Building a team. Co-workers and Master Builders- The Lego Movie


20th March 2014

Leadership lessons again from Lego... 

All over the world many of us learnt early lessons from playing with Lego. Now a new Lego film offers us more…

This great film is based on a character, Emmet, who lives a simple life working for a construction team. He follows instructions to help create buildings in his city. He thinks he is happy carrying out orders, reading manuals on how to best live his life and generally being “part of the crowd”.  

Meanwhile, the “master builders” are locked away from the city. They are seen as a threat because they do not follow orders. They use their imagination to create whatever they need with whatever they have, mixing things up and trying different options. In order to be freed, they need to find the most extraordinary person to release them and bring freedom to the city.

Emmet is mistaken for the chosen one. Soon they realise he is not a master builder and that he struggles to think for himself. Ironically, though, he is perfectly suited! He is so consumed with following orders and doing what he is told that, in fact, his head is completely empty. Plenty of room for creativity, then! Emmet begins to realise that he is unhappy with his dull, unquestioning life but doesn’t believe he has the ability to think freely for himself – until he tries.

He comes up with a grand plan to save the city but then needs his “team” of master builder friends to follow his orders, something they find equally difficult as they are used to thinking freely and not being guided.

So how many parallels can we see here with what often happens in organisations?

  • Our environment and our expectations can limit what we see as possible
  • Functions quickly become barriers
  • Mindsets need to be challenged and stimulated
  • There are frequent clashes on the best way to do things
  • Trying something new can be uncomfortable for the person who tries as well as those on the receiving end

As managers, we know how comfortable and reliable it is for individuals to work in their preferred way – whether it is to be guided or to be free and creative. As with Lego, however, the best results frequently come from the freedom to mix those styles and maximise the potential for success. 

Please get in touch for more information on you can you give your

managers the skills to build and improve the effectiveness of their teams. 

The Lego Movie

Kimberley Beale



Recent News Posts