There are many things one can learn for the Lord of the Rings books and movies: what it takes to face remarkable challenges, the power of friendship and courage, and the darkness of greed and selfishness, for instance. But consider the most pervasive lesson of all: leadership and fellowship. This blog post on Erronis examines the idea of fellowship and how it plays into good leadership, project success, and team building. The article highlights the qualities of each member of the fellowship, and how they support the overall project effort (this being the destruction of the ring in the fires of Mount Doom, of course).
Take for example Frodo, who is quick to take the lead in the project but instantly recognizes that he needs help ““ and Aragon, perhaps the most equipped to be a leader but who uses his leadership skills to support Frodo rather than undercut him. Even Boromir, the one who seems most likely to have his own wants and goals, falls in line with the will of the Council when a fellowship is decided upon.
The lessons throughout the Lord of the Rings can be brought easily into the workplace: positions within your organization are roles that need to be filled, and rather than fighting to see who should be the leader, attempt to support whoever has that role as much as possible. Fellowship means, in this case, agreeing to one concrete goal and striving towards it with the skills and abilities that you bring to the project. Surely you have the leader ship of Gandalf and Aragorn, but even they were merely enabling the leader of the fellowship to succeed in his task. Consider the last section of the post:
When you think of leadership in the Lord of the Rings you immediately think of Gandalf or Aragorn. They did indeed do a whole lot of leading, but we should not discount the smaller acts of leadership from everyone in the Fellowship of the Ring. If any of these acts had not happened, the ring would have never been destroyed in the fires of Mount Doom.
So how many fellowships do you have in your organisation? Teams in which every team member has a chance to lead, based on their strengths. How many approvals are needed to go that extra mile for a great customer? How many forms are you forced to fill in so people can get the tools they need to do their job properly?