I can’t be the only person with fond memories of childhood cartoons and one of my favorites was Voltron. If you’ve never seen this cartoon (really?!), I’ll give you a quick run-down of the plot. The main characters were a group of five fighter pilots that operated mechanical lions and kept peace in the land. Most times, they could defeat the enemy, but at the end of every episode they were confronted with a foe that required a higher level of teamwork. This was always my favorite part of the show…where they would “form Voltron”. The five mechanical lions can be assembled together to make one giant fighting machine…and he was unstoppable! Two of the lions would form the feet and legs, two would form the arms and body, and the fifth would form the head of the giant robot. Let’s look at the lessons that we can learn from the cartoon Voltron about functioning as a successful team.
3 things Voltron taught me about leadership and teamwork
Teamwork is required to complete the big tasks.
Many times, your team can get away with an unbalanced offensive scheme, but against that big foe…the one who just happens to have a very balanced defensive plan, your team will need to learn to trust one another to do their jobs. Using our Voltron example, the other pilots knew they could count on each other to always do the same thing…they were confident in their teammates because they’d been consistent in their execution in the past.
Every member of the team knew their role was appreciated.
Using volleyball as an example, if my setter all of a sudden tried to be a hitter…we’d be in trouble! We need her to do her thing and we need our blockers to block and our hitters to hit. If any of them decide that they’re unhappy with the glory they’re receiving, then the team will suffer. It’s our job as their coach to remind them that they’re all important to the team and critical to achieving our goals. Whether they’re a starter or reserve, each person on the team is necessary for us to be successful.
They had a strong leader.
Teams have two leaders, the head coach and the floor captain…both must be confident, prepared, and decisive. As the coach, it’s our job to make sure that the team is well-prepared, able to make in-game adjustments, and can take advantage of whatever weaknesses the opponent may have. Your floor captain needs to operate with a high skill level and she should be consistently energetic…all while holding her teammates accountable for their effort on the court or field.
Hopefully you can look at your team and see those three elements there…if not, you’ve got a good starting point for a successful team.
If you’d like to see a one minute clip of Voltron, click here…it’s pretty awesome!