Three Leadership Lessons from Marvel’s: The Avengers

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.

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9 responses to “Three Leadership Lessons from Marvel’s: The Avengers”

  1. lincolnparks (@lincolnparks) Avatar
    lincolnparks (@lincolnparks)

    Eric, I haven’t see the movie but you mentioned some great points here. You can’t be a team and fight for yourself. That is absolutely so true. The power of the TEAM is so powerful, and we often take it for granted because most only have short sighted goals which include themselves.

  2. Phil Stevens Avatar
    Phil Stevens

    Love that you applied useful leadership and teamwork practices to an epic superhero movie. Only Eric! Great post bro.

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    1. Lucause Avatar

      As a semi-serious comic book fan, I have to say that in general we’re more fellibxe about character adaptations but that depends on which fandom. Since comic book characters often live in a floating timeline with multiple universes, there are plenty of different ways to portray characters. Often a comic book fan will have their favorite comic book portrayal and so they’ll want to see that particular version come to the big screen.This is at the heart of the issues between the old Spider-Man trilogy and the new Spider-Man movie. This reinvention isn’t just a matter of wanting a new batch of blockbusters they’re pulling from a different comic book version of Spider-Man. As far as my favorite Avenger, I’ve always had a soft spot for Thor, but I’m starting to like The Wasp as well.

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    1. Vera Avatar

      I definitely agree I hadn’t rlleay thought much about it until you mentioned it, but the movies Disney previously did on the individual characters did help form a connection with them in The Avengers. I’m also interested to see if they will be coming out with some movies on Hawkeye and The Black Widow. Picking a favorite character is extremely difficult; they all add a unique dynamic and I like them each in their own way. If I had to pick one as my top favorite though, it would probably be Captain America and/or Thor. Their quality of character puts them higher on my list, but my next favorite would probably be Iron Man. I love his dry sense of humor it lightens up the mood of the movie.

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