The Table Group

A Patrick Lencioni Company

The Three Signs of a Miserable Job takes on the most universal and human topic to date: the misery of work. The book presents managers and employees alike with a revolutionary yet simple model for making any job more rewarding and fulfilling.

The fable follows Brian Bailey, a retired executive trying to find meaning in his career and life. On his unpredictable journey, Brian discovers the three universal causes of anguish and frustration at work, and the three keys to overcoming them.

Released in 2007 to national acclaim, The Three Signs of a Miserable Job offers insights on how to employ this approach as well as list of behaviors and actions required for real change to occur. For those organizations that want to transform their culture with the help of our products and services, click here »

Book Tools

The Three Signs of a Miserable Job Model

The Three Signs of a Miserable Job tackles employee satisfaction and fulfillment.

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View Pat being interviewed on the Three Signs

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Author Q&A

Patrick Lencioni answers some common questions about his new book and model.

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Anti-Misery Worksheet

Use this worksheet to help plan your strategy for eliminating workplace misery.

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Miserable Job Article

Read a brief article about one aspect of the miserable job model, anonymity.

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Reviews & Press

Wall Street Journal

"Lencioni tells a fun tale, and he offers a welcome reminder that there is more to work than the job you do"

—Phred Dvorak

In "Three Signs," Mr. Lencioni tackles the question of why so many people are unhappy at work. The issue is a hot one in management-consulting circles, with many companies citing high employee turnover as one of their biggest problems. Firms from Gallup Consulting to Towers Perrin argue that higher worker motivation, among other things, improves productivity, staff retention and, ultimately, business results… Read full review »

"He offers some real advice on how to turn that daily grind into daily fulfillment."

—Lauren Nemroff

Patrick Lencioni, renowned business consultant and bestselling author of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, is on a critical mission: create widespread job satisfaction in a world full of workplace misery. His latest book, The Three Signs of a Miserable Job: A Fable for Managers (And Their Employees), tells the inspiring tale a high-flying, but deeply dissatisfied Chief Executive Officer who ditches the power and perks for career bliss as the manager of a pizzeria! In this unusual and inspiring story, Lencioni convincingly demonstrates how career happiness (or misery) is the direct result of the manager--employee relationship. Patrick Lencioni took the time to tell us about his life-long "obsession" with job misery, shatter some myths about workplace satisfaction and offer some real advice on how to turn that daily grind into daily fulfillment.

Publishers Weekly

"His fictional case study proves an involving vessel for his model and strategies."

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.)

Consulting and Training Services

Consulting and Training Services

The Table Group offers a variety of consulting offerings around Pat’s models and methodologies. If you are interested in learning more about our services please feel free to fill out the Consulting Inquiry Form below or visit the consulting section our website. For those who prefer to talk about offerings via phone, please call our Vice President of consulting,Jeff Gibson, VP of Consulting, at 925.299.9705 or for more information.

Consulting Inquiry Form


Inquire About Pat's Availability

Speaking Services

Pat was recently named one of the nation’s top five business speakers by The Wall Street Journal. To inquire about Pat’s availability, please contact Alison Knox at 925.299.9706. Or, you may complete our Speaking Inquiry Form below. Please note that we receive dozens of requests on a weekly basis and will make every effort to respond to your inquiry in an expeditious manner.

Speaking Inquiry Form


Praise for Miserable Job

Readers Applaud the Three Signs

"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 Corporation

"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 of People and Leadership Development

Southwest Airlines

Media Resources

Media Reel

View clips of Patrick Lencioni on CNBC, ESPN, Niel Cavuto and more.

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Author Q&A

Patrick Lencioni answers some common questions about his new book and model.

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Job Misery Statistics

Short summary of research finding that support a job misery epidemic.

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Press Release

Wiley announces Lencioni’s new release, The Three Signs of a Miserable Job

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Patrick Lencioni Book Headshot

JPG of Pat from the book cover »

The Three Signs of a Miserable Job Book Jacket

TIF cover image of the book »