As a highly successful business author, Patrick Lencioni may well need no introduction, although his individual style – imparting lessons through business fables – is very much a personal hallmark. From my first encounter with his book, Five Dysfunctions of a Team (which my colleague, Chris Rogers, reviewed here), I was immediately drawn to the way that he delivers his lessons in the form of a story, complete with characters, drama and plot. I had to consciously leave aside my reservations that his approach omitted the structure, methodology and models to support his argument… but as it turned out, I did not have to wait too long to sigh with relief. I found everything I sought at the back of the book.
It helped to draw me in that the first two dysfunctions he tackled were lack of trust and avoiding conflict, themes and experiences that chimed with my own thoughts and frustrations when dealing with many global senior managers and executives. Won over by the style and approach, I read on through the remaining dysfunctions and found myself appreciating a very satisfying read. (Satisfied enough to turn to some of his other works, where I found rich material on a range of approaches and ideas to free up thinking, manage meetings and handle change.)
His most recent book, Getting Naked: A Business Fable about shedding the Three Fears that Sabotage Client Loyalty, differs from his earlier output. Rather than the global CEO/CIO population, Lencioni has aimed this book at “anyone whose success is tied to building loyal and creating sticky relationships with the people they serve” – including not just service providers of many stripes but also people in his own trade: consultants.