For any group to reach its potential, a leader has to understand his strengths and weaknesses. He also has to value the strengths and weaknesses of those on his team. For example, I was just playing t-ball with my sons and we lost a ball in the neighbors yard. I could figure out how a person could retrieve the ball, and my 4 year old was just the right size to sneak under a bush and through a fence to actually get it. Yay 4 year olds! When we each used our strengths, t-ball could continue.
In light of recent discussion on valuing the differences we have in groups, I’d like to share the top 10 teams on t.v. and in the movies. As I made this list, I’ve found there are two characteristics that help each team be successful. Not all teams have both, but you have to have one. First successful teams have a leader- someone to follow. Second successful teams have a clear mission. Usually it’s “save the world”- but a clearly defined mission can even make up for lack of a dynamic leader.
Top 10 Teams:
#10 Lone Survivor
I mentioned the team of 4 Navy SEALs in the movie “Lone Survivor” at number 10, only because they’re not pretend. The movie is based on a book based on a real event. Honestly any Navy SEAL team should be #1 in this list because if they don’t learn to work together with their team mates- they don’t survive. But, they have somewhat of an unfair advantage over everyone else on this list, so I’ll place them at #10. (secretly #1 in my heart)
#9 The Fellowship of the Ring
Frodo and his small fellowship- made up of bow guy, ax dude, and sword man, head towards mount doom to destroy the ancient ring. Honestly, they’re never great at working together and survive mostly because each is a skilled fighter in his own right. Who really knows how Frodo survives the whole ordeal other than luck.
#8 The Walking Dead
This team, led by Frank Grimes, had one clear objective- stay alive. They had to work together to combat zombies from eating them, and other humans from killing them. The downside of this team is their overall lack of trust and ever-changing core group. People are alwys turning into zombies so it was difficult to take the time necessary to build trust within the core team.
#7 Star Wars
Luke, Leia, Han, Chewy, C-3PO, and good ole’ R2-D2. These guys were able to lead a rebellion which brought down an intergalactic empire- which is a pretty awesome accomplishment for any team. Each individual brought a different skill. Han could fly a ship and had witty comebacks. Chewy was strong, furry and could growl at people. Leia brought important connections to the rebellion leaders, had strong leadership potential, and influenced generations of women’s hair styles. Luke, of course, used the force and knew his way around a light saber. But, in some ways, this team worked together almost on accident and out of necessity.
Ghosts are very tricky. They don’t like being caught- and can sometimes be very aggressive about the whole thing. If this team didn’t learn to trust each other and work together, someone was going to get seriously slimed- or worse.
#5 Ninja Turtle
Splinter has spent years training the ninja turtles to fight and work together. Each turtle is very different and those differences add value to the team. Their arch-enemy Cheese-Grater is no match for this close knit team of turtle brothers. Go ninja, go ninja go!
The Justice League is made up of some of the most iconic heroes the world has ever known. Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern- to name a few. Being some of the strongest heroes in the galaxy can lead to some pretty big egos. But, this team overcomes their own egos to work together to defeat some of the strongest foes the world has ever known. (But, secretly Batman would be able to take them all out if need be.)
The Avengers have to learn to work together, and it’s a process. But, they quickly learn to value what each member brings to the team. As they lean on each other’s strengths, they quickly defeat the enemy. They may have an army of monsters, but the Avengers have a hulk!
If you have a problem, and no one else can help, and you can find them, maybe you can hire- the A-Team. Each team member brings their own level of awesomeness and craziness. But, in each mission they must depend on each other’s strengths to get the job done.
#1 G.I. Joe
These guys are real American heroes and they’re fighting to save the day. The great thing about G.I. Joes is their ability to always work together, capitalizing on each other’s strengths. In fact, each Joe’s strength so defined them that it often characterized their “codename.” Ace was a fighter pilot. Shipwreck was a sailor. Doc was….wait for it…..a medic. The G.I. Joes were quick to send specific teams to accomplish certain missions that played to their strengths.
A few Honorable Mentions:
– Care Bears (Care Bear Stare!)
– Jack Bauer (He’s a team in himself)
– Toy Story (Never try to stop a toy on a mission)
Here’s a few extra videos you might enjoy, based on the top 10: