Mission Impossible: The Quintessential Team

Mission Impossible planEthan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his IMF team have been roaming the world searching out bad guys in the commercially and critically acclaimed Mission Impossible (MI) series since 1996. In the newest of four sequels, MI–Rogue Nation, Cruise and his buddies, the Impossible Mission Force (IMF), are dismantled by a Congressional Committee at the behest of the CIA Director Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin).  Director Hunley, viewing Hunt a threat to America’s interests, commits all of the CIA’s vast resources to tracking Hunt down.  While the CIA is seeking Hunt, a network of former undercover operatives initiates a series of terrorists’ attacks to destabilize existing governments and establish a new world order ( a’la the Rogue Nation).  The plot hinges on Hunt’s ability to outwit the CIA while he and his IMF team root out the leadership of the Syndicate.

Cruise in 1996, Jerry McGuire
Cruise in 1996, Jerry McGuire

The movie has everything you would expect from a blockbuster; i.e.a big movie star, Tom Cruise, who had both Renee Zellweger and me, “At Hello!” in Jerry McGuire (1996). Cruise, now 53, is still in great physical shape and exudes quiet confidence. Hunt’s persona remains incredibly consistent through all five movies; the loner who establishes immense loyalty among the men and women he leads, propelled to do impossible feats by adrenal, shear willpower and commitment to his country.  Sexually attractive to women, he is unable to commit because his first love is the mission. The haunting Mission Impossible theme song (Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen) with the strong beat, recognizable to most Americans, strings the sequels together as does the continuation of members of the IMF team .  Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames) has been in all five movies,  Benjamin “Bengi” Dunn (Simon Pegg) in the last three, and William Brandt (Jeremy Renner) in the last two.

Rebecca Ferguson provides a role model of a strong woman committed to the team
Rebecca Ferguson provides a role model of a strong woman committed to the team

Newcomer Rebecca Ferguson, playing British agent Ilsa Faust, provides a strong female protagonist and  positive role model of the capabilities of women.

Rogue Nation engulfs viewers in a great motor cycle chase, impossible under water aquabatics, roof and plane jumping, guns, bombs, torture, fighting and surprising impersonations.  The plot line is propelled by dazzling techno/gizmos, disappearing data, and improbable security breaches. Needless to say, this is Tom Cruise and his team so in the end America and Europe are saved and  the Syndicate is annihilated.  While there is no surprise to the overall plot , there are lots of fun twists and turns throughout. Attending an $3 afternoon show at a second run theater, I certainly got my money’s worth.

teamThe five series Mission Impossible juggernaut, running 19  plus years  and amassing $2 billion worldwide, is propelled by a series of consistent themes.  The IMG team continues to resonate with viewers because  the core relationships are founded in the reality of successful  work teams. The  eight winning characteristics of the IMF team include:

  1. Ability to execute
  2. Focused on solutions
  3. Flexible/adaptable as the situation changes
  4. Proactive
  5. Loyal
  6. Trustworthy
  7. Organized
  8. Respect for and reliance on the unique skills of the team members regardless of gender

Every day business spends a fortune attempting to create the 8 facets of the successful IMF team culture. The next time your boss suggests a team building exercise, why don’t you propose going to Mission Impossible-Rogue Nation instead.team 2

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