There is no “I” in the “The A-Team”


When I heard there would be a movie created around one  of my favorite shows from the ’80’s, I was excited.  Some previous efforts to bring small-screen success to the big screen had flopped, but I was optimistic about this one. I finally got to see it the other night, and quite enjoyed this nostalgic-yet-updated version.

Oddly enough, I also walked away from this experience with some tips on teamwork.  (It is the A-TEAM, after all).

  1. Every team needs a leader with a vision (or in this case, a plan!).  For the most part, this was Hannibal’s role.  The team looked to him for direction and he gave it – confidently.  However, he wasn’t too egotistical that he couldn’t let someone else have the spotlight, and in fact the “plan” the wrapped up the story came from Face.
  2. One team member’s problem was the whole team’s problem. B.A. developed a fear of flying (okay, so it was caused by Murdock, but that’s not the point).  In countless ways, the team rallied around B.A. to help him get over the fear and get him flying again.
  3. Each person had a role that tapped into their strengths. Hannibal was the leader/idea guy, Murdock flies and drives things, B.A. is the muscle and Face is the schmoozer.  Not everyone has to be good at everything, but they do need to see how they fit into the bigger picture.
  4. The had a shared goal. They wanted to clear their names and bring down the person who set them up.  The goal was worth fighting for and just as important to each member of the team.  This gave them the drive to give it all they had.

The one advantage that The A-Team had was a script.  The dialog, the action, the explosions, all choreographed for us to watch. In the real world, it’s probably not that easy.

But it is do-able.  Think about those 4 items above.  Are you a leader with a vision?  Have you communicated that vision to your teams so they have a shared goal?  Do you know what the strengths are of your team members, and have you allowed them to use their strengths to help your business?  Lastly, have you fostered an environment of open communication and trust in your teams so they help each other through the hard times and celebrate together when they win?

Of course if you ask Hannibal, you’ll want to have a plan.  And if you work it right, your plan will come together, too.

Thanks for reading!

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