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The Three Signs of a Miserable Job: A Fable for Managers (and Their Employees) Audio CD – Audiobook, 17 Aug 2007

4.3 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Random House Audio Assets; Unabridged edition (17 Aug. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0739344188
  • ISBN-13: 978-0739344187
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 2.6 x 15.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,320,517 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

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) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"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 Corp.

"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

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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"....
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Format: 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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Format: 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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Really good book...and unfortunately I'm stuck in such a job with my managers unable to make any changes to make our jobs more enjoyable! Guess it's time for a change? I'm also considering setting up my own business and this book is really good for ideas to help staff to enjoy their job and feel good about themselves at the same time. I'd highly recommend this book to everyone!
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By Mr. M. A. Reed TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 16 Mar. 2016
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Perhaps this wasn't quite what I hope. More of a psychological exploration of a mindset than any practical handbook, the fable is... not transferable. Also, most employee's aren't interested in what they regard as Rich Man's Problems, for they have enough of their own. The real meat and interest of this comes right at the end for me, but I also find that it doesn't engage enough, for I need in my world, a fairly straightforward text that details the many types of employees and people, with their drivers and desires, and how to work well to keep employees engaged, happy, and working well . By that standard, this isn't what I was expecting at all. It's by no means bad, just not what I thought I was getting at all.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Told as a stylised narrative along the lines of a fable this is an intriguing book that looks at the shape of employment in the 21st century. Lencioni has an engaging, often disarming charm in his writing and the methodology behind his work is solid and affecting all the more for this style of presentation. The topic- under-engagement, alienation, cynicism and frustration in the workplace- is a common one now across the employment spectrum I'd say, as late capitalism struggles to control a largely imagined, potentially restive population with a host of non-jobs and the phenomenon now I find, of what is basically part-time work stretched into full-time positions through a misguided belief in the old adage 'if they don't have jobs they'll be reaching for the pitchforks.' One of the shortfalls of this book is that the author avoids facing up to this stark reality- there really are not enough 'proper/traditional' full-time jobs to go round now in advanced, post-industrial societies and we need a new socio-economic construct to deal with that reality- but as Lencioni is a guru for liberal capitalism that's not really surprising. What is interesting though, is that this issue becomes clear throughout the book, it's impossible to suppress, whether the author wanted to actively do that or not.

That aside, this remains a fascinating book that's worth a read, whether from a business management point of view, or from that of a grunt on the office/shop floor. I don't feel the real root causes flagged up on the cover are actually addressed directly although they do, perhaps more by accident than design, eventually shine through.
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