20 Captivating Quotes from The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

Patrick Lencioni, the author of ‘The Five Dysfunctions of a Team’ reviews the similarities in group behavior that lead to leadership and successful teamwork. If you want to increase the effectiveness of your team, check out these great quotes from ‘The Five Dysfuntions of a Team.’

“A team that is not focused on results … • Stagnates/fails to grow • Rarely defeats competitors • Loses achievement-oriented employees.”

“Consensus is horrible. I mean, if everyone really agrees on something and consensus comes about quickly and naturally, well that’s terrific. But that isn’t how it usually works, and so consensus becomes an attempt to please everyone.”

“During the next two weeks I am going to be pretty intolerant of behavior that demonstrates an absence of trust, or a focus on individual ego. I will be encouraging conflict, driving for clear commitments, and expecting all of you to hold each other accountable. I will be calling out bad behavior when I see it, and I’d like to see you doing the same. We don’t have time to waste.”

“Great teams do not hold back with one another. They are unafraid to air their dirty laundry. They admit their mistakes, their weaknesses, and their concerns without fear of reprisal.”

“If we don’t trust one another, then we aren’t going to engage in open, constructive, ideological conflict.”

“If you could get all the people in an organization rowing in the same direction, you could dominate any industry, in any market, against any competition, at any time.”

“If you really think about it, meetings should be at least as interesting as movies.”

“It’s as simple as this. When people don’t unload their opinions and feel like they’ve been listened to, they won’t really get on board.”

“No one seemed ready to offer an answer, so Kathryn quickly provided it for them. Just above absence of trust she wrote fear of conflict. “If we don’t trust one another, then we aren’t going to engage in open, constructive, ideological conflict. And we’ll just continue to preserve a sense of artificial.”

“Not finance. Not strategy. Not technology. It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both because it is so powerful and so rare.”

“Politics is when people choose their words and actions based on how they want others to react rather than based on what they really think.”

“Remember teamwork begins by building trust. And the only way to do that is to overcome our need for invulnerability.”

“Some people are hard to hold accountable because they are so helpful. Others because they get defensive. Others because they are intimidating. I don’t think it’s easy to hold anyone accountable, not even your own kids.”

“That being said, experiential team exercises can be valuable tools for enhancing teamwork as long as they are layered upon more fundamental and relevant processes.”

“The fact remains that teams, because they are made up of imperfect human beings, are inherently dysfunctional.”

“The next dysfunction of a team is the lack of commitment and the failure to buy in to decisions.” She wrote the dysfunction above the previous one. “And the evidence of this one is ambiguity, ” which she wrote next to it. Nick was reengaging now.”

“The ultimate test of a great team is results. And considering that tens of thousands of people escaped from the World Trade Center towers in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., there can be no doubt that the teams who risked, and lost, their lives to save them were extraordinary.”

“Therefore, it is key that leaders demonstrate restraint when their people engage in conflict, and allow resolution to occur naturally, as messy as it can sometimes be. This can be a challenge because many leaders feel that they are somehow failing in their jobs by losing control of their teams during conflict. Finally, as trite as it may sound, a leader’s ability to personally model appropriate conflict behavior is essential. By avoiding conflict when it is necessary and productive—something many executives do—a team leader will encourage this dysfunction to thrive.”

“Trust is knowing that when a team member does push you, they’re doing it because they care about the team.”

“Trust is the foundation of real teamwork. And so the first dysfunction is a failure on the part of team members to understand and open up to one another. And if that sounds touchy-feely, let me explain, because there is nothing soft about it. It is an absolutely critical part of building a team. In fact, it’s probably the most critical.”

Patrick Lencioni appears for this one on one interview where he discusses the strategies and key principles laid out in his book.

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