The Model - The five frustrations of teamwork (by Patrick Lencioni)

Leer met behulp van de Piramide van Lencioni High Performing Teams te vormen. Het is immers “Teamwork” dat de beslissende factor vormt voor succesvolle Teams in de toekomst.

  • Frustration 1: Lack of trust

    The fear of being vulnerable among team members prevents trust from being built within the team.

  • Frustration 2: Fear of conflict

    The desire to maintain artificial harmony suppresses the arising of productive, ideological conflict.

  • Frustration 3: Lack of commitment

    The lack of clarity or buy-in prevents team members from making decisions they can and want to stick to.

  • Frustration 4: Avoiding accountability

    The need to avoid interpersonal discomfort keeps team members from holding each other accountable for their behavior and performance.

  • Frustration 5: No focus on results

    The pursuit of individual goals and personal status reduces the focus on collective success.

Possible Topics

  • Introduction

    Like it or not, all teams are potentially dysfunctional. This is inevitable because they are made up of fallible, imperfect people. From the basketball court to the executive suite, politics and ambiguity are more the rule than the exception. Facing dysfunction and focusing on teamwork is especially crucial at the top of an organization, however, because the executive team sets the tone for how all employees work together.

    A former client, the founder of a billion-dollar company, best described the power of teamwork when he once told me, "If you could get all the people in the organization rowing in the same direction, you could dominate any industry and any market against any competition."

    Whenever I tell this to a group of leaders, they immediately nod their heads, but in a desperate way. They seem to see the truth of it while simultaneously surrendering to the impossibility of actually making it happen.

    Fortunately, there is hope. Contrary to conventional wisdom, the causes of dysfunction are both identifiable and curable. However, they are not easy to get rid of. Making a team functional and cohesive requires courage and discipline that many groups seem unable to provide.

  • Addressing the frustrations

    To improve your team and better understand the dysfunction you face, ask yourself these simple questions:

    • Do team members express their opinions openly and readily?
    • Are team meetings engaging and productive?
    • Does the team reach decisions quickly and avoid getting stuck by consensus?
    • Do team members confront each other about their shortcomings?
    • Do team members sacrifice their own interests for the good of the team?

  • The frustrations
    • Lack of confidence

      This happens when team members are reluctant to be vulnerable with each other and unwilling to admit their mistakes, weaknesses or needs. Without a certain comfort level among team members, a foundation of trust is impossible.

    • Fear of conflict

      Teams that lack trust are unable to discuss important issues unfiltered and passionately, creating situations where team conflicts can easily turn into covert discussions and backstabbing. In a work environment where team members do not openly express their opinions, bad decisions are made.

    • Lack of commitment

      Without conflict, it’s difficult for team members to stick to decisions, creating an environment of ambiguity. Lack of direction and commitment can make employees, especially top employees, displeased.

    • Avoiding accountability

      When teams do not have a clear plan of action, even the most focused and driven individuals hesitate to call their colleagues about activities and behaviors that may seem counterproductive to the overall well-being of the team.

    • No focus on results

      Team members naturally tend to put their own needs (ego, career development, recognition, etc.) above the collective goals of the team when individuals are not held accountable. When a team has lost sight of performance orientation, the entire company ultimately suffers.

  • The rewards

    Pursuing a functional, cohesive team is one of the few remaining competitive advantages for organizations that want to stand out in a powerful way. Functional teams avoid wasting time talking about the wrong issues and coming back to the same topics over and over again because of a lack of buy-in. Functional teams also make better quality decisions and accomplish more in less time and with fewer distractions and frustration. Furthermore, "A" players rarely leave organizations where they are part of a cohesive team.

  • Successful teamwork is not about mastering subtle, sophisticated theories, but about embracing common sense with an unusual level of discipline and persistence. Ironically, teams are successful because they are extraordinarily human. By acknowledging the imperfections of their humanity, members of functional teams overcome the natural tendencies that make teamwork so difficult.


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