The Justice League of Awesome


Yesterday, I wrote about the monsters that can be a danger to your team.  Time to counter-balance that with a list of heroes that you want to recruit.

Remember, these are just the roles you need in your team.  It won’t necessarily be one person to a role.  In fact, the odds of this happening are one in a bazillion.*  You might have several people fulfilling one role, and you might have one person filling in for several roles.  If you can play all of these roles yourself, then congratulations, for you are the Chosen One.  So without further ado, I present to you, The Justice League of Awesome!

[theme music]

The Sleuth
The Sleuth digs up the dirt on your market, your audience, your competitors, and the technologies you will be using.  These are geeks who not only keep an eagle eye on news and stats but also make sense of how said developments will affect your group.  If the group needs to know something, be it legal details, market trends, or how a new technology works, the Sleuth will be ready with the information.

Key Question: What’s out there?
Weapons: Google, spreadsheets, news blogs, RSS feeds, the occasional phone call
Weakness: Information Overload
Limit Break: Discovery – catches onto a market trend before your competitors do.

The Scholar
Similar to the Sleuth, the Scholar deals with information.  However, while the Sleuth’s aim is to figure out how to best market your product or service, the Scholar is concerned with improving your product, service, or company from within.  The Scholar doesn’t just learn about new technologies, s/he learns how to use them.  If there is something your company can improve upon, the Scholar will find out how and put together a plan to do so.

Key Question: How are we managing ourselves?
Weapons: The company’s own records, customer feedback, free software trials
Weakness: Automatic Assumption
Limit Break: Breakthrough – finds a new way to implement an accessible technology in a way that is more effective that its traditional use.

The Heavy Hitter
Boom!  Your company stands head and shoulders above all the rest, either because you offer something no one else does, or you do something better than anyone else can.  And whose skills and efforts make this so?  The Heavy Hitter.  What this person (or group of people) create is your company’s main product.

Key Question: How can I get even better?
Weapons: Whatever the tools of the trade are for your company.
Weakness: Burnout, anger when their contribution is overlooked.
Limit Break: It’s ALL Limit Break, baby.

The Ninja
While the Heavy Hitter’s work provides the main product or service, there is sometimes a need for quick auxiliary goodies.  That’s the domain of the Ninja.  When market trends or consumer demands shift like tall grasses in the wind, the Ninja must be ready to spring into action.  They must develop and produce add-ons that meet demands from all directions.  Although their work does not need to be as powerful or innovative as that of the Heavy Hitters, it must be the ideal catalyst, seamlessly blending the main product with the outside world’s fickle demands.

Key Question: What’s hot right now?
Weapons: Most of the tools that are used by the Heavy Hitters, plus insane efficiency.
Weakness: Stress.
Limit Break: Omnistash – gives every customer what they want before they even knew they wanted it.

The Beast Whisperer
No company exists in isolation.  There are investors with whom to make deals and equivalent companies with which to form affiliations and new party members for which to scout.  That’s where the Beast Whisperer comes in.  The Beast Whisperer knows their stuff about their company and the market at large, and they how to talk to anyone about it.  They are diplomatic but firm, and will defend their own company’s interests.  A highly skilled Beast Whisperer knows how to balance helping their own company with making the deal appealing to the other party as well.

Key Question: How can my company and someone else’s mutually benefit from each other?
Weapons: Confidence, public speaking skills, the ability to quickly assess the value of something.
Weakness: Incorrect or missing information (usually due to poor communication with the Scholar).
Limit Break: Final Offer – either gets the job done or otherwise prevents the negotiations from dragging on.  In any case, a boundary is set, and a forcefield protects the core of the company.

Note: In a large company, the tasks of the Beast Whisperer are divided between CEOs and HR.  As long as these tasks are handled by someone with both business sense and people skills, you should be alright.

The Charmer
While the Beast Whisperer is talking to other businesspeople, the Charmer is talking to customers.  The Charmer deals with branding and marketing, so they rely on information from the Sleuth to see what is “in” at the moment.  They also stay in close communication with the Ninja.  The Charmer and Sleuth tell the Ninja what mini-projects are needed, and then the Charmer sells the main product using the angle that the Ninja’s latest add-on offers.  While the Beast Whisperer represents the business practices, the Charmer represents the product or service.

Key Question: What do our customers want and how do they want it?
Weapons: Creativity, writing and speaking skills, adaptability.
Weakness: Straying too far from the company’s main vision.
Limit Break: Campaign Blitz – zeroes in on a target market and uses all relevant channels to relate to said market, then convince them that they can’t do without the product.

The Healer
Some say that the Healer is unnecessary because they do not create anything, but really, they create the most important element of all: Peace.  When warriors team up, there is bound to be in-fighting.  Usually, this is due to misguided preconceptions, and it takes a Healer to see through the assumptions and guide the way.  If a fight does break out and insults start flying, it is the Healer who goes around cleaning out everyone’s wounds.  The Healer may also be unofficially called upon to boost morale when the team is stuck or facing a tough competitor.

Key Question: How does each person here process information?
Weapons: Listening carefully, speaking calmly even when everyone else is fighting.
Weakness: Ignore, as cast by other party members
Limit Break: Clairvoyance – the ability to understand everyone’s concerns and communicate them all to each person in a way that each person will understand.

*These odds have not been suggested nor proven by any source.

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