunctions in your team and suggestions to fix issues.

What I found just as helpful was how realistic the author was about teams going through change.  The leader may be great.  The change may be necessary.  You may be able to demonstrate the need for change and the positive outcomes of making the change.  But that doesn’t mean people will be willing to make the change.  Logic doesn’t bring change.  You can’t just reason someone into making change.  And when someone won’t change, then it’s not always a tragedy if they leave.

Change is really hard.  And sometimes as bad as dysfunction is, it’s comfortable.  Sometimes the dysfunction gives you an excuse for why things aren’t working or something to blame for failure.

This book was helpful for reframing and refreshing my memory about teams and change.  I would recommend it to anyone, but particularly for managers and leaders.  Good teams are hard to build, but they make life so much easier in the end.


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