7 Golden Eggs of Management Wisdom from Angry Birds

Being a patriotic Finn, I naturally went to see Angry Birds –movie immediately it premiered in Singapore. It was positive surprise and I am happy that it has done well in box office. What I liked about the film that it wasn´t as sugarcoated animation as the other mainstream Disney productions. Although it is an international production, there was a nice Finnish undertone to it.

Although it is mainly slapstick comedy in the vain of old-school Warner Bros –movies, I would actually recommend every leader to see it. Angry Birds movie has quite a lot of management wisdom

1. Hire misfits

“Diversity: the art of thinking independently together”
-Malcolm Forbes

misfits

The unlikely heroes of Angry Birds –movie are getting together because they are forced to. They have been put to anger management class because they don´t fit the mold of happy-go-lucky birds. Red has true anger management issues. Bomb literally has tendency to explode. Chuck is delinquent with ADHD and Terrence, well… We don´t really know Terrence, but he has a dark secret. Not to mention his grunts are done by Sean Penn. Bunch of weirdos is a fair assessment.

Many leaders do the mistake of hiring only people who are similar as they are. Successful organizations embrace diversity and people who are not afraid to go against the grain. The truly great individuals are not socializing cheerleaders, but can be quite difficult to work with. They are driven by good results and not by politics. If you have surrounded yourself with Yes-men, no one will say that you are heading towards wrong direction.

2.True leaders emerge when there is downturn

“Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth”
Mike Tyson

Anyone can lead a company when it is going well. When going gets tough, only the tough gets going. Red is the hero of the film although in the beginning he is frowned upon by gullible naïve positive-thinking birds. He knew that visiting pigs were up to something and that something is not anything good. Not surprisingly pigs stole their eggs. At those tough moments leaders rise from the managers and you want someone who is able to do hard decisions. Red rises through the occasion and knows it is time for action.

3.Business is war

“Whoever said, It´s not whether you win or lose that counts, probably lost”
-Martina Navratilova

Having a corporate retreat is a nice add-on, but the main thing why people would stay on your organization is that your company is growing. Best incentive to stay in company is success. That growth comes from beating your opponents, simple as that. You have to recognize who are the birds (especially angry ones) and pigs in your circles. Angry Birds you should promote and pigs you should try to explode.

4.Positive thinking does not take you anywhere

“I may not have positive attitude, but I am positive that I have attitude”
-Unknown

When the true nature of pigs has been revealed, guess what kinds of birds are needed? Positive nice team players? Nah, they want truly angry birds ready to cause some wreck.

Working in US-based organizations pretty much all my working life I am still astonished by all the cheerleading bullshit that goes around (mainly via e-mail). You win some new business and suddenly you get some random congratulatory messages from people you have not ever heard of and probably never will afterwards. Sending cheerleading e-mails is easy; putting your skin truly in the game is difficult. Reply to all is a nice substitute to really doing some work. That´s why I don´t celebrate good presentations, NB wins or other achievements at work. Nailing those moments constantly should be your de facto mode. I nail my presentations always. If Damien Lillard does not celebrate after winning a game winner you should not either:

 5. Management by Perkele

“If something isn’t happening quickly enough, it is necessary for the top managers to slam their fists on the table and yell, ‘Perkele!’ Repeatedly, if necessary.”
Tarja Moles (Xenophobe´s Guide to the Finns)

You should always prefer swift decision making to prolonged pondering and involving all participants before making decision. Action trumps intellectualizing.

6.Life is just a series of failures

“Persistance can change failure into extraordinary achievement”
-Matt Biondi

 

The first hour of Angry Birds movie is just a series of failures. Our anger management class led by Red just have cock-up after another. To succeed in life, you have to be stubborn to forget all your failures and just keep on going.

7. It does not matter to what you believe as you believe in something

““No, what he didn’t like about heroes was that they were usually suicidally gloomy when sober and homicidally insane when drunk.”
-Terry Pratchett (The Color of Magic)

The birds are searching for the mythical Mighty Eagle to save their island. When they finally meet their hero, it is a let down (especially as they see him peeing to the lake). The point of Mighty Eagle is not so much is it true or true, but that it gives hope in any case. We Finns hope for World championship in ice hockey every year and that hope keep us going. Sometimes (not too often) that hope has come true. In this cold world, we need heroes. It is unlikely that you have any hero to look up to in real life so then you have to turn into sports and culture to be motivated.

And lastly, the most important lesson of them all, whenever it is possible listen to KRS-One:

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