What ‘Kung Fu Panda’ Can Teach You About Team Building

A common misconception about teams is that members have to be homogeneous – birds of a feather. ‘Kung Fu Panda’ mirthfully busts that myth.

If you haven’t yet seen ‘Kung Fu Panda’, do it now!

The Furious Five are as different from each other as can be. In combat, each uses their unique strengths to add punch to the mission. Like any good team, they use their strengths and leverage each other’s perceived weaknesses to reach the common goal.

All was well until Po literally drops out of the sky. A fat, unfit panda who’s love for eating is only rivaled by his passion for Kung Fu (that he only thinks and dreams about). The Furious Five and Master Shifu are livid that Grand Master Oogway declares Po as the The Dragon Warrior. In teams, we tend to second guess the leader and even resist newcomers – not a good idea as leaders have experience, and newcomers need to be accepted, not judged.

Master Shifu thinks Po’s an untrainable disgrace until Grand Master Oogway motivates him to believe in Po.

Master Shifu realises Po doesn’t care about Tai Lung or The Dragon Scroll as much as he cares about dumplings or cookies! He then trains Po using food – a tactic he’s never used before. In a team, each of us may have different motivations, but we must have a common goal.

Po faces off with Tai Lung using his inimitable humour, clumsy style and impenetrable belly fat to ward of Tai Lung’s nerve attack, and wins! Even while we are part of a team, we need to bring our skills, knowledge, self-belief and a winning mindset to the table. We owe it to ourselves and our team.