What I Learned About Teamwork from the Team Who Built the Largest LEGO Model


Photo Credit by Dale May

Angela Watercutter writes in Wired Magazine about the largest Lego model ever.

“The newest addition to the grand list of Coolest Things Ever was first unveiled in New York City in 2013: the Lego X-Wing, the largest Lego model ever built. The model of the classic Star Warsfighter has a wingspan of 44 feet and comes complete with R2-D2 and a full range of sound effects. It’s a super-duper-sized version of Star Wars Lego starfighter set #9493 and was made with 5,335,200 Lego bricks. That, according to Lego, makes it the largest model ever built, eclipsing the Lego robot at the Mall of America by some 2 million bricks.

The X-Wing was built at the Lego Model Shop at the company’s facility in Kladno, Czech Republic. It took 32 “master builders” and 17,336 man-hours to construct the X-Wing. Plans for the model were created using Lego’s proprietary 3-D design software, and the construction team had to work with a team of structural engineers to ensure that the model was safe, master builder Erik Varszegi told Wired magazine. Once completed, the model—which weighs 45,980 pounds—was eventually shipped to Legoland California.”

True leadership requires a laser-like focus and vision (the design stage) coupled with incredible teamwork and unity (the construction stage).

Alison Brattle, a marketing manager at AchieveGlobal (UK) Limited, a global leadership development and sales training shares 10 principles to effectively lead a team.

  1. Brush up on Your Communication Skills. All good managers need to have strong communication skills that encourage open and honest communication. Making sure all your staff understand what the goals and expectations are and giving them the opportunity to talk to people who are not on the team is important.
  2. Be Committed to Your Goal. A team leader should be totally committed to the goals of the business and to clearly set these out for all team members so they know how to achieve the objectives they have been tasked with.
  3. Give Verbal Recognition. Giving positive praise to your staff can raise their morale and motivation and also engenders a positivity that encourages a mutual support among team members.
  4. A Team Leader Should Lead by Example. He should do this by not being afraid to jump into the ‘trenches’ and do some of the sales work himself and by negotiating resources for the team. He should also encourage team members to take risks and support them when they do. Being a hands on manager will inspire and motivate the team to achieve greater things.
  5. Invest in Staff Careers. A good manager sees all individuals as an asset to the company and sees the value in investing in their futures by funding ongoing training and coaching programmes for them. You should also make sure your own training is kept up-to-date with leadership development and management skills training.
  6. Resolve Conflicts. Any conflicts with the team should be dealt with promptly by the manager and they should be equipped to handle disagreements and ease tensions that develop within the team in a sensitive and positive way.
  7. Teach Adaptability. The effective team manager should teach adaptability and flexibility to all of his team members. Being able to change focus and have adaptability in learning and sharing information allows for better communication, a greater sense of empowerment among staff and a faster exchange of information.
  8. Build Pride in Your Team. Positively communicating about any issues instead of threating harsh disciplinary action and giving verbal praise combined with non-monetary rewards are a proven way to keep staff motivation high and build pride in your team. Pride means that your staff will use their talents better, be flexible and have greater involvement in group work. It will also increase productivity.
  9. Give Your Staff New Responsibilities. You can develop your staff as individuals by giving them new responsibilities and working with them so they can gain the new skills needed for the job. This increases pride and self-worth and a sense of achievement in the job, which will translate to harder working, more effective staff.
  10. Find Opportunities for the Team. A good manager can source contacts to assist his team and open them up to new sales opportunities. He should focus on the things they have done well and be both positive and involved with his team so that they enjoy the work they do.