Flight of the Phoenix: One hollywood movie that I found teaches quite a few management lessons in real life. Let me put forth a brief synopsis of the movie.
After their oil rig in Mangolia is closed, Captain Frank Towns appears with his assistant AJ to ferry the crew back home. The complete crew of the rig along with the cargo which are mostly used parts and tools, board the C-119 Flying boxcar. The last one to board the plane is Elliot along with a group of people starting from Chief Ian to Chef Sammi and rig workers like Kyle to Dr. Gerber. The flight is caught by a strong sandstorm and loses one of its engines before crashing down in the desert. Few onboard are killed and rest are left marooned in the middle of the Gobi desert. The supplies are limited and can keep everyone alive at the best for a week. Captain Towns declares that the option left now is to wait for help to which the group agrees. However Elliot comes out and puts forth a proposal to rebuild the plane and get out of the desert. Though Towns doesn’t agree to the idea at the beginning but accepts the offer after Elliot claims he is an aeronautical engineer. The group starts working on re-building the plane, fighting against the odds of hostile weather, limited stocks and most of all infighting due to ego clashes. The turning point in the story comes when the team loses another member while trying to communicate with a group of smugglers camping at some distance from the crash site. There is a gun battle which forces the smugglers to run away after killing one of the crew. Only to be back with a bigger group who plan to take revenge. The group now is left with very limited options, so work more hard and more cohesively on re-building the plane. Everyone puts the best of his/her skills with only one motto, to re-build the plane and go home. Even at one point, a visibly upset and angry Towns agrees to follow the orders of Elliot. Chief Ian agrees to share the workload along with the workers from the rig. The chef in the group Sammi agrees to fit a mechanical part in the engine, risking his life. Finally the plane is re-built and Rady who is an expert about the deserts christens it as the Phoenix, the mythical bird who rose from the ashes. Finally the group escapes the smugglers who are now behind them to kill onboard the flight of the Phoenix.
Now if we can compare the situation to our professional lives, the story fits perfectly. Actually a winning team doesn’t have a single winner, but it is a team of winners. When the team works, the winning team always tries to utilise the expertise of each member depending on the demand of the situation. Individual egos which always interfere in teamwork is put aside and the team works for a common goal. Even though the team consists of people from different walks of life, with expertise from different fields and difference in physical abilities. However if they work together in a cohesive manner, nothing is impossible. As and when required one of the team members takes the commanding position and the rest just follow instructions irrespective of his/her social status or position. For a winning team of winners, nothing is impossible irrespective of all odds.
Acknowledgement: International Movie Database (IMDb) website