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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Contemporary Business Fable of Compelling Importance
According to research conducted by The Gallup organization, only 25% of employees are engaged in their jobs, 55% of them are just going through the motions, and 20% of them are working against their employers' interests. What's going on? In the Introduction to his latest book, Patrick Lencioni acknowledges what he characterizes as "Sunday Blues [:] those awful feelings of...
Published on 3 Sep 2007 by Amazon Customer

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3.0 out of 5 stars Sounds Good -- But Is It Really This Simple?
I'm not usually a reader of business or management books, but since I was just promoted to be the branch manager of a public library, I figured I should start dipping into some of the more accessible literature out there. This "fable" (ie. business lesson dressed up in fiction) by a well-known management "guru" (for lack of a better term), seeks to address the fact that...
Published on 13 Nov 2009 by A. Ross


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Contemporary Business Fable of Compelling Importance, 3 Sep 2007
By 
Amazon Customer (Dallas, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Three Signs of a Miserable Job: A Fable for Managers (And Their Employees) (Hardcover)
According to research conducted by The Gallup organization, only 25% of employees are engaged in their jobs, 55% of them are just going through the motions, and 20% of them are working against their employers' interests. What's going on? In the Introduction to his latest book, Patrick Lencioni acknowledges what he characterizes as "Sunday Blues [:] those awful feelings of dread and depression that many people get toward the end of their weekend as they contemplate going back to work the next day...What was particularly troubling for me then [when he had such feelings] was not just that I dreaded going to work, but that I felt like I should have enjoyed what I was doing...That's when I decided that the Sunday Blues just didn't make any sense" and he resolved to "figure out what [personal fulfillment in work] was so I could help put an end to the senseless tragedy of job misery, both for myself and for others."

In this book, Lencioni shares what he then learned during his journey of discovery.

As is his custom, he uses the business fable genre to introduce and develop his insights. His narrative has a cast of characters, a plot, crisp dialog, various crises and conflicts, and eventually a plausible climax. Here's the situation as the narrative begins. Brian Bailey is the CEO of JMJ Fitness Machines. After fifteen years under his leadership, JMJ has become the number three, at times two "player" in its industry. "With no debt, a well-respected brand, and plenty of cash in the bank, there was no reason to suspect that the privately held company was in danger. And then one day it happened"....

The balance of the book proceeds on two separate but interdependent levels: Brian's personal and professional development after JMJ's acquisition by a competitor, and, the impact of that acquisition on JMJ's culture. Both he and the company proceed through what Warren Bennis and Robert Thomas have characterized as a "crucible": an especially severe trial or ordeal during which those involved experience tremendous pressure that either "makes them" stronger and wiser or "breaks them" in terms of their ability and/or willingness to prevail. The details of Brian's "crucible" as well as those of JMJ's are best revealed within the book's narrative. It would also be a disservice to both Lencioni and to those who read this commentary for me to reveal the meaning and significance of the book's title.

However, I feel comfortable explaining why I think so highly of this book. Here are three of several reasons. First, Lencioni is a master storyteller. He makes brilliant use of the components of the classic fable, in this instance (as in his earlier books) creating a contemporary business situation in which human beings are involved, rather than anthropomorphic animals as George Orwell, E.B. White, and Stephen Denning do. Brian Bailey and others are anchored in sometimes "miserable" real-world situations. Their responses to these situations are portrayed with authentic drama, not with a business theorist's facile didacticism. Second, he achieves his objective of determining (both for himself and for his reader) how personal fulfillment can be achieved in a workplace. There are indeed important lessons to be learned, both by managers and by those for whom they are responsible. Finally, Lencioni entertains his reader with appropriate wit without at any time trivializing the seriousness of the issues he addresses. This is a fable, not a sermon.

