Book Title: Summary of The Advantage: by Patrick M. Lencioni | Includes Analysis of The Advantage
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“This book is the result of an unpredictable journey,” says Patrick Lencioni, founder and president of The Table Group, a consulting firm that has helped countless leaders improve the health of their organizations since 1997. The start of said journey is not such an unusual one: after observing his father’s frustrations with work for years, Lencioni joined the work force himself and discovered the same headaches. It is what he ended up doing about those headaches that made his journey such a remarkable one. Because, unlike millions of Americans who have bizarrely seemed to accept the idea that the business world is an inherently political, or confusing place, Lencioni decided to dedicate his career towards making organizations healthier, so that people like his father could come home at the end of the day feeling satisfied and fulfilled.
The Advantage should really be seen as a culmination work for Lencioni, who in the past has published what he refers to as “business fables” – fictional scenarios that cobble together his vast experiences with organizations and CEOs and office politics, and demonstrate a key lesson about the benefits of following his firm’s guidance. While this book does refer to a number of real-life anecdotes (the details of which have been changed or omitted for the sake of privacy,) for the most part Lencioni lays out his facts and recommendations in a straight-forward, easy to follow guide. He gives precise definitions to various terms, and compares them to the confusing jargon so often found in the business world. For example, by the end of the first chapter, readers will know exactly what the difference is between an organization that is merely “smart” and one that is “healthy” and why it is infinitely more preferable to be healthy.
This book contains a wealth of information and is a must-read for anyone who happens to be in a position of leadership within an organization. That being said, this book cannot ultimately replace the kind of consulting work that most organizations need, and organizations wishing to benefit from the plan Lencioni lays out would do well to seek out the help of his firm or others like it. Lencioni himself recommends that organizations call upon the help of a consultant at times, in order to let the leaders gain a fresh perspective on their organization’s unique position and standing.
What this book will absolutely give all readers is a very clear idea of whether or not the organization they work for is healthy, and why it is or isn’t. Most readers will probably come away from reading these pages with a new outlook on their jobs and their futures within their organization. Hopefully, some of them will be in a position to do something about it. The damage that can be done by an unhealthy organization is frankly quite alarming – and the advantage that can be gained by making over an organization to be healthy is quite extraordinary.
Lencioni begins with an anecdote about how he became aware of the importance of organizational health - an anecdote that should be instantly recognizable to all readers who have worked as part of an organization. His father was very good at his job, but often came home from work frustrated over the state of his company’s management. Over the years, as Lencioni entered the workforce, he began to see why his father had been so often frustrated, and more importantly, how such frustration within an organization negatively impacted not only its employees, but its customers as well.
After college, Len
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