January 18, 2018

Book Short – Another Must-Read by Lencioni

Book Short – Another Must-Read by Lencioni The Ideal Team Player: How to Recognize and Cultivate The Three Essential Virtues (hardcover,kindle is Patrick Lencioni’s latest and greatest.  It’s not my favorite of his, which is still The Advantage (post,buy ), but it’s pretty good and well worth a read.  It builds on his model for accountability in The Five Dysfunctions of a Team (post,buy)and brings it back to “how can you spot or develop and a good team player?” The central thesis of the book is that great team players have three attributes – hungry, humble, and people-smart.  While I can’t disagree with those three things, as with all consultants’ frameworks, I sound two cautionary notes:  (1) they aren’t the absolute truth, just a truth, and (2) different organizations and different cultures sometimes thrive with different recipes.  That said, certainly for my company, this framework rings true, if not the only truth. Some great nuggets from the book: -The basketball coach who says he loves kids who want to come to practice and work as hard as they can at practice to avoid losing -The concept of Addition by Addition and Addition by Subtraction in the same book – both are real […]


May 8, 2014

Book Short: Like Reading a Good Speech

Book Short:  Like Reading a Good Speech Leaders Eat Last, by Simon Sinek, is a self-described “polemic” that reads like some of the author’s famous TED talks and other speeches in that it’s punchy, full of interesting stories, has some attempted basis in scientific fact like Gladwell, and wanders around a bit.  That said, I enjoyed the book, and it hit on a number of themes in which I am a big believer – and it extended and shaped my view on a couple of them. Sinek’s central concept in the book is the Circle of Safety, which is his […]


June 14, 2012

Book Short: Alignment Well Defined

The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business is Patrick Lencioni’s newest book.  Unlike most or all of his other books (see the end of this post for the listing), this one is not a fable, although his writing style remains very quick and accessible. I liked this book a lot.  First, the beginning section is a bit of a recap of his Five Dysfunctions of a Team which I think was his best book.  And the ending section is a recap of his Death by Meeting, another really good one.  The middle sections of the book are […]


July 7, 2009

Book Short: Bringing it on Home

Book Short:  Bringing it on Home Silos, Politics and Turf Wars: A Leadership Fable About Destroying the Barriers That Turn Colleagues Into Competitors wasn’t Patrick Lencion’s best book, but it wasn’t bad, either.  I think all six of his books are well worth a read (list at the bottom of the post).  And in fact, they really belong in two categories. The Three Signs of a Miserable Job (post, link), The Five Temptations of a CEO (post, link), and The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive (post, link) are all related around the topic of management. Death by Meeting (post, […]


April 22, 2009

Book Short: Wither the Team

Book Short:  Wither the Team I keep expecting one of his books to be repetitive or boring, but Patrick Lencioni’s The Five Dysfunctions of a Team held my interest all the way through, as did his others.  It builds nicely on the last one I read, Death by Meeting (post, link). I’d say that over the 9 1/2 years we’ve been in business at Return Path, we’ve systematically improved the quality of our management team.  Sometimes that’s because we’ve added or changed people, but mostly it’s because we’ve been deliberate about improving the way in which we work together.  This particular […]


February 2, 2009

Book Short: The Joys of Slinging Hash

Book Short: The Joys of Slinging Hash Patrick Lencioni’s The Three Signs of a Miserable Job is a good read, as were his last two books, The Five Temptations of a CEO (post, link), and The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive (post, link).  They’re all super short, easy reads (four express train rides on Metro North got the job done), with a single simple message and great examples.  This one is probably my second favorite so far. This book, which has a downright dreary title, is great.  It points to and proposes a solution to a problem I’ve thought […]


October 18, 2008

Book Short: The Anti-Level-5 Leader

Book Short: The Anti-Level-5 Leader The Five Temptations of a CEO, another short leadership fable in a series by Patrick Lencioni, wasn’t as meaningful to me as the last one I read, The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive (post, link), but it wasn’t bad and was also a quick read. The book to me was the 30 minute version of all the Level-5 Leadership stuff that Collins wrote about in Good to Great and Built to Last. All that said, it was a good quick read and a reminder of what not to do. The temptations are things that […]