If you don’t know that the movie The Avengers is out and breaking all kinds of box office records, you simply have not been paying attention. For everyone else, rather than looking at it simply as 143 minutes of mindless entertainment (as great as that is), let’s consider what it says about what we believe about humanity, superegos, teamwork, and turning ‘it is all about me’ into ‘us’.
One of the biggest challenges any leader or coach faces is getting superheroes to work together. I hope none of us need to defend the human race anytime soon. But, what we saw in The Avengers is that a common goal, one that could not be attained by any one hero alone, forced them to be willing to work together as a group, but not a team – at first
Becoming a team meant they individually, had to figure out their role, where they fit and realize that team success also brought individual success. They had to be willing to have each other’s backs. To get there they had to bicker (okay, flat out fight) with each other. They had to learn each other’s strengths and decide they were willing to defend, support and (dare I say) help each other. Fortunately for them, Loki and his army waited to really attack until the team had their act together (oh yeah, it’s a movie and they can write it that way).
We obviously believe (to the tune of an expected $1 billion worldwide), that superheroes can work together. Even though there is evidence in many boardrooms and on too many sports fields that big egos would rather finger point in the press and tweet obnoxiously about their teammates. “Proving” you have to deal with drama queens, tantrums and narcissistic behavior if you have superpowers on your team.
Here is my question; do your earth changing projects have time built into them for your superegos, er… heroes, to determine how and where they fit in the puzzle? Do you have a Nick Fury to help them through the process? Well, maybe someone a little more keen on communication and productive conflict would be good. But you get my point. Or, do you throw your ‘stars’ at a problem with the assumption they’ll just make it happen?
When your Thor and Iron Man come to blows, do they come out hating or respecting each other? You might not be able to get a “volatile, self obsessed, genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist” to do something selfless that almost gets him killed. But you might be able to get him to play nice with others – so long as he understands what’s in it for him.
I have a kicker question – All of these superheroes are men, with the exception of one woman who made it through the glass ceiling (the discussion of how she got there and if she was really a hero would be a different post, stay focused). How would the teambuilding process be different if the heroes and egos were women with one man or at least 50% women? Here outside the movie theater, that is a very valid question.
What do you think the success of The Avengers says about how we believe teams are built and succeed? I believe we can learn from what we accept as possible in the movies to create amazing teams, even when the stakes aren’t quite as high as the domination and destruction of earth.
Am I crazy or am I right? Let me know in the comments.
Dr. Robyn Odegaard is the CEO/Owner of the speaking/consulting company Champion Performance Development, the founder of the Stop The Drama! Campaign and author of the book ‘Stop The Drama! The Ultimate Guide to Female Teams’. She specializes in showing people how to use language powerfully to achieve more from their potential. You can invite her to speak to your group and inquire about her other services at www.ChampPerformance.com and order her book from www.StopTheDramaNow.com
Tags :Black Widow, Captain America, Champion Performance Development, Clint Barton, Clinton Barton, Doc Robyn, Hawkeye, iron man, Loki, marvel, Natalia Romanova, Natasha Romanova, robert banner, robert bruce banner, Robyn Odegaard, Steve Rogers, team building, team development, teambuilding, teamwork, The Avengers, the hulk, the incredible hulk, Thor, tony starks