Dynamics of an Effective Team from the A-Team

While all the leadership gurus were watching shows like Undercover Boss to pick up on leadership techniques I have been watching my way through the first season of the A-Team. Surprisingly you learn a lot about leadership and teamwork by watching Hannibal, Face, Howling Mad Murdock, BA, and Amy blow there way through various assignments. Here things I learned from the show to help keep you from being on the B-Team.


1)An effective team uses the strengths of its individuals.
Everyone has things that they are extra good and those things that are a special difficulty. Discover the strengths in you team and learn how to use them to help the whole. Some people has specially ability in relating to people, organization, supporting, welding, running con schemes, or whatever. Not everyone is the same, but that is what gives the team its strength.
2)An effective team is made of people who are loyal to the team.
People feel much better and work better when they know someone else has their back. They don’t do well when they are afraid another person will undercut them. I like the way the members of the A-Team are faithful to their unit. If one member is in trouble they know someone else will be doing their best to help them out no matter what the problem is. Following what they learned in the military they never leave a man behind. What is true there is true of every good team.
3)An effective team follows the leader.
Leaders often develop in teams. Even if the leader isn’t the best leader the team often functions better because there is a leader. Those in leadership need our backing and support. This doesn’t mean we follow them unquestioningly into everything. It does mean that you back them up. Hannibal is the clear leader of the A-Team. Even if his team thinks an idea is crazy they still trust and respect his leadership. Being united about who the leader is and then following that leader is what makes many teams effective.
4)An effective team has a leader who is worth following.
A good leader will seek to be the kind of person that people want to follow. Some leaders assume their position and then act in a way that is not worthy of being followed. Hannibal’s men give him there full support because he is that sort of person. His leadership works.
5)An effective team is creative.
Creativity is an essential part of the A-Team’s success. In this recession teams feel the weight of shrinking resources. I appreciate how the A-Team doesn’t seem limited by what they don’t have. The find what they do have and then make a plan work. This requires thinking outside the box. You’ll be surprised what you can do with a few simple objects and a lot of creativity.
Not only creative use of resources, but creative planning is key to a teams success. A team that lacks creativity becomes stale and ineffective. It losses the ability to adapt to new situations. Creativity gives you the edge.
6)Finally an effective team has the jazz.
The jazz is hard to define, but if you have been on a team with it you know the feeling.

That concludes my advice on building an effective team. I pity the fool who has a problem with it.
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