The Truth About Employee Engagement

The Truth About Employee Engagement : A Fable About Addressing the Three Root Causes of Job Misery

4.17 (5,073 ratings by Goodreads)
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The Truth About Employee Engagement was originally published as The Three Signs of a Miserable Job. A bestselling author and business guru tells how to improve job satisfaction and performance. In his sixth fable, bestselling author Patrick Lencioni takes on a topic that almost everyone can relate to: job misery. Millions of workers, even those who have carefully chosen careers based on true passions and interests, dread going to work, suffering each day as they trudge to jobs that make them cynical, weary, and frustrated. It is a simple fact of business life that any job, from investment banker to dishwasher, can become miserable. Through the story of a CEO turned pizzeria manager, Lencioni reveals the three elements that make work miserable -- irrelevance, immeasurability, and anonymity -- and gives managers and their employees the keys to make any job more engaging. As with all of Lencioni s books, this one is filled with actionable advice you can put into effect immediately. In addition to the fable, the book includes a detailed model examining the three root causes of job misery and how they can be remedied.
It covers the benefits of managing for job engagement within organizations -- increased productivity, greater retention, and competitive advantage -- and offers examples of how managers can use the applications in the book to deal with specific jobs and situations. Patrick Lencioni is President of The Table Group, a management consulting firm specializing in executive team development and organizational health. As a consultant and keynote speaker, he has worked with thousands of senior executives and executive teams in organizations ranging from Fortune 500 companies to high-tech startups to universities and nonprofits. His clients include. AT&T, Direct TV, JCPenney, Microsoft, Nestle, Northwestern Mutual, Southwest Airlines and St. Jude Chilren s Research Hospital. Lencioni is the author of ten bestselling books, including The Five Dysfunctions of a Team and The Advantage. He previously worked for Oracle, Sybase, and the management consulting firm Bain & Company.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 272 pages
  • 145 x 215 x 24mm | 422g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 111923798X
  • 9781119237983
  • 22,583

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"This is a page-turner that unravels the mystery of job satisfaction for any manager. Whether you manage six or sixty thousand people, it is essential reading." --Trevor Fetter, president and CEO, Tenet Healthcare Corporation

"In a sea of generic books on employee engagement and empowerment, Lencioni throws us a life preserver. His book is a masterful tale which I highly recommend to leaders and anyone else trying to build more personal satisfaction in their work." --Kevin D. Wilde, vice president, chief learning officer, General Mills, Inc.

"Lencioni provides a powerful message to all who lead people, one that will produce exceptional loyalty and results. This simple book can make a huge difference." --Robert W. Savage, chief operating officer, Taco Bell Corporation

"I love this clever and insightful book! It will remind any manager, at any level, why they became a manager in the first place." --Greg Cross, senior vice president, Hilton Hotels Corporation

"Don't let the simplicity of his message fool you. Lencioni provides powerful, practical real-world solutions for improving results by putting people first. I found many new ideas for self-improvement that I can't wait to try!" --Jeff Lamb, vice president, people and leadership development, Southwest Airlines
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Back cover copy


When his employees were all seated, the new manager began. Deciding not to be clever or subtle, Brian got right to the point. "Show of hands. How many of you like your jobs?"


People just looked at one another as though Brian had asked the question in Russian.

"Okay, let me be clearer," he smiled. "How many people here get excited about coming to work? How many of you are in a good mood when you're driving here every day?"

Brian might as well have asked them if they liked being beaten with a stick. No one raised their hand. A few of them actually laughed out loud.

In this, his sixth and most anticipated fable, New York Times best-selling author Patrick Lencioni takes on his most universal and human topic to date: misery at work. In doing so, Lencioni presents a revolutionary yet simple model for making any job more rewarding and fulfilling.

Lencioni tells the unforgettable story of Brian Bailey, an abruptly retired executive searching for meaning in his career and his life. Through a series of twists and turns that take him from the executive suite of a well-respected company to the ski slopes of Lake Tahoe to the drive-thru window of a fast-food restaurant, Brian discovers the three universal causes of anguish and frustration at work, and the keys to overcoming them. Whether he's trying to convince an investment banker that job satisfaction matters, or motivating a pizza delivery driver to be friendlier to customers, Brian is forced to confront aspects of himself, and others, that make job misery a painful reality in so many organizations.

Whether you're an executive looking to establish a cultural competitive advantage, a manager trying to engage and motivate your people, or an employee searching for fulfillment in your work, The Truth About Employee Engagement will provide you with immediate relief--and hope.
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Table of contents

Introduction vii The Fable Shock 3 Part One: The Manager 5 Part Two: Retirement 21 Part Three: The Experiment 59 Part Four: Going Live 167 The Model The Miserable Job 217 The Cost of Misery 219 The Three Signs 221 The Benefits and Obstacles of Managing for Job Fulfillment 224 Exploring and Addressing the Causes of Job Misery 229 Case Studies 239 Taking Action 250 The Ministry of Management 253 Acknowledgments 255 About the Author 259
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Review quote

Lencioni, a consultant, speaker and bestselling author ("The Five Dysfunctions of a Team"), pinpoints the reasons behind and ways around what many consider a constant of the human condition: job dissatisfaction. According to Lencioni, job-fueled misery can ultimately seep into all aspects of life, leading to drug and alcohol abuse, violence and other problems, making this examination of job misery dynamics a worthy pursuit. Through the "simple" tale of a retired CEO-turned-pizzeria manager, Lencioni reveals the three corners of the employee unhappiness pyramid--immeasurability, anonymity and irrelevance--and how they contribute to dissatisfaction in all jobs and at all levels (including famously unfulfilled celebrities and athletes). The main culprit is the distancing of people from each other (anonymity), which means less exposure to the impact their work has (immeasurability), and thus a diminished sense of their own utility (irrelevance). While his major points could have been communicated more efficiently in a straightforward self-help fashion, his fictional case study proves an involving vessel for his model and strategies (applicable to managers and lower-level staff alike), and an appendix-like final chapter provides a helpfully stripped-down version. "(Aug.)" (Publishers "Weekly Annex" (Online), July 30, 2007)

"Lencioni knows how to spin a good yarn and he weaves in plenty of advice...this book is essential reading." ("British Airways Business Life," October 2007)

..".well-written fable...a must-read" ("Accounting Technician," October 2007)

..".filled with actionable advice...A must-read for managers and employees alike seeking to get the most out of their jobs." ("Securities & Investment Review," November 2007)

..".written in such a way that you'll find yourself wanting to know what happens to the characters" ("Personnel Today," March 2008)

""As with all lencioni's books, this one is filled with actionable advice you can put into effect immediately."" (PublicNet, September 24, 2008)
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About Patrick M. Lencioni

PATRICK M. LENCIONI is founder and president of The Table Group, a management consulting firm specializing in executive team development and organizational health. As a consultant and keynote speaker, he has worked with thousands of senior executives in organizations ranging from Fortune 500s and high-tech start-ups to universities and nonprofits. He is the author of ten nationally recognized books, including the New York Times best-seller The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. To learn more about Patrick Lencioni and his other products and services including his newsletter and free resources please visit
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Rating details

5,073 ratings
4.17 out of 5 stars
5 42% (2,154)
4 37% (1,882)
3 16% (817)
2 4% (180)
1 1% (40)
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