With the dust from all that finger-snapping finally settled, we think it’s safe to talk about Avengers: Endgame. Just in case you haven’t seen it though, this post will contain spoilers – you have been warned.
Here at DistantJob, we think about remote working a lot. We’re a fully remote company, and we’re always looking for ways to improve how we do things. So, it’s only natural that, once I’d recovered from the emotional rollercoaster that Endgame was, I started thinking about what lessons there were for remote working.
There were many, as you might expect from a film that was three hours long. From communication to leadership, from mental health issues to fear of new technology, there really is a lot we can take away from Avengers: Endgame.
Here we have the character that kicked the whole thing off, adrift in space with just hours to live. Stark is the ultimate lone wolf, a super-talented individual who doesn’t play well with others. That’s been the cause of quite a lot of friction in the MCU, and it’s something we see in distributed teams, too.
In the opening moments of Endgame, Stark is facing his own mortality and leaving a message for the love of his life, Pepper Potts. He’s completely isolated, but he is yearning for connection. Thank the stars that Carol Danvers was able to find him and bring him home.
It’s a little rough when Stark returns to earth. He’s hurting, physically and emotionally, and it takes a change in life and several years before he’s ready to work with the Avengers again. But once they’ve negotiated their differences, Stark becomes the powerhouse of the team that he has always been.
Lesson learned: It’s worth taking the time to bring your Lone Wolf into the Pack.
Getting this out of the way right now; that rat is the savior of the universe. We may not know its name, but it deserves recognition.
Scott Lang pops out of the quantum realm to find that in five hours, the world has moved on five years in the most horrific way. Like the Greeks, he comes bearing gifts. Technological gifts. When he delivers them to Natasha and Cap, they’re skeptical, but open enough to trying something. That decision pays off!
Lesson learned: New technology can transform a situation and give you new solutions to seemingly impossible problems.
The transformation of the God of Thunder is one of the big talking points of Endgame. Chris Hemsworth’s character went from a 6-pack to a 1-pack thanks to beer, pizza and Fortnite – and his new nemesis, Noobmaster69.
While there are a lot of laughs to be had from ‘Fat Thor’, there’s also a serious point to be made: Even the strongest person can suffer with their mental health. Here we have the God of Thunder himself, laid low through personal loss and feelings of failure.
Locked away in New Asgard, Thor has isolated himself. Thankfully, when Banner and Rocket go and knock on his door, they can persuade him to rejoin the world and he’s able to slay his demons.
Lesson learned: Even the strongest person can struggle with their mental health. Don’t let anyone just drop out of contact.
It’s great news that the God of Mischief is going to get his own spinoff show. The MCU will be a little duller if his death at Thanos’ hands is as permanent as it looks. Although we didn’t see much of Loki in Endgame, he still managed to teach us a lesson.
There was Loki, apparently in his moment of defeat, when the tesseract literally fell into his hands. It certainly wasn’t something he was expecting, but he didn’t hesitate. He made use of it and teleported away. There are now plenty of theories as to what that means, and what Loki did. Was this one of the branch universes that Captain America shut down when he returned the stones? Time will tell.
Lesson Learned: Planning is vital, but so is flexibility. Know when to seize the moment.
It’s a well-known fact that you can use any combination of sounds and syllables, but whether you say Barnoldswick Crumplehorn or Beezlebub Creamsicle everyone knows you mean Benedict Cumberbatch. There’s probably a lesson in there for the marketing types.
In Endgame, Doctor Strange is the project manager. Unlike a good project manager, though, he doesn’t tell anyone what the plan is. He has a good reason for that, but that’s unlikely to be a justification for keeping a distributed team in the dark.
When the time is right, Strange lets Tony Stark now that this is the one version of reality in which they can win. As soon as he lifts that one finger, Iron Man understands that this really is the endgame and he acts accordingly.
Lesson Learned: A good manager knows when to give their team direction.
The story of Steve Rogers and his love for Peggy Carter has played out across all the movies, and the excellent Agent Carter spinoff. From the first mention of that dance they were going to have, to the closing moments of Endgame, it’s been a simple and wholesome thing that was a vital part of who Cap was.
Of course, in that time he’s had to make sacrifices. 70 years in the ice, finding Peggy had aged without him and then losing her all took their toll. Hardly surprising, then, that when he had the chance he went back and put back the biggest wrong in his life and had that date.
Lesson Learned: Find a way to get a good work/life balance.
One of the most breathtaking scenes of the film is the journey of the newly built gauntlet across the battlefield. It passes from hand-to-hand, swinging with Spider-man, hitching a ride with Valkyrie, and going atomic with Carol Danvers.
It ends up with Thanos, the inevitable and then… Sorry, I need more therapy before I can talk about that scene. The point is, without every single player on that battlefield, Mr. Stark wouldn’t have had the tools he needed to get the job done. Sob.
Lesson Learned: A team that knows and trusts each other’s abilities can achieve the impossible.
Give ‘em What They Want
This lesson isn’t so much learned from the story of Endgame, but rather from the way it was told. Us Marvel fans tend to obsess over the tiny details in anything that gets released, so there were a lot of theories out there about where Endgame would go.
Fans had invested a lot in the universe and its characters. A lot. It would have been so easy for the film to be a) predictable and b) disappointing. It was neither. So how did the Russo brothers deliver that apparently impossible task?
They struck a balance between delivering what the fans wanted but doing it in a way that surprised us. We might have suspected this film would be the last time we saw RDJ strut his stuff, but the manner of it was respectful and moving. Likewise, the battle between Black Widow and Hawkeye.
Lesson Learned: Deliver by delivering what is needed in unexpected ways.
Assemble Your Team
Of course, the real glue in the Avengers team was Nick Fury. He’s the man who had the vision to bring these disparate souls together and unite them under a purpose. He chose talent, and he nurtured and challenged it until that team literally saved the universe.
While your business might not have such epic stakes, you can still take a leaf out of Fury’s book. We’ll help you to connect with superhero development talent from all around the globe, pre-vetted for both technical and remote working capability. If you’re looking to put together a team, get in touch today.
What other lessons could we learn from Avengers: End Game? Send us a tweet @DistantJob with your comments.