Monsters University


Monsters University

Written by 
Dan Scanlon, Daniel Gerson, Robert L. Baird

Director Dan Scanlon
Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Helen Mirren

Category    Diversity,Goal Setting,Leadership,Motivation& Recognition,Talent Management,Teams& Coaching      


Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures



Language English
104 min

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For those of you who enjoy parenthood, you may have heard of this film from your children as this is a kids' movie. I will partially agree with the statement, in fact this is also a children‟s film, as it is not a feel good story of settling in life, but one about hard work, failing, learning from failure and gaining from the experience to improve yourself and others.

Mike, the main character is pursuing his childhood dream, to become a scarer monster. Though he is highly motivated by his dream he soon realises he can't go for it on his own, he needs help. Therefore, he creates a team of other monsters who admittedly, lack talent, determination and self-confidence. Even worse, he also has to include Sully in the team, Mike's rival who represents all that he despises; relying on his family reputation of scary monsters and advantaged physical appearance on scaring, instead of studying and learning how to improve his gifted skills. This is where Mike goes beyond his stereotypes and together with Sully they both go through their antagonistic rivalry with the whole team's dynamic to end up respecting each other and becoming friends for life, sharing the same dream: to enter the Scaring School.

With the help of Mike's leadership and coaching abilities the unlikely scarer monsters are made to believe in themselves and discover their talents using unorthodox methods sometimes to achieve their goals. The team goes through the team building stages - forming, storming, norming, performing - until they become a cohesive unique team.

Some of the film's most significant lessons to both kids and adults are that despite passion, hard work and determination one cannot always get what they want. In the end Mike does not become a Scarer monster but is rewarded with a best friend, develops new abilities - those of the motivator, the teacher, the coach to the rest of his fraternity (team) members. Mike, through his journey to get accepted at Monsters University, became comfortable with who he is, what he is really capable of and utilise his strengths to better himself and his community. In a university environment that has mandatory minimums and low tolerance for failure, our hero grows irrