This weekend, I had the opportunity to see the new A-Team movie as part of my birthday celebration. Throughout the movie, I took several mental notes that have inspired me to write this post. Believe it or not, it was my wife’s idea to see the movie! Needless to say, she has excellent taste. To quote Col. John ‘Hannibal’ Smith, “I love it when a plan comes together.”

I realize that not everyone is an A-Team fan, so I’ll keep my references to a minimum. Instead, I’d like to share with you some of my thoughts on how being part of your very own A-Team can increase productivity, innovation, and help you advance in your career.

Recruit for Special Forces. As a manager, recruiting the right team members is extremely important. You want people who work well as a team, not simply as individuals. Build a relationship with your team, creating trust, loyalty, and a creative, fun work environment. Select those that you want to be part of the mission, classified or otherwise.

Strategize. “I believe no matter how random something may appear, there’s still a plan.” – Col. John ‘Hannibal’ Smith. Have a plan! As crazy as it may seem at first, it’s always best to have a plan. You can adjust as needed along the way. Be sure to work with your team on this plan, ensuring that everyone is on board. Communication is key here. There is no Plan B – give every project all you’ve got. You may not have a second chance.

Fight (for what you believe in). Don’t let others steamroll you, your team, or your ideas. If you believe in something, stand up for it. Fight for what is right and make sure that everyone on the team is fighting for the same thing. This could be the hardest thing you’ll ever do in your entire life, but if you fight for what you truly believe in, you may just be surprised at the end result.

Cover me. In any operation, having back-up is very important. You’re not looking for someone to cover up when you screw up, but simply to be there for assistance as needed and support throughout. As a team, you’ll need to back-up each other and work together!

With these things in mind, also know that whether you’re the leader like Hannibal, the rogue playboy Face, the conscientious muscle like B.A., or the slightly off-kilter Murdock, know that it’s what each person brings to the group that truly makes for an A-Team.

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Tags: a-team, leadership, plan, strategy, team

Comment by Dan Hunter on June 29, 2010 at 8:09am
Also avoid parking in handicapped zones.
Comment by Kirk Baumann on June 29, 2010 at 9:46am
@gbpp - I'm not suggesting that at all. You should always have a plan, no matter what it is. Adjusting along the way shows flexibility. Plans don't always go accordingly - a good leader knows this and can adjust along the way. Thanks for your comment!

@Dan - Nice movie reference! Murdock adds a lot to the entire story! :)

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