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Business Coaching: Building a Team


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I went to see Marvel’s The Avengers opening weekend. Yes, I am a fan. I know when I go to see these movies I will be entertained. To its credit The Avengers did not disappoint and I left with a bonus; an idea for my next blog. As I mature, I have noticed that I look at life from different perspectives. Watching this movie was no exception. At the very end after it was over and most of the audience had left, I couldn’t help but think about the dynamics of a team.

This was not just about seven people coming together for a common cause. It was also about the struggle of seven people coming together and realizing that there was a common cause to fight for in spite of their individual desires and needs. So, who are the team members?

• Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D is portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson. He is the visionary, holder of all information. He is the identified him chief executive officer/leader. Fury serves as the intermediary between the U.S. government, the United Nations, and various superheroes.

• Iron Man/Tony Stark whose performance is by Robert Downey Jr. is a free thinker, idea man, and he possesses a keen business mind. Tony Stark has a genius level intellect that allows him to invent a wide range of sophisticated devices and specializes in advanced weapons and armor.

• Captain America/Steve Rogers played by Chris Evans was a World War II service man. He was given "Super Soldier Serum" via injections and oral ingestion. He was then exposed to a controlled burst of "Vita-Rays" that activated and stabilized the chemicals in his body. This process successfully altered his physiology from a frail state to the maximum of human efficiency, including greatly enhanced musculature and reflexes.

• Mark Ruffalo plays The Hulk/Bruce Banner. As Bruce Banner he describes himself as always being angry. He is highly intelligent and a loner. The Hulk is a physical depiction of his anger where he smashes and attacks to do harm to those around him.

• Thor the Norse God of Thunder is royalty from Asgard and is portrayed by Chris Hemsworth.. Thor has super-strength, super-speed, invulnerability, the ability to fly and the ability to control lightning.

• Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff is played by Scarlett Johansson. She grows up to serve as a femme fatale. She was previously associated with Hawkeye.

• Hawkeye/Clint Barton is an expert archer and ferociously trained in hand-to-hand combat. This character is performed by Jeremy Renneris.

For every superhero there is always a nemesis. The archenemy is Loki, Thor’s adopted brother.

Before the team was formed each of these members lived there own separate lives. As with many teams this one did not begin in collaboration. There were secrets, hidden agendas, enemies, taunting, and seemingly no common goal. Each of these individuals had strong personalities, diverse interest and specialized gifts. Needless to say there were disagreements and clashes. It also seemed as if their nemesis were each other. will not provide you with the details because if you are planning to see this movie I would destroy the pleasure of you watching it for the first time.

What is more interesting is what bonded them as a team. It was a common goal and a desire to have a positive outcome that would benefit more than just themselves.

The Anatomy of a Team

A team is made up of a group of people linked together in a common purpose. Teams are particularly appropriate for performing tasks that are high in complexity and have many mutually dependent subtasks.

A group of individuals does not necessarily make a team. Teams customarily have members with complementary skills and generate synergy through a coordinated effort which allows each member to maximize his/her strengths and minimize his/her weaknesses. As in The Avengers, team members must learn how to be of assistance to one another. They help one another realize their true potential and create an environment that allows everyone to go beyond their limitations.

From Groups to Teams
Groups develop into teams in four stages

• Stage 1: Dependency and inclusion - Group development is characterized by members' dependency on the designated leader

• Stage 2: Counter dependency and fighting - Group seeks to free itself from its dependence on the leader and have conflicts about goals and procedures

• Stage 3: Trust and structure - Group manages to work through the conflicts

• Stage 4: Work - Groups focus on team productivity

Interdependent Team Characteristics

• No significant task can be accomplished without the help and cooperation of the other members

• Typically each member specializes in different tasks

• The success of every member is connected to the success of the whole team

Independent Team Characteristics

• Matches are played and won, or points are scored, by individuals or partners

• Every individual team member performs basically the same actions

• One player’s performance has no direct effect on the performance of the next player and they each perform the same basic tasks

• They may be able to help each other by offering advice or practice time, providing moral support, helping in the background during a busy time

• Each individual's success is due primarily to each individual's own efforts

The Avengers are an interdependent team. They needed each other to be successful.



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About the Author

Joanne McGhee, SageELT, LLC
73 Herbert Terrace
West Orange, NJ 07052
9736506770

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