Silos, Politics and Turf Wars: A Leadership Fable About Destroying the Barriers That Turn Colleagues Into Competitors

Silos, Politics and Turf Wars: A Leadership Fable About Destroying the Barriers That Turn Colleagues Into Competitors

by Patrick M. Lencioni


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In yet another page-turner, New York Times best-selling author and acclaimed management expert Patrick Lencioni addresses the costly and maddening issue of silos, the barriers that create organizational politics. Silos devastate organizations, kill productivity, push good people out the door, and jeopardize the achievement of corporate goals.

As with his other books, Lencioni writes Silos, Politics, and Turf Wars as a fictional—but eerily realistic—story. The story is about Jude Cousins, an eager young management consultant struggling to launch his practice by solving one of the more universal and frustrating problems faced by his clients. Through trial and error, he develops a simple yet ground-breaking approach for helping them transform confusion and infighting into clarity and alignment.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780787976385
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 02/17/2006
Series: J-B Lencioni Series , #17
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 131,239
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

PATRICK 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 nine nationally recognized books, including the New York Times best-seller The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. You can reach him at The Table Group's web site,

For a free downloadable Silo tool, or to sign up for Patrick's newsletter, please visit

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Table of Contents

Introduction vii

The Fable

Part One: Entrepreneurial Ambition 3

Part Two: Roller Coaster 19

Part Three: Rally 77

Part Four: Moments of Truth 139

The Theory

Introduction to Silos 175

Components of the Model 178

Identifying a Thematic Goal 187

Case Studies 189

Managing and Organizing Around the Thematic Goal 197

Thematic Goals and Long-Term Context 202

Making Matrix Organizations Work 205

Getting Started 207

Acknowledgments 209

About the Author 211

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Lencioni's theory around alignment is simple and powerful, and could apply to any type of organization, large or small."
—Gary C. Kelly, vice chairman and chief executive officer, Southwest Airlines Co.

"An incisive and insightful look at how companies can recognize and remedy infighting.  The tone of Patrick’s writing is as warm and readable as the advice itself is sound."
—Michael A. George, chief marketing officer, Dell Inc.

"Lencioni is a master at creating real and tangible company alignment. We're using these principles to rally our people around building a global brand.  Huge applause from our entire organization."
—Brian Scudamore, founder & CEO, 1-800-GOT-JUNK?

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Silos, Politics and Turf Wars 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Patrick Lencioni strikes an appealing tone in this fable about a genuinely good-hearted consultant who wants to help companies function better and show their people how to get along. His core message is that while many forces compel people to group into silos and fight each other, a leader can unify them around a common goal. It¿s a good message, even a sensible and enlightening one. While you are reading this book, resolving these situations seems quite possible - and in many cases, it well may be. We, therefore, recommend this book to companies that are plagued by internal warfare. However, for some of them, it will serve only as an inspiration and a starting point, because its simplified structure does not address certain key issues. Fundamentally, since many of the fable¿s examples emerge from unified meetings, what happens if your managers are so fractious you literally can¿t get the whole team in the same room? Even more daunting, what if your leaders meet but cannot agree on a thematic goal? Since some management teams disagree about day-to-day functions, they¿ll certainly have a tough time once individual silos are cemented in place. So, if you have sophisticated problems to solve, this book could be sort of hit or myth.
Bonni208 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I am conflicted in writing this review, since I had a bias about this book before I even cracked the cover. I don't much care for the fable as a means for communicating leadership theory and of course that is what this author does best. That said, some of his other fable-oriented books had far more meat in terms of their content than this one. This book presents a sound approach to how to address the problem of silos in organizations, but what could have taken two pages to write, took the entire book. I suggest you pick up his Five Temptations of a CEO of Five Disfunctions of a Team, if you like the fable writing style and want a few more tools to use in your organization.
johncstark on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Quick read. If you're part of an organization that seems stuck or heading in a lot of different directions then this book may be one of the many keys to solving the problem.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mag'draloth<p> He wakes up in an icy prison cell in the frigid mountains. "Wh-where am I?", he mutters groggily. He hears the sound of soft footsteps echoing throughout the chamber filled with prisoners. "Hello?" A rather short man comes into view bearing a tray with the prisoner's supper, which consists of hard, dry bread and stagnant water. The man says nothing, but sets the tray down and scurries away quickly. Mag'draloth eats the food gratefully, all the while burning with hatred for his captors.<p> The queen sits in her throne room and waits for her servant to report back with news about the prisoner. She hears a knock at the door....<p> Mag'draloth<p> He inserts a bobby pin into the padlock and unlocks it. He steps out into the open cautiously, and sees the generaless who is in deep sleep, and he is instantly enamoured by her. The generaless suddenly wakes up and sees the prison door hanging wide open.<p> Faer<p> She mumbles curses st her stupidity under her breath, and then notices that the prisoner is still standing there, staring at her. She rises quickly and throws him back into his cell. She is fuming, enraged that a prisoner would try to escape on her watch. "Attempt to escape again, and you will wish you had never been born!", she threatens. He stammers at her, still helpless under the spell of her beauty. "But you are my stars in the sky...." The battle hardened general softens for naught but a second before she glares at him and returns to her post. "I do not require your love, rebel! The only love I desire is the love of my people for their leaders." He considers her carefully for a minute before reminding her of what she already knows deep in her heart, the same heart that is whispering treacherous things.....<p> 5 comments and I continue. Thanks to that special person who will remain unnamed but helped me in my journey along creating this story. And thanks to all who leave comments!<br> &heartsLyra&hearts
NathanIves More than 1 year ago
Silos, Politics and Turf Wars: A Leadership Fable About Destroying the Barriers That Turn Colleagues Into Competitors by Patrick M. Lencioni examines the organizational barriers that prevent the free flow of information and resources thereby degrading overall corporate performance. Focused on the relationships and inner workings of the executive team, Mr. Lencioni provides a process for breaking down these barriers and enhancing organizational focus on mission objectives. I like Silos, Politics and Turf Wars because it provides insights to the common causes of organizational barriers and an actionable process for overcoming them. While the process presented focuses on realizing annual and near-term objectives, I believe it can be naturally extended to more strategic goals. Additionally, Mr. Lencioni's process supports what I believe is key to sustained, superior success; vision, focus, and commitment. As a business novel, Silos, Politics and Turf Wars presents its principles of for improved effectiveness through a series of believable, vividly illustrated, and easily related to stories of four organizations evolving toward improved performance. Additionally, many of the best practice recommendations found on the StrategyDriven website relate to Silos, Politics and Turf Wars; making it a StrategyDriven recommended read. All the Best, Nathan Ives StrategyDriven Principal
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nice explanation to what I already knew, but didn't know I knew it.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Very timely, and fun to read. But one would like to see such important topics be placed in a global context. Economic globalization is creating new challenges, one very nice book China's global reach markets, multinationals, and globalization by george zhibin gu is a must read to understand global trends.