Those who share my high regard for Patrick Lencioni's latest book are urged to check out his earlier works as well as The New American Workplace co-authored by James O'Toole and Edward E. Lawler, Paul Spiegelman's Why is Everyone Smiling?: The Secret Behind Passion, Productivity, and Profit, and Michael Lee Stallard's Fired Up or Burned Out: How to Reignite Your Team's Passion, Creativity, and Productivity.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining read, which will make management lessons stick, 9 Oct 2007
By 
Natalie Lord - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Three Signs of a Miserable Job: A Fable for Managers (And Their Employees) (Hardcover)
I am new to this genre of book - Business Fiction, so I was not sure what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised, as Lencioni tells the story of a retired CEO turned pizza restaurant manager in the most entertaining fashion. You can easily picture the characters he builds up and you can relate to them well (even if you are a manager or not). The book is very easy to read with chapters of just a couple of pages in length, making the lessons and morals easy to digest. The only part I felt that let it down (if anything) was towards the end Lencioni tried to demonstrate the "Three Signs of a Miserable Job" in a different industry (sports shops) - I did not feel this was necessary and it slightly went off track. This book will be a beneficial read for anyone looking to get motivated in their own role and also for managers looking to motivate their team.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An engaging fable about treating employees humanely, 27 Aug 2008
By 
Rolf Dobelli "getAbstract" (Switzerland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Three Signs of a Miserable Job: A Fable for Managers (And Their Employees) (Hardcover)
Business books take many forms, but seldom are they fables. Patrick Lencioni breaks the mold with this charming book about a manager who turns his workers' miserable jobs into fulfilling ones. He presents the fictional story of Brian Bailey, a big-hearted CEO who gets bought out, finds retirement dull and tries managing a seedy pizza parlor where the employees hate their jobs. Bailey quickly changes everything by the way he treats the shop's people. Later he works his magic as the new CEO of a failing retail sporting-goods company with a ruinously high turnover rate, where his humane techniques turn things around again. Lencioni's book is fun to read; its fable is touching yet credible. He reinforces important lessons all managers should know about getting the best from the people who work for them by providing empathy and recognizing the meaning of their work. If you are up for a parable, getAbstract recommends this engaging book. It spotlights a clear axiom: Treat people humanely and they will do as you wish - a valuable lesson for any manager or, indeed, anyone at all.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Sounds Good -- But Is It Really This Simple?, 13 Nov 2009
By 
A. Ross (Washington, DC) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Three Signs of a Miserable Job: A Fable for Managers (And Their Employees) (Hardcover)
I'm not usually a reader of business or management books, but since I was just promoted to be the branch manager of a public library, I figured I should start dipping into some of the more accessible literature out there. This "fable" (ie. business lesson dressed up in fiction) by a well-known management "guru" (for lack of a better term), seeks to address the fact that most people aren't happy with their jobs. The idea is that even those with seemingly perfect jobs (high-paid athletes, actors, models, etc.) can often express just as much job dissatisfaction as the lowliest burger-flipper. The author seeks to get to the bottom of this workplace problem by outlining the causes and possible solution in the breezy fictionalized story of a retired manufacturing CEO who decides to get involved in running a small Italian restaurant.

This likeable CEO-turned-restaurant-manager refines his beliefs of employee job satisfaction into three principles:

Anonymity: Employees who aren't known and individually appreciated by their managers will not be fulfilled in their jobs.
Irrelevance: Employees who don't know how their work impacts the lives of others will not be fulfilled in their jobs.
Immeasurement: Employees who can't assess their own level of performance and success will not be fulfilled in their jobs.

He then tests these principles at the restaurant, trying to improve the highly ineffective staff (and yes, not everyone will be left standing at the end). It's all handled at a pretty basic, simplistic level, but it's hard not to feel like he's on to something. (As an aside, an interesting novel to read in conjunction with this is Stuart O'Nan's excellent "Last Night at the Lobster", which is about the mostly disaffected staff at a Red Lobster franchise.) Lest anyone be skeptical of the theory's application to the world of "real" business, following his success with the restaurant, the semi-retiree is headhunted to be the turnaround CEO of a sporting goods retail chain. There, after assessing the situation on the ground, he rolls out his job satisfaction solution and demonstrates the kind bottom-line results that make true believers out of everyone.

In the end, I'm torn. While I am a big believer in some of the importance of some of the "touchy-feely" aspects of management, and appreciate this high-profile attempt to delve into one of those areas, I'm also suspicious of any simple fix. I can actually see how I could apply this to my new staff and try it out, but at the same time, I instinctively feel that the issue of job dissatisfaction is much more complex than this fable makes it out to be. Still, there's something here to chew on, and the presentation is reasonably well done, so I guess if this is a topic that interests you, check it out.
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5.0 out of 5 stars must read for every manager, 3 Mar 2014
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Simple and not rocket science - but. Reminder on what is truly important... Not only has reminded me if what is important in being a manager, but what matters to me as an employee...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Worth a read, very good book, 15 Jan 2014
By 
Mr. A. Kell (Ruthin, North Wales) - See all my reviews
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Just finished "The three signed of a miserable job" by The Table Group, a Patrick Lencioni Company. The 3rd book I've read of his & I've enjoyed & learned a lot from all of them. This one offered some different lessons from the last two and the 'measurement' technique is something that struck a chord with me - something I enjoy doing anyway and want to do more. 3 good practices discussed which I'll hope to take on board in my life.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth it!, 2 Jan 2014
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This review is from: The Three Signs of a Miserable Job: A Fable for Managers (And Their Employees) (Hardcover)
Easy to read but nonetheless engaging and thought provoking as with PML's other contributions. Perhaps not as good as the "team" book but still worth it if you are assessing your own job, those you manage or a change in career.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good, clear, simple., 14 Jun 2013
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This review is from: The Three Signs of a Miserable Job: A Fable for Managers (And Their Employees) (Hardcover)
As a technical manager in IT and indeed for any manager, people management is the most difficult. This book provides 3 simple concepts to remember.

The "how to implement" is a bit light and drives you towards the company website to sell you training / tools to help implement a program to improve employee fulfilment. The sceptic in me would say this is just a bit of marketing for the company / consulting services.

However I did enjoy it. It did motivate me, and I am able to remember the 3 concepts and explain them quite easily. Now I just have to convince my colleagues and boss that this is something we need to push in our organisation and figure out how to do it...
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4.0 out of 5 stars Such a simple lesson learnt!, 21 Sep 2014
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As a manager myself... This was a huge eye opener and yet the theories so simple! Recommended to me by one of our leadership team, I have already recommended to others.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Service, 30 Sep 2013
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This review is from: The Three Signs of a Miserable Job: A Fable for Managers (And Their Employees) (Hardcover)
Great Service that was quick and easy with really good quality books. Would definitely use again as and when required.
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