4 Leadership Lessons from Guardians of the Galaxy

Leadership, MARVEL

I hope you’ve seen Guardians of the Galaxy.  If you haven’t, you should go watch it now!  It is a great Marvel movie!  I’ve even heard a few people call it the best Marvel movie, yet!  I watched it again just a few days ago and found a few more lessons that I didn’t catch the first few times.  I’ve realized that it’s a great movie about team building, over coming challenges and learning to lead.  Here are 4 Leadership Lessons from Guardians of the Galaxy

When Peter Quill, Gamora, Rocket and Groot are arrested and sent to prison, Rocket begins to devise a plan to escape.  He begins telling Peter and Gamora what he needs to make it happen.

Rocket Raccoon: Now, this is important. Once the battery is removed, everything is gonna slam into emergency mode. Once we have it, we gotta move quickly, so you definitely need to get that last.
[Groot removes the battery, setting off the alarms]
Rocket Raccoon: Or we could just get it first and improvise.
Gamora: I’ll get the armband.
Peter Quill: Leg.

The phrase I’m working on is improvise!  After Groot without question or being asked grabs the battery box from high above, as mentioned, everything slammed into emergency mode.  This wasn’t planned, this was not a part of the plan.  With this happening, the timing that Rocket was planning has now been thrown out the window.  The moment at hand requires fast thinking and improvisation.   This is an example of how leaders must be quick to adapt to the environment and circumstances.  Sometimes things don’t go according to plan and sudden changes can always redirect the plan.  Just like a football team that calls an audible, the opposite team must adjust on the fly to the sudden change.  But leaders also keep team members focused on the task.  Rocket, Gamora and Peter still had their mission to carry out, it just happened a little bit quicker than expected.  Leaders improvise when necessary and adapt to their environment.  

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Rocket Raccoon: But Quill, beating Ronan… it can’t be done. You’re asking us to die.
Peter Quill: Yeah… I guess I am.
[pause]
Gamora: [stands up] Quill, I have lived most of my life surrounded my enemies. I will be grateful to die among my friends.
Drax the Destroyer: [stands up] You’re an honorable man, Quill. I will fight beside you. And in the end, I will see my wife and daughter.
Groot: [stands up] I am Groot.
Rocket Raccoon: Aww, what the hell, I don’t got that long a lifespan anyway…[stands up]

At this moment in the movie, things are about to get interesting as Ronan is on his way to destroy an entire planet.  Peter has made the choice to go after him.  He knows he can’t do it alone and after a few small battles here and there, Groot, Rocket, Gamora and Drax have formed into an unlikely team.  Together they bring many skills to the table.  Together, their potential is boundless.  Peter makes a quick speech about how he’s going to take on Ronan and ultimately inspires the others to join in.  Although, 12% isn’t much of plan, they still agree to join in.  Inspiration can really drive a team.  At times, it just takes a common connection between them before a team can really come together.  This happens in this scene. As leader, Peter brings the team together and without each other, they would have never been able to defeat Ronan, which happens later on in the movie.  Leaders inspire and bring teams together.   

We all know that leadership has no rank, position or authority.  A leader can be anyone and everyone has the potential to lead. 

Denarian Saal: I can’t believe I’m taking orders from a hamster.

Denarian made this comment when Rocket gave him an instruction near the end of the movie in the big battle.  Being sarcastic, he says he can’t believe he’s taking orders from a hamster.  Though Rocket is small and a little chaotic, he is no different than any other person.  He is capable of leadership.  Leaders come in all ages, sizes and from any culture!

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Peter Quill: If we’re gonna work together you might wanna try trusting me a little bit.
Gamora: How much do you trust me?

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It takes a lot to create a strong team and trusting in each is a key element.  In this scene, the crew is on it’s way to a buyer for the orb.  Peter asks Gamora where the coordinates are and she replies with “We’re going in the right direction.”  Peter responds with the trust line and she responds back with one.  In any organization and team, trust has to take place.  Just like the earlier football analogy, it can be used again in this scenario.  A quarterback must trust his offensive line to block the best they can so that he can worry about getting the ball to the right player.  Leaders not only trust, but they build trust within their team.  They share information, they provide help, they show care to others in their team.  As the movie plays on, Peter, Gamora, Drax, Rocket and Groot form a great deal of trust.  Leaders trust and build trust. 

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