Leadership Techniques in The A-Team


Saw an interesting documentary not so long ago about leadership techniques.  Not specific tactics as such but the actual 'getting people to follow you'.  Got me thinking about how it might apply to the team and Hannibal in particular.

The main points I picked out that they mentioned as useful traits were...

1) Willingness to innovate and try new ideas

2) Ability to inspire your followers (the importance of image)

3) Willingness to trust, rely on, and listen to your subordinates (especially when they tell you 'no--that's a bad idea).

They also talked a lot about the principle of 'mission command'.  The main points being...

a) The goal is more important than the method and improvising and adjusting your plans depending on the changing circumstances is important. 

b) If it all goes pear-shaped and you lose the guy in charge then someone else is capable of taking over, and if something happens to him then the next person takes over and so on.

Obviously a lot of that relates back to the general points - trusting the people under you to do their jobs right and be able to cope with rapid changes of plans if need be.

So how does all this relate to Hannibal?...

1) Willingness to innovate and try new ideas

Absolutely.  Probably his defining characteristic!  Innovative is probably the politest term for some of his plans.

2) Ability to inspire your followers

Well he does manage to get a very improbable bunch of people to do what he wants even if they don't always seem exactly inspired.  I mean it's hard to imagine very many other people successfully a) telling B.A. what to do, b) getting Face to stop complaining, wriggling out of it or skiving off for a date, and c) getting Murdock to pay attention and stop messing around.  And still finding time to bandy words with the bad guys and sweet talk the occasional lady client.

3) Willingness to trust, rely on, and listen to your subordinates

He does pretty well on this one too. 

Doesn't interfere too much in the individual specialties of the team.  When he needs Face to scam something he doesn't try to tell him how, just says what he needs and lets him get on with it.

He shows total confidence and trust in Murdock when even Face is occasionally skeptical, and he's never in the least fazed by B.A.'s temper.

The listening to "no that's a bad idea" he doesn't do quite as well on, generally insisting everything will be fine or just ignoring the objections.

Mission Command

The whole team are pretty good at improvising when things go wrong - as they invariably seem to.  And they're all capable of working alone or together without having to be told every minute what to do.  Hannibal will quite often send one or two of them off alone to get something done and trust them to get on without with him looking over their shoulder.


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