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Book 338 - A Year of Magical Learning

Reflection Title: Permission to Fail!

Book – The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni

Book Description:

For twenty years, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team has been engaging audiences with a page-turning, realistic fable that follows the travails of Kathryn Petersen, DecisionTech’s CEO, as she faces the ultimate leadership crisis. She must unite a team in such disarray that it threatens to derail the entire company.

Equal parts leadership fable and business handbook, this definitive source on teamwork by Patrick Lencioni reveals the five behavioral tendencies that go to the heart of why even the best teams struggle. He offers a powerful model and step-by-step guide for overcoming those dysfunctions and getting every one rowing in the same direction.


I didn’t learn much at all from this book. The concepts discussed in it have already deeply been explored by me on this journey. Most importantly, I fundamentally disagree with a foundational element of this book that conflicts with my vision of who the world should work.

It is really hard for me to write that first paragraph if I’m being honest. I want so badly to learn from each new book I consume and then be able to turn it into something meaningful to help me take one more step toward my purpose while having something to share for everyone else on this YOML journey.

Sometimes, that doesn’t happen. Sometimes we don’t get to take a step forward. Sometimes, we don’t learn something new, but that is okay.

I’m writing this to remind myself that there is no shame in digging a hole and not finding anything valuable. That is life and a part of the journey. Sometimes you find nothing, and sometimes you find a treasure trove of new knowledge that can propel you forward like a Black Swan from Nassim Taleb. If anything, I can’t way to go back to that learning hole, and many others, to keep digging once this 365-reflection journey is complete. Re-reading some of my favorites from this journey is the first thing I’m going to do once I cross the finish line at 365.

This reflection is actually my second pass at writing a reflection for this book today. I spent an hour painstackingly writing earlier doing my best to extract an idea out of my mind, make it make sense, and share it here for the next installment of YOML. I got it done, but after I finished writing it, something didn’t feel right. Later that day, I had my usual daily discussion with my ClubAny Co-Founder and shared how I was feeling about this book and reflection. He helped me to find peace of mind and made it safe for me to tell myself it was okay that I didn’t like this book, didn’t learn anything new, and it didn’t advance me any further toward my mission in life.

I needed that reminder so badly and, like always, I appreciate Trieu being there for me to help keep me on the right path in life. That is why “Don’t Do It Alone” is one of my core values. Meaningful relationships like Trieu will help you bring you back to you your purpose driven path when they notice you have accidentally wandered off down a rabbit hole you’ve unknowingly have committed putting your valuable time and energy toward a fruitless effort.

Immediately after we spoke, I went back to my keyboard and started rewriting this reflection for the day. I’m really happy I did because the first one sucked. It felt forced, and for what? There are no rules to this journey. There are no requirements. The only thing I agreed to was to have fun and try to learn something new each day. That is what YOML has always been about and will always be about.

Well today, I learned that it is okay that I don’t find value in every single source of knowledge I try to consume.

That doesn’t mean I’m going to stop digging holes, but that does mean that I’m giving myself permission to fail if my search turns up no meaningful new information.

For the record – my fundamental disagreement with this book was how they viewed the success or failure of a team. This book defines success of any group of people coming together to accomplish a goal as clearly defined outcomes. That is the sole purpose of the team. I fundamentally disagree. I like to define success of a group of individuals coming together as shared purpose that results in meaningful work and meaningful relationships. I don’t care about the outcomes those meaningful relationships produce; I care about if what we are doing aligns to who we say we want to be each day.

Question: Are you giving yourself permission to return with nothing sometimes from your search?



What is The Year of Magical Learning? An Introduction

YOML Podcast Discussion - Coming Soon

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