The Five Dysfunctions of a Team-Continued


So, I’ve been reading The Five Dysfunctions of the Team, by Patrick Lencioni at work this week, per a donation of the book by our new bosses from far-away land.  As I posted about the book earlier, it is a small thing and an easy read.  It is written in a fable format for the majority of the book, but towards the end it provides real life examples of how dysfunction enters into team dynamics and what good leaders (or good leaders in training), can do to help their “reports” find solutions and let go of failed behaviors and attitudes that are keeping them from being productive.

I will be writing more about this little volume in the days to come, but today I was struck by a paragraph on page 208 and wanted to talk about it with you.

First, some remarks about me and my Mr.  I am a critical analyst, who tends to “play it safe” in life.  When I take on a project or job I want to fully understand the parameters of my work, create a system for staying organized in my work space, and be able to produce at a moment’s notice whatever it is others are seeking, whenever that whatever is in my wheelhouse. I pride myself on knowing my stuff and keeping it where I can easily and quickly retrieve it.  I do not like risky maneuvers or questionable outcomes.  I want to know that I know that I know what I am doing is right and proper.  I like rules.

Mister, is a horse of a different color.  He is a risk taker. He has no sense of aesthetics or order.  He is also a pack rat.  He easily laughs and loves to joke with anyone who will go along with his shenanigans.  He flirts, a lot.  He does not overthink his decisions. In fact, he takes short cuts all the time in life, and sometimes pays for it, and not in a good way.  He has a knack for reading people, but he loves easily.  He is not impressed by money, status, or intellect.  He is an emotional thinker and hyper social.  He is black to my white, so when as a young married couple we had the opportunity to buy a house for $18,000, he was immediately ready to jump.  It was a great idea in his mind! A no-brainer.

In my mind——whoa!  Put on the brakes, mister.  Let’s think about this a minute. Can we afford this?  Will we lose our shirts if we do this?  I’m not sure.  Better not take the chance. Something else will come along.  I don’t feel “comfortable” doing this now.  I was paralyzed with fear that we would not be able to keep the house once we purchased it.

As it turns out, I would not feel comfortable doing anything like this for decades!

Here is what The Five Dysfunction of the Team has to say about those who hedge their bets and want with all their hearts to be CERTAIN of something before buying into it.

Writing about the need for certainty, Lencioni says of great teams that they, “…realize that it is better to make a decision boldly and be wrong—and then change direction with equal boldness—than it is to waffle.

Contrast this with the behavior of dysfunctional teams that try to hedge their bets and delay important decisions until they have enough data to feel certain that they are making the right decision.  As prudent as this might seem, it is dangerous because of the paralysis and lack of confidence it breeds within a team.”  Patrick Lencioni, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

Whoa baby, can I relate! Talk about repeated behaviors and thinking breeding a lack of confidence in oneself. I could have been the poster child for this type of malady!

A predictable consequence of my lack of confidence meant decades went by while my little family lived in apartments, then second hand trailers, then new mobile homes on rented spaces, all the while needing a real stick and mortar house that was attached to a real piece of real estate that we could really call our own.  This didn’t happen because we didn’t have good jobs, or because we didn’t have money in savings.  Those are two things I forgot to mention about the mister—he is a hard worker and a saver extraordinaire! Regardless, our less than stellar home status went on and on, and on, because I was afraid to take a chance. I wanted to be certain, and when I could not be, I froze.

I also regrettably taught my sons how to be uncertain too!  Ugh, I hate that and regret it all the time!!

Today, we live in a nice house on a piece of land we own atop a beautiful hillside in Northeastern Pennsylvania.  How we got there—how I got unstuck–is a story for a different day, but what I wanted to say today is that I’m giving The Five Dysfunctions of a Team a thumbs up for readability and content.  When people get stuck, especially when working as part of a team, they need to get unstuck fast.  This book gives some relevant examples of how paralysis can set in, and what we can do to address it and begin to let go of our fears concerning the future.

I’m enjoying the book and will be back to share more about it later next week. Until then, have a super weekend away from the grind and remember:  You’re stronger than you think you are–You can do it!

How has uncertainty about the future affected you in the past?  What one team or personal dysfunction do you most often see in play in your life or the lives of others around you?



Last Week in April

TGT mast head-APR 2016

It’s been a few weeks since my last goal posting.  My reflections of that last one is that I was growing tired of setting goals every week and needed some time away from the process.

Even goal-setting can become tedious at times, but I’m back with three teeny, tiny goals today and ready to begin again.


1  Set a time for meeting with new spiritual director.

2  Finish reading another chapter of  The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, and write another review.

3  Finish up PR for sale at church, getting signs updated and posted in the community.

Every May we have a huge church sale. All proceeds from the sale benefit our Benevolence Ministry. We use that money to help struggling individuals in our community all year long. We’ve done some great work with those funds in previous years.  We will do great things with it again this year.  I love this sale. It’s so much fun!  I hate rummage sale-ing, so its weird that I love this event as much as I do, but I think I love it so much because of all the good it does.

It feels good to do good!

Do you ever tire of setting goals?  What teeny, tiny thing have you been putting off, but feel like you could tackle it this week?



The Five Dysfunctions of a Team


This week the new bosses are in town.  That means we are having lots of meetings, and a few changes are being made.  A book has been distributed (title above).  It is presented as a Leadership Fable.  I’m reading it today.

This book, by Patrick Lencioni, has been lauded as a workable tool for bringing awareness of dysfunction to leadership dynamics.  Apparently, the new bosses have bought many copies of the small fable-type NY Times Bestseller and have left numerous copies of it around their facility in far-off land.  We were gifted a few copies today, with the encouragement to read it.

I love gifts!  Don’t you?

My hand went up.  I’ll read it.

I began.

Easy read.

Interesting premise.

Doesn’t hurt that the main character in this fable is a 50-something woman. Yay!

My initial thoughts:

I’ve heard it all before.

I have no problem with team dynamics.

This will be a waste of my time.

But, if I can read it on company time, then maybe…

I just finished the chapter entitled: The Speech.

It points out that no team can function in the absence of trust.  I agree.  The book has caught my attention.

Over the next few days I will be reading more of this little fable on leadership and teamwork. I’ll also be checking in to let you know my thoughts.  If you’ve read the book, chime in with your own observations.  I’m all ears.

What dysfunctions have you seen operating as part of a failed team in your professional past?  What is the most troubling thing you’ve experienced when working with others on a project?

Wee Boys

Today and tomorrow I will be helping out with the wee ones.


What this means is that I am free of the desk, free of the keyboard, free of the commute, and free of my home town.

I’m FREE to snuggle, hug, giggle and tickle my way through forty-eight glorious hours with the objects of my love.

Yay again!

I may not post to the blogs on Thursday.  I may not have time.

I may be filling my cup with cherished memories.

I may not even remember the passwords to my blogs. Maybe.

It’s gonna be GREAT!  I’ll tell you all about it when I get back, but for now, hug the ones you love and go, make some memories.  You can always work another day.  For now, run, hug, eat, love, and be joyful!

What is that one thing that you would skip work for any day of the week?  When was the last time you did it?

The Long and Short of it


I love to write!

Heck, I love to talk.

I’ve been called verbose before.  True story.

I love all things bloggy, but honestly, long posts trip me up.

I don’t have time to read; not nearly enough, so I get frustrated when one of my favorite bloggers pens an epic post.  When that happens, I almost always have to print it out and divide up the reading into bite-sized portions, especially if I’m just “poppin’ in” to read what was written during a break at work, or at lunch.

I’m selfish, I know, but during my break times I want to check in with as many bloggers as I can, and when one or two of them post a 7000 word article (yes, I’m exaggerating for affect), I regrettably have to pass by without reading it, or I only read part of it, or worst yet, I’m forced to print it to read later.  Ugh, I hate reading L.A.T.E.R.

The worst part of reading later is then I have to comment later, which makes me feel out of the loop.

Poor me, right?

This is definitely a first world problem, but still…

I want to read what you guys write (!!!), and I want to absorb it all before I comment.  You share such fascinating and helpful information, and I want to “get it” all, but here’s the thing:  I have a hard time doing that if the post is too long or it contains information that is challenging for me, a novice to those things you know well, to comprehend.

All this to say:

  1.  I love reading my fellows blogger’s stuff.
  2. I’m trying to comprehend and absorb as much of it as I can.
  3. Regrettably, my reading time is limited.
  4. I wish it weren’t!
  5. Thank you for serializing those more challenging postings!!
  6. You Rock!!!!

Do you wish you had more time to read the articles posted by your blogger friends?  How much time do you typically spend writing or reading any given post?