Sometimes the best way to motivate your team is through good old fashioned storytelling. Stories transform our thinking and inspire us to do great things. Great stories not only entertain, but they bring people together through shared experiences and help build strong connections.
Movies at their core are just stories with actors and moving images, that’s why we love them! Sure, they act as a form of escapism, but they also offer a way for us to see new places and experience things outside of our own reality. Want to build stronger teams and inspire them to do their best? Show them examples of teams that struggle, overcome and ultimately succeed. An easy way to do this is to simply show them some kickass movies!
We’ve picked 6 movies that tell the tale of duos, groups and friends who illustrate what it means to be a killer team. These might not be the most traditional team building flicks but we can assure you, they’ll get team spirit soaring and have your group laughing.
1. The Mighty Ducks
Leave it to beautiful-haired Coach Gordon Bombay to give epic team building advice. This classic 90s movie covers everything from teamwork to building focus. The Ducks may have started at the bottom but they fly to the top. Why? Because of awesome leadership and primo teamwork, of course.
Best Team Building Moment: When the original Ducks finally accept Adam Banks (a.k.a. Cake-Eater) as a true part of the team. Or the Flying V that helps them win the state Pee Wee Championship against the Hawks.
Team Building Activity: Quack together. It may sound silly, but a cheer or funny slogan is a great way to start heavy projects or to pump up a team mid-day. Similar to a communal howl of wolves, a cheer can boost camaraderie and help energy sky rocket.
2. Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring
J.R.R. Tolkien was a master storyteller, but he also was an expert in strong teams and excellent leaders. The movie adaptation of The Fellowship of Ring is full of lessons on greed, power and bad leadership. The most important takeaway for teams: how a successful project hinges on the strength of the bond between its participants.
Best Team Building Moment: When Lord Elrond holds council with the other leaders of the Middle Earth Races, to decide what to do with the ring. After everyone starts bickering and arguing, Frodo surprises them by volunteering to take the ring to Mount Doom. A member from each of the Middle Earth races comes forward to help Frodo with his task, despite all their deep rooted differences.
Team Building Exercise: Find a strength or skill testing exercise to do as a group. Ax-throwing is a great way to get out stress and inspire friendly competition. Actives like this will help teams strive to do their best.
3. The Harry Potter Movies
When you’re fighting the wizard-Devil himself, teamwork becomes second nature. The Harry Potter books and movies stress the importance of teams and how each individual contributes to the overall success of the group. Where would Harry be without Hermione, Ron and Dumbledore (and everyone else who helps him)?
Best Team Building Moment: Pretty much every time Harry tries to accomplish something on his own, e.g. find the remaining horcruxes, but is relieved and empowered to find Ron and Hermione at his side. As a team, they are able to accomplish the unthinkable.
Team Building Activity: The time spent searching for the remaining horcruxes was a pivotal point in the Harry, Ron, and Hermione dynamic. Faith was tested and teamwork was needed more than ever. Create a custom scavenger hunt and send your teams off to search and bond. Scavenger hunts are fun but also help build stronger teams through teamwork, leadership and communication!
4. Pitch Perfect
After hard year, The Barden Bellas, a college female acapella group, is forced to rebuild their reputation. By building a new and extremely diverse team and going against traditional acapella standards, the Barden Bellas succeed in shaking up the acapella world. The Bellas learn that differences are strengths, traditions can be broken, great leadership comes in many forms.
Best Team Building Moment: The aca-battle in the empty pool. The girls battle against the other acapella teams on campus. Their leader Becca breaks into “No Diggity,” a song that goes against the true acapella style. The team follows suit, using each of their unique talents to blow away the competition.
Team Building Activity: Sing together! Scary, we know, but group karaoke or a singing meet-up are awesome for laughs and bonding. The camaraderie your team will feel after belting out Journey or Cher will be worth it.
There is something inspiring about a troupe of disorganized parapsychologists working together to fight supernatural foes. In the face of super slimey and puffy danger, the Ghostbusters stress the importance of all the working parts of a team. Improvement, leadership, practice and teamwork are all major themes you can’t miss. FYI: Both the original and remake are great for team building!
Best Team Building Moment: The final fight scene in the remake when the ghost-portal to the otherworld has been opened. The team comes together, working as a complete function unit, and even Kevin steps up to help the ladies send those wicked ghosts home.
Team Building Activity: Get scared together. When emotions like fear are running high, memories and emotion are shared, bringing people together (Tech Insider). Get your team out of the office and interact in a new environment. Take it to the next level and go on a ghost tour! Unique and spooky adventures, like a ghost hunt, are awesome for boosting happiness and camaraderie in your teams.
6. Cool Runnings
A group of Jamaican bobsledders can’t help but dream of the Olympics. Thanks to a disgraced former bobsled coach, their dream becomes a reality. While this isn’t your classic sports movie, Cool Runnings is a gold mine of lessons, from leadership to team spirit.
Best Team Building Moment: When the bobsled breaks in the final race, the team is forced to make a tough decision. Give up or find a way to the finish line. Critical thinking and teamwork soar in this scene as the team walks across the finish line determined to finish the race.
Team Building Activity: Decorate your office or shared space at work, like when the team decorates the bobsled. Make your common area at work a place you feel proud and happy to come to. Make it represent everything your business stands for. Not feeling the DIY? Learn a new sport together. How about Cricket or Archery? Friendly competition plus the thrill of learning a new skill, are sure to get your team excited!
What other movies inspire you to forge better work-relationships and boost teamwork? Did we miss any? Let us know!