In Blog Articles, Monday Memo


In last week’s blog we dealt with the fourth of Patrick Lencioni’s team dysfunctions, namely avoidance of accountability. Failure to hold one another accountable creates an environment where the fifth dysfunction can thrive. Inattention to results occurs when team members put their individual needs (such as ego, career development or recognition), or even the needs of their divisions, above the collective goals of the team.

The ultimate dysfunction of a team is the tendency of members to care about something other than the collective goals of the group. An unrelenting focus on specific objectives and clearly defined outcomes is a requirement for any team that judges itself on performance.

Results are not limited to financial measures, like profit, revenue or shareholder returns. This dysfunc- tion refers to a far broader definition of results, one that is related to outcome-based performance.

Every good organization specifies what it plans
to achieve in a given period, and these goals, more than the financial metrics that they drive, make up the majority of near-term, controllable results. So, while profit may be the ultimate measure of results for a corporation, the goals and objectives that executives set for themselves along the way constitute a more representative example of the results it strives for as a team. Ultimately, these goals drive profit.

But what would a team be focused on other than results? Team status and individual status are the prime candidates:

  • Team Status: For members of some teams, merely being part of the group is enough to keep them satisfied. For them, achieving specific results might be desirable, but not necessarily worthy of great sacrifice or inconvenience.
  • Individual Status: A functional team must make the collective results of the group more important to each individual than individual members’ goals.

So, where is your team on this continuum? Perhaps Lencioni’s summary will be helpful to identify the ‘spot’:

Inattention to Results
A team that is not focused on results… A team that focuses on collective results…
·       Stagnates/fails to grow ·       Retains achievement-oriented employees
·       Rarely defeats competitors ·       Minimizes individualistic behaviour
·       Loses achievement-oriented employees ·       Benefits from individuals who subjugate their own goals/interests for the good of the team
·       Encourages team members to focus on their own careers and individual goals ·       Enjoys success and suffers failure acutely


·       Is easily distracted  

·       Avoids distractors


So, where do you see you and your team members sitting? To help you, this week I am again offering the first two team leaders who respond on behalf of their teams and who qualify, another free 5 dysfunctions assessment for them and their teams, as well as a one-hour report back session with the team leader afterwards. To respond and see if you qualify, please send me a short email on in which you should tell me your team’s purpose, how many direct reports there are, and which dysfunction you think may be showing up. I undertake to revert to you within a couple of days.

Next week we will be dealing with the remaining dysfunctions, inattention to results, in a way that will help us to understand just how dysfunctional teams operate in this dysfunction and how healthy teams deal with it.

I hope that the series creates not only greater understanding for my readers, but that it perhaps creates more questions than answers. If I am successful in achieving this for you, please feel free to raise your views or questions with me at

(I am indebted to the work of Peter Hawkins, of Renewal Associates, especially his book, Leadership Team Coaching, as well as the methodology of Integral Coaching Canada, which I have integrated for purposes of this series and in developing my Systemic Leadership Team Coaching process. In this particular blog, I have lent heavily on the work of Patrick Lencioni in his book, The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team.)

Recent Posts

Start typing and press Enter to search