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Publisher's Summary

In his sixth fable, best-selling 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 he 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 it offers examples of how managers can use the applications in the book to deal with specific jobs and situations.

©2007 Patrick Lencioni (P)2007 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

What listeners say about The Three Signs of a Miserable Job

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make the world a little less miserable

Great storyline. Vulnerable, fresh, and insightful. Well worth the read to re-imagine leadership in any organization.

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compelling argument

very convincing narrative on the key factors that make for a miserable job. would recommend

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • John
  • 2007-08-30

Insightful, simple look at all employee's needs

Patrick once again has written a very insightful and entertaining book regarding leadership. In this case, he concentrates on how management can change the culture, increase output and productivity, and improve employee commitment and retention. He identifies the important traits/needs of everyone, and provides some great tools and examples of how to utilize these in motivating and working with your employees. By applying these, it would appear that drastic improvements of employee morale can be attained. To think that it is just three factors: Irrelevance, Immeasurement and Anonymity, that destroy our framework for working effectively in our jobs is just brillant, but so simple. This book is an easy and must read for all that manage people.

26 people found this helpful

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  • Diane
  • 2013-11-13

Another gem

Would you listen to The Three Signs of a Miserable Job again? Why?

Yes - The fable format works for me, making the concepts memorable.

What other book might you compare The Three Signs of a Miserable Job to and why?

Anything else by Patrick Lencioni. Everything he writes has some gems. He simplifies complex issues and yet keeps focused on organizational health.

Any additional comments?

The three signs are anonymity, irrelevance and lack of measurement. In other words, to enjoy a job, we must feel a personal connection, know that our work has meaning and know how to measure it.

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  • Ras
  • 2022-05-03

Excellent Book!

All organizational leaders should read this book. Employee engagement is a key component of leading well and this book offers key insights and ideas to recognize job misery and deal with it.

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  • Rick
  • 2022-01-02

New frame for management thinking

Appreciated Lencioni pulling out three points important to any employee, from front line to executive. Helpful frame.

Didn’t experience any audio strangeness mentioned by other reviewers.

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  • thomas williams
  • 2021-12-19

insightful

It was great! It helped me realize and understand why I am not satified at my job. I can't wait to share with others at my place of work.

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  • Albert
  • 2021-12-04

Very good to self improve

I never thought of this way, anominity and what not, it certainly is a better way to think in order to perform better. I notice sometimes the narrator forgot to change his voice 😆

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  • BA
  • 2021-06-07

Must read if you are an employee or an employer

If you're genuinely looking to make an impact in your business and team, then this will help you tremendously. Love the performance. Love the story. I can relate to it.

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  • Ryan K.
  • 2021-03-27

Interesting hypothesis

A contrived story that could be true. Would motivate emotional people at the bottom of the food chain.

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  • Tammy D. Graham
  • 2021-01-12

Leadership team improvement paradigm shift

This was an incredible book, of course I appreciate all of the author's works but this one was simple fun and a great conversation piece for my leadership team to take meaningful action.

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  • xmasshopper
  • 2020-09-14

Powerful message for managers and non-managers

I highly recommend this book! It opened my eyes to how we over complicate simple things that can have such a positive impact on people’s lives.

So many managers are miserable in their jobs because they were promoted out of an individual contributor position and no longer have a strong grasp on the three factors outlined in this book.

Many individual contributors are miserable in their jobs because them and/or their managers don’t grasp these three factors.

There are several action items I have taken from this book that I am sure will improve the lives of the people who report to me and the people I report to.