I Love It When A Team Comes Together

I finished watching the A-Team series again, and it never gets old. The dynamic cast. The action. The explosions. The good guys always winning. But what I love the most about the A-Team is how well they function together. They realize that the four of them accomplish more together than they would individually. This doesn’t happen automatically; you have to assemble the right parts to produce a winning team.

Maybe you can call The A-Team!

The A-Team: (L-R) Lt Templeton “Faceman” Peck, Capt H.M. “Howling Mad” Murdock, Sgt B.A. “Bad Attitude” Baracus & Col John “Hannibal” Smith
Photo courtesy of The A-Team Wiki

The wily leader
 Col John “Hannibal” Smith is the undisputed leader of the group, although he rules by respect, not fear. The other members of The A-Team trust him to lead them in the right direction. Hannibal isn’t afraid of jumping into the action either; he’s not a hands-off leader by any means. When he’s “on the jazz,” he’ll do just about anything. In addition to leadership, Col Smith is also an actor, so he’s a master of disguise. That talent comes in handy as The A-Team helps people in need while evading capture.

The charmer (who gets things done) Yes, he’s a con man, but Lt Templeton “Faceman” Peck always comes through. No matter what the group needs for its mission — wheels, weapons, a plane — he manages to deliver. Charm is an important, often overlooked, trait in today’s business world, as it helps gain the trust of your comrades and put them at ease. In addition to his schmoozing skills, Face serves as an adept second-in-command.

The skilled specialist (with a touch of craziness) Capt H.M. “Howling Mad” Murdock is an amazing pilot who flies anything from jets to homemade craft projects with propellers. So often, he takes off just in the nick of time to help The A-Team evade the bad guys. Sure, he’s crazy, but is that a bad thing? Craziness (as long as it’s somewhat reined in by the rest of the team) can be productive. Ask any entrepreneur; you have to be a bit crazy to take that leap. The same has been said about people willing to take the big shots or tackle the most complex projects.

The attitude (with skill) Sgt Bosco Albert (B.A.) “Bad Attitude” Baracus brought the muscle. He was the group’s enforcer and bodyguard, but he was also the mechanic — a critical position. So many times, B.A. stepped in to make a tank out of a mere van or use basic supplies to build exactly what the team needed to complete the mission. A broken down pick-up that hadn’t run in 10 years? No problem, B.A. could fix it. He was truly worth his weight in gold (which happened to be around his neck). As a bonus, he also served as the getaway driver and was the proud owner of the famous A-Team van.

If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire the A-Team.

The next time you’re assembling a team, take a look at great teams throughout history and study what made them tick. A team is more than a group of individuals; members’ strengths and talents must fit together to move the team forward toward a common goal. If you accomplish that, you can steal a line from the famous cigar-smoking Colonel of the A-Team.

“I love it when a plan comes together.” –Col John “Hannibal” Smith

Let’s Discuss

Who was your favorite member of The A-Team?

What team throughout history has impressed you?

What’s your advice for assembling a great team?


CCC’s fearless leader, Face(woman), pilot & muscle,

Connect with CCC. We’ll make a great team!
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Girl Power: Do We Need It?

I recently came across an article from CNN, 5 things women couldn’t do in the 1960s, that really made me think. My life would be so different today if I were born a generation earlier. While we’ve still got a ways to go, it’s amazing the advancements that have been made in a relatively short period of time. Such as?

I'm contemplating life

Yours truly contemplating life… while enjoying espresso, of course.

  • Starting a business –> A woman couldn’t start a business without her husband’s permission.
  • Owning a home –> I still have service companies routinely ask for my husband. 😉  Surprise!
  • Having a credit card –> Banks could reject unmarried women, no questions asked.
  • Playing organized sports –> The female body was ‘too fragile’ (and the Earth was flat).
  • Use contraception –> Life planning, a beautiful thing.

What would you miss the most in your life if we lived in the past?

On that note, I’ve seen a push to encourage more girls to learn to code and go into traditionally male-dominated fields, such as math or science. Just today, I saw that Lego has introduced a play-set with three female scientists: a chemist, an astronomer and a paleontologist. GoldieBlox made headlines earlier this year by creating a video about its non-traditional female toys.

