I was poking around the Internet the other day and stumbled upon this article titled “All I Really Needed to Know About Teamwork I Learned from Harry Potter.” This article immediately caught my eye (as most Harry Potter-related things do) just because it seemed to make a connection between two things I hadn’t really read too much on in the past—teamwork and Harry Potter.
Yes, I know, there are tons of articles and essays and such out there that definitely make a point of and discuss the dynamic of the infamous trio. I also know that it’s fairly obvious that a large reason for Harry and the gang’s success and victory in the story is the teamwork they all took part in, with each other and with some of the other characters in the book. Knowing this, something told me to read the article anyway, and I’m very glad I did.
I took a look at the first and second sentences and knew why I had to keep reading:
The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling features hundreds of unique characters, many who form teams to either support or hinder Harry. Teamwork strategies from the Harry Potter series also apply to Muggle (non-magic folk) business dealings.
The author, Mandy Kilinskis, was already proving to be my kind of writer—this wasn’t going to be the article I had originally thought it was going to be, full of reasons why Harry Potter was the best example of teamwork possible; she was also going to tell us why some examples from the series weren’t. She also began by pointing out that although Harry is selfless and determined, he’s not the best in planning, and his “knowledge of the wizarding world is limited.” She goes on to say that this is where both Hermione and Ron were able to step in and fill the gaps, with Hermione’s attention to detail and Ron’s knowledge of the wizarding world. Because of their ability to work as a team, Harry was able to obtain all the information he would normally lack on his own in order to survive and eventually become victorious.
Kilinskis goes on to apply this obvious yet simple methodology to a corporate setting, which I thought was really cool. With regard to a work team, she states that it is just as important (if not more so) to make sure that you not only have a team that is willing to work together but that you also have the right team in place. She explains that it’s important to make sure to note what each employee does best and to use that to the team’s advantage. She brings up the point that although you may work with someone who is consistently late to work, they might be the best public speaker in your office. Or that the employee who never pays attention in meetings may have some great unspoken ideas.
She brings up some great examples of this, one being Harry’s leadership in teaching Dumbledore’s Army defensive spells. Over time, they developed proficiencies in these skills that ultimately aided them in the great Battle of Hogwarts, and they earned each other’s trust (a core foundation of any successful team). This is where Voldemort’s army fails—they had no sense of camaraderie or trust in each other, were afraid of their “boss,” and although they had a similar end goal, many were greedy and selfish and would likely have turned on each other had they been given the chance.
I think the line that best sums up the article has got to be “The key to a successful team is not having the best, but the best for your project.” Harry, Ron, and Hermione didn’t succeed because they were a team; they were a team whose skills complimented each other and who communicated and contributed to the same cause while remaining loyal to one another. This made me think about a bunch of my own teamwork experiences—most that unfortunately felt like Death Eater teams— and what we could have done collectively to make the situations better.
What have you learned all about from reading Harry Potter? Fill in the blank and let us know below!
“All I Really Needed to Know About ____ I Learned from Harry Potter“