Lessons on Leadership: Reflections from “The Five Dysfunctions of A Team”

Chee Kin Loh
5 min readAug 9, 2022

Recently, I read the book “The Five Dysfunction of a Team” by Patrick Lencioni. The book narrates the pitfalls, discords and failures faced by the leadership team, and how the newly appointed leader deconstructs and rebuilds the leadership team for business success. Even though it is a fictional narrative that is not based on research or empirical data, the story is simple and highly relatable to many leaders of people and teams. Reading it gave me fruit for thought, and made me reflect on my personal leadership journey.

Key points from the book

According to the book, the five team dysfunctions are:

  • Absence of trust. This is defined as the unwillingness to be vulnerable within the team. Team members are worried that others will use their vulnerabilities against them. Thus, team members hesitate to open up about their fears or concerns about a project.
  • Fear of conflict. This is defined as seeking artificial harmony over constructive passionate debate. Team members are worried about retribution or political consequences. Thus, team members end up being ‘political’: they choose their words and actions based on how they want others to react rather than how they really think.
  • Lack of commitment. This is…

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Chee Kin Loh

Driving Digital Transformation, Building Innovation Ecosystem, Nurturing Tech Talent