I think it’s great that girls today are being encouraged to broaden their horizons outside of their Pepto Bismol world (and wish some of this stuff had been available when I was growing up!). But I do hear criticism from some corners that it’s being overdone and girls don’t need special toys and games to show them what they can do.

What do you think? Is it important for girls to have female role models and mentors (even cartoons and action figures)? Guys, please feel free to chime in as well. I’d love to hear your opinion!

A not so girly-girl in a not so girly world,

No matter where you land on the girl power debate, connect with CCC:
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On Writing: Lessons From The Breakfast Club

Last night, I took a trip back to high school with the “Brat Pack” to good ole Shermer High. It’s easy to see why The Breakfast Club became a cult classic and iconic portrait of high school in the 80s and beyond.

the Breakfast Club castThe main lesson of the film is one to remember when writing (or creating marketing campaigns). Don’t stick with stereotypes. Sure, it’s easier, and somewhat expected, but it doesn’t allow you to create rich, three-dimensional characters.

In the movie, five high school students from different cliques end up spending their Saturday in detention together. At first, they only take each other at face value and think the others are shallow representations of the stereotypes they represent: the Jock, the Princess, the Brain, the Basket Case and the Criminal.

After spending an eventful day together discussing their lives and outwitting their “evil” principal, Mr. Vernon, the group realizes that they have more in common than they thought — mainly that they all have issues with their parents. (What teenagers don’t? 🙂 )

But the main theme of the film is stereotypes, and how they don’t fit very well. Sure, Andrew Clark (played by Emilio Estevez) is a talented varsity wrestler, but he also has feelings and isn’t stupid. Plus, he admits toward the end of the film that he feels so much pressure to excel at wrestling and please his “old man” that he sometimes wishes he couldn’t wrestle at all. This theme continues with the other characters.

As Brian’s paper, on behalf of the group, concludes at the end of the film, “You see us as you want to see us — in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain…

and an athlete…

and a basket case…

a princess…

and a criminal…

Sincerely yours, the Breakfast Club.”

Join the Club!

  • Which character did you resonate with the most?
  • Did Allison’s character sell out?
  • What was your favorite moment in The Breakfast Club?
  • What books or authors (or marketing campaigns) move beyond stereotypes?

Rooting for the Brain,

p.s. Do you feel like you’re stuck in detention when you try to write? Let CCC help!

Marketing, writing, social media and random 80s movies quotes:
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The Trapper Keeper Is Back! And Other Insights From Back-to-School Shopping

It’s officially back-to-school season, a $72.5 billion* celebration for retailers. CCC sponsored two kids through the United Way, a 1st grade girl and 5th grade boy. It was interesting to hit the stores for back-to-school shopping this weekend and see how much the supplies had changed, if at all.

It's back to school time!

Surprisingly little… While the smartphone cases were amusing, kids still need notebooks, crayons, rulers, etc. I was a little surprised by school lists being divided into two sections: bring to school and need at home. For example, the fifth grade student needed a protractor, but only for use at home. Are they considered safety hazards now? Or don’t they actually do in-class work anymore?

I realize that I was shopping for younger kids, but I was actually a little surprised at the lack of technology. There were no USB drives or electronic notepads, tablets or time machines (kidding on the last one). The only real additions to school lists of the past that I noticed were (low odor) dry erase markers and erasers. Schools must be replacing chalk boards with white boards. Otherwise, they were pretty straight forward.

One thing made me laugh: one school list specifically said, No Trapper Keepers allowed. They don’t fit in the desks. As a child of the 80s, Trapper Keepers were the coolest thing in school! I had no idea they were still around, so I had to look them up before writing this post. I may have to pick one up… for my kid, of course. 😉


Reader Participation

What was your favorite subject in school?

What was your favorite school supply?

Who was a teacher who made a difference in your life?

What did you learn in school that you remember today?

*statistic courtesy of the National Retail Federation


p.s. Going back to school yourself? Don’t forget that CCC can help with resumes, cover letters, personal essays and more! Learn more.

Social media, marketing and writing, oh my! Connect with CCC.
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