the 5 dysfunctions of a team

Of all organizations on the planet why does it seem that Churches, more often than not, tend to get lumped in with the most dysfunctional? Could it be that it’s due to the fact that dysfunctional teams typically lead Churches? I’m not saying that Churches aren’t led by well-meaning, well-intentioned, high integrity, even godly people. But they just seem to be led by people who are trained to know more about the Scriptures than they are trained to lead people well. Contrary to popular belief, the two are not synonymous. The book, The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team, is a great resource that Church Leaders would do well to pick up and wrestle through. The author, Patrick Lencioni, tells a leadership fable that will surprise you with some incredibly transferable principles and tangible steps that will help bring alignment and an opportunity for legitimate forward progress. In it you’ll learn about the following dysfunctions and how to combat them:


1. The Absence of Trust

All relationships are built the same way. Safety leads to openness, which leads to intimacy. When teams don’t feel safe they never move towards intimacy. Without trust it’s impossible to move forward as a team.

2. The Fear of Conflict

For teams to be successful everyone has to bring their best to the table, which means each person must fully engage in unfiltered debate. When there is no trust, people resort to polite pleasantries and guarded comments to avoid the necessary conflict that benefits not only the team, but also the organization they’re leading.

3. The Lack of Commitment

When team members don’t trust one another enough to engage in unfiltered conversations it leads to a lack of buy-in and low commitment to decisions, next steps, and action plans.

4. The Avoidance of Accountability

Without trust, straightforward communication and buy-in to the plan, team members shrink back from appropriately calling their peers out on breaking team norms and lack of performance.

5. The Inattention to Results

Ultimately all of this results in an environment where team members put their needs/goals or the needs/goals of their department above the overarching needs/goals of the organization.

Posted in Leadership, Staffing

One Response to “the 5 dysfunctions of a team”

  1. Jonathan Alexander April 8, 2014 at 8:10 am #

    great book… i take all of our teams and my leadership groups through this book. the field guide is an excellent addition to the book. a lot of great exercises for teams to push through these dysfunctions.

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