This year has started off by showing us many examples of leadership that are in some ways impossible.
Impossible to be all things to all people, impossible to to be impartial in challenging situations, impossible sometimes to take a stand.
We may find ourselves wishing and hoping for our leaders to be better. Maybe even wishing and hoping we could be better, especially in the situations that seem impossible. A few weeks ago, I rewatched a fun and inspiring, feel good movie. The messages in it resonated with me as I continue to work with multiple leaders and their teams as we launch 2024 and many of them are in what seem to be impossible situations. If you haven’t seen Rise of the Guardians, I highly recommend it get added to your winter pick me up list of movies.
DreamWorks’ “Rise of the Guardians” brings together a band of extraordinary characters to safeguard the hopes and dreams of children around the world. Little did we know, this magical assembly has more to offer than just an enchanting tale – it holds valuable lessons for building dynamic and effective teams in today’s fast-paced, sometimes impossible, ever-changing workplace.
Let’s dive into the world of The Guardians and explore how each character aligns with the roles and dynamics of real life teams:
Jack Frost – The Creative Innovator
Jack Frost, with his mischievous grin and icy charm, embodies the spirit of innovation. In the workplace, we all need a Jack – the one who can sprinkle a touch of creativity into the team. The Creative Innovator is the brainstormer, always bringing fresh perspectives and cool ideas to the table, much like Jack’s ability to create wondrous winter landscapes.
North (Santa Claus) – The Supportive Leader
The holly-jolly, red-suited leader of the Guardians, North, represents the heart of the team. In any functional team, there’s a need for a Supportive Leader – someone who not only commands respect but also nurtures and encourages team members. North’s warm and paternal demeanor makes him the perfect figure to boost team morale, ensuring everyone feels valued and appreciated.
Tooth Fairy – The Detail-Oriented Organizer
Tooth Fairy, with her intricate system of collecting and cataloging teeth, is the epitome of meticulous organization. In organizations, the Detail-Oriented Organizer is the backbone of any team, ensuring that no crucial information is overlooked. Whether it’s managing schedules, tracking progress, or keeping meticulous records, this character ensures everything runs smoothly.
Sandman – The Silent Contributor
Silent yet powerful, Sandman communicates through dreams, symbolizing the quiet contributors in a team. Every successful team needs a Sandman – the person who doesn’t always seek the spotlight but plays a crucial role behind the scenes. Their dedication and hard work are like the gentle touch of dreams, quietly influencing the team’s success.
Bunny (Easter Bunny) – The Passionate Challenger
Bunny, with his boomerangs and fierce spirit, embodies the Passionate Challenger. In a functional team, it’s essential to have someone who challenges the status quo and pushes the team to exceed their limits. The Passionate Challenger brings a burst of energy, motivating others to strive for greatness.
Pitch (The Boogeyman) – The Necessary Opposition
Pitch, the villain of the story, plays a unique role in the team dynamic. While not a traditional team member, he represents the challenges and obstacles that teams inevitably face. The Necessary Opposition in a workplace context can be setbacks, competition, or even internal conflicts. Dealing with such challenges, like The Guardians face Pitch, fosters resilience and unity within the team.
In the end, “Rise of The Guardians” reminds us that we all bring diverse skills, talents and personalities that are crucial to a thriving team. Each character brings something unique to the table, just as every team member contributes to the success of the whole. Understanding ourselves and our teammates can be a valuable tool in achieving our goals, creating psychological safety, a sense of belonging and dedication to the overall goals and aspirations.
As you embark on your new year full of goals, ideas and new opportunities in your own leadership adventure, remember the lessons from this magical world – nurture creativity, support one another, organize meticulously, work diligently, challenge passionately, and face opposition with resilience. May your team be as extraordinary and cohesive as The Guardians themselves!
And if you feel like you need some guidance personally or for your team – as the Guardians did – ask for help, I often say I wish I had someone like me when I was in leadership roles. The reality is we don’t have magic, and sometimes an outside perspective can be just what we and our teams need to move forward. Knowing our own and the superpowers of our teams can make the difference in achieving our goals or spinning the same plates day after day.