I love the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Although I was never a fan of comic books, after a decade that culminated to Infinity Wars, I must say that I am definitely a fan of MCU. As an entrepreneur, what I take from the storyline is not just the “moral-of-the-story” type messages of the movie, but believe or not, lessons that an entrepreneur would be able to apply to his business.
A great example of one such lesson can be found in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Many may not realise this, but despite its shiny but not so shiny reviews, Age of Ultron has one super lesson that any entrepreneurs who are especially looking to build a team should understand.
Although minimal, I must first say that there are still spoilers in this article, so if you have never watched it (I really wonder why) and are looking forward to watching it, you might wanna skip this article and come back to it after watching.
Summary of Acts
After raiding a Hydra facility and capturing Loki’s sceptre, Tony Stark and Bruce Banner discover an artificial intelligence within Loki’s scepter’s gem. They secretly decided to use it to complete Stark’s “Ultron” global defense program. Ultron became sentient, believing that humanity must be eradicated to save Earth (think Skynet but in a humanoid body), and attacks the Avengers at their headquarters.
Escaping with the scepter, Ultron used the resources found in the raided Hydra base to upgrade his rudimentary body and build an army of robot drones. Ultron then recruits the Maximoffs siblings, who hold Stark responsible for their parents’ deaths, and heads to the base of arms dealer Ulysses Klaue to obtain Wakandan vibranium. The Avengers attacked Ultron and the Maximoffs, but Wanda subdued them with haunting visions, causing the Avengers to fail in the first attempt to stop Ultron.
As with the first Avenger movie, this caused a bit of conflict between the team members until Stark uploaded J.A.R.V.I.S into a new synthetic body. When Thor activated the new android, Vision was “born”. As an additional member to the Avengers, Vision was able to “emphatically” connect with Ultron and understand the issues at hand, thus allowing Avengers to defeat Ultron in the final act.
Learning Points About Building a Team
If you haven’t realised it yet, Vision personifies the vision of an organisation or a business entity, and Ultron as the customer/client/members that the entity wishes to help. By personifying the company’s vision into a humanoid form, Vision acts as the leader of the organisation, someone who emphatically understands not only the organisation’s direction but also who they are serving.
As a founder of any business, you are building an organisation. You are also expected to take on the leadership role, and steer your team to greater heights and bigger success. We know full well that as human beings, we each have our own sets of strength. Not only that, each team member may likely to have his or her own ideals of what is right or wrong for the company. It takes a leader to drive the purpose of the company and purpose can only be derived through the company’s vision.
Companies Need Vision. Visions need a Leader.
A organisation’s vision describes the “why” and “how” of the organisation. It spells the common purpose of everyone and it sets the path of which an entity is to take. And it has to be believed by everyone to make it happen, not just based on one individual’s purpose and action,
Without a vision, everyone will have their own way of doing things, which will lead to the entity falling apart. A good example of an individual who acts without a common purpose can seen from Tony Stark’s actions. Tony Stark built Ultron with good intent: to protect humanity. None of the Avengers would fault him on that, but they were troubled instead by Stark’s decision to act on his own accord. Stark was in a position of a leader in the Avengers but without a common vision, his methods almost broke the team.
A vision can also uplift the team in not so great times. It is through Vision (the character) that the Avengers found renewed vigour to try to stop Ultron again. In moments where everything seems to be going wrong, an organisation’s vision will keep the team back on track. Sometimes, it may mean that some parts of the organisation (including the team) needs to be changed. But if done right, there will be minimal to no repercussions from backlash as the team should understand that it is part of the entity’s vision.
You may start of the company as an individual pursuing your dreams. When you start to grow a team, you need to make your vision your team’s vision. As the founder and leader of your business, you need to communicate and ultimately convince your team of your vision. Without a strong vision on why and how, you will be building upon skepticism and and no team can thrive if they can’t believe in the team itself. (Brand BuildUp Collective’s vision is made clear on our website).
So what is your vision for the company you are building? And have you communicate it effectively to your team? Does your team believed in it as well?
Armen Rizal Rahman