Teamwork Goes to the Movies

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The movie that was selected to illustrate a high performance team in action was Armageddon which is directed by Michael Bay and stars Bruce Willis. Much of the material that we have studied illustrate that teams out perform individuals within an organization. This is most evident when performance requires multiple skills, judgments, and experiences (Katzenbach and Smith, 1993). In analyzing and comparing the characters and events in the movie, Armageddon, one sees many of the elements of a high performance team such as problem solving, goal setting, conflict resolution, and team dynamics. The traits of a leader were also visible through Bruce Willis’s character Harry Stamper. Hackman (2002) states that a leader must possess two critical skills; the first is skill in diagnosis and second skill in execution. Characteristics of a high performance team are evident throughout the movie. Armageddon is an action adventure film in which a meteor the size of Texas is careening towards the earth. NASA scientists discover it after a meteor shower destroys the Space Shuttle Atlantis, killing the entire crew. They only have 18 days before the asteroid destroys the earth. NASA devises a plan to insert a nuclear bomb 800 feet inside the asteroid, when detonated, will split the asteroid into two pieces that will safely fly past the Earth. Harry Stamper (Bruce Willis) is asked by NASA to help because he is considered the best deep sea oil driller in the world. After learning the details Harry tells NASA officials that the only way he will go on this mission is if he assembles his own team. According to Katzenbach and Smith (1993) there are three types of skills necessary to build a high-performance team and they are 1) technical and functional, 2) problem-solving, and 3) interpersonal. The team that Harry assembles is made up of a couple of Geologists and four drillers for a total of seven. NASA adds six more members to the team to operate the Space Shuttle and detonate the...
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