The Three Signs of a Miserable Job: A Fable for Managers (And Their Employees)
June 2010, Jossey-Bass
In his sixth fable, bestselling author Patrick Lencioni takes on a topic that almost everyone can relate to: the causes of a miserable job. 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 fulfilling.
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 signs of job misery and how they can be remedied. It covers the benefits of managing for job fulfillment 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 (San Francisco, CA) 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, Bechtel, Boeing, Cisco, Sam?s Club, Microsoft, Mitsubishi, Allstate, Visa, FedEx, New York Life, Sprint, Novell, Sybase, The Make-A-Wish Foundation, and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Lencioni is the author of six bestselling books, including The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. He previously worked for Oracle, Sybase, and the management consulting firm Bain & Company.
Part One: The Manager 5
Part Two: Retirement 21
Part Three: The Experiment 59
Part Four: Going Live 167
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
About the Author 259
"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 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
—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