June 18, 2012 by eric echols
The Avengers is an incredible movie! If you haven’t seen it yet, stop reading this post and go buy your ticket. Seriously, what are you waiting for…go order your ticket. It’s well worth price of admission.
Not only is it a great movie, but there are a ton of leadership lessons that every team needs to remember. Here are 3 lessons that stood out to me when it comes to teamwork:
1) You can’t be a team & fight for yourself
In the movie, General Nick Fury attempts to bring Iron Man, The Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Black Widow and Hawkeye together in an effort to save the world.
The problem is that when they are first assembled, each superhero is only looking out for themselves. Along with their super abilities, they bring their super egos and personal agendas to the table. It’s clear that it’s only a matter of time before their concern for their own interest over that of the team will eventually destroy the mission before it even begins.
2) Without something to fight for, teams end up fighting each other
About midway through the movie, The Avengers capture Loki and it looks like they’ve saved the world. This should have been a time of celebration. However, without an enemy to fight, they start pointing fingers at each other.
In one scene they say, “we’re not a team…we’re a time bomb”. The Avengers toxic mix of pride, selfishness, and personal agendas causes conflict and friction on the team. While this makes from some epic fight scenes, no one is going to save the world on a team like this.
3) Teams need a common purpose to fight for
The Avengers had to learn that true teamwork only occurs when the mission of the team takes priority over individual goals. They had to learn the hard way that personal egos and desires must be sacrificed at the alter of the corporate mission.
Teams need a common purpose if they’re going to be successful. We learn in the Avengers that even the most diverse teams can win when they fight together. Each Avenger had to buy into the teams goals in order to defeat their enemy. Once the team developed conviction and dedication to what they were assembled to do (mission) and why they were to do it (values) they were able to have the ultimate victory.
The truth is that team work is hard work. This isn’t just true in the world of superheroes trying to save the world. It’s true on our teams everyday as we lead our churches, ministries, and organizations. We have to set aside our personal agendas for the benefit of the mission. We also have to clearly define our vision and values and determine what we are going to fight for. Once we do, we can take the strengths and weaknesses of our teams and accomplish the impossible!
If you’ve seen the movie, what leadership lessons did you learn? Add your comments below.