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Mutating into the perfect team

At 44, we’ve been thinking a lot about team types, and particularly how we can bring our different personal styles together to make a formidable team. After the latest session, Hana Evans revisited a childhood favourite to prove that while nobody is perfect, a team can be…

It’s no secret – I love the X-Men. I grew up watching the 90s cartoon, and now – at 25 years of age – I’m proud to say I dressed up as Mystique last Halloween, own two cats called Rogue and Phoenix, and am holidaying in New Orleans this summer in search of Gambit.

I was re-watching the cartoon the other day, as I often do, when it struck me what a great team the X-Men are. And I don’t mean a beating-up-the-bad-guys, saving-the-world kind of team – although they are pretty badass in that respect. If you take a second to look past the claws, Lycra and lightning and take the X-Men as a whole, they possess all the dynamics needed for a successful project team.

Don’t believe me? Read on and see if I can change your mind with my five favourite X-Men (in no particular order). I promise not to use telepathy.

Professor X – someone to see the bigger picture

Professor Charles Xavier founded the X-Men to protect fellow mutants from persecution. But he doesn’t just have a big heart; he has a big brain too. He’s a powerful telepath, and when he’s hooked up to Cerebro, his super computer, he can connect with minds all over the world.

As well as a strong leader, every team needs a strong visionary to step away from the ‘day-to-day’ and get an overall feel for how the project is going.

Gambit – someone who can blow stuff up

Remy LeBeau is the Cajun hottie with a penchant for card tricks. Sure he can perform a mean anaconda, but he also charges his cards with kinetic energy and throws them with precision to blow up whatever obstacle stands in the way – be it a solid metal door or a genocidal robot.

At work, you need someone to shift those obstacles too – someone who can think outside the box, clear blockages and find a solution that allows you to move forward.

Storm – someone who can control the weather

Although raised between Harlem and Cairo, Ororo Monroe is the daughter of a Kenyan tribal princess. Oh, and she can summon a hurricane, a blizzard, or even sunshine whenever she wants.

Admittedly, Storm usually uses her powers to wipe out bad guys. But, in the office you need someone who can blow away the clouds and let the sun shine in, lifting the mood.

Wolverine – someone who just keeps on healing

Arguably the most famous of the X-Men, Logan was born in the late 1880s and has the ability to heal indefinitely (as well as some pretty impressive claws which shoot out of his knuckles…).

While the ability to cut things down to size may well be a desirable attribute for the office, it’s Wolverine’s healing powers we need the most. How many people do you know that can ride the storm, taking on damage, but still emerge unscathed on the other side?

Rogue – someone who takes power from others

Southern Belle Anna Marie found out she absorbed people’s life power through touch when her first kiss ended with the boy in a coma. Not great, but she can also briefly take on other mutants’ powers which has been known to swing a fight or two.

Not everyone in a team has to have their own unique skill. Some of the most useful team members are eager to learn and can fill in when needed, plugging the gaps in the expertise to help create a more rounded overall team for each individual task.

Although they’re all powerful in their own right, it’s when they come together as the X-Men that they’re unstoppable.

If you’re interested in learning more about team dynamics, have a look at the classic model within Belbin’s Team Roles. Take a moment to think about your own team, and if you find yourself lacking a certain power, give us a call. We’ve got superheroes to spare.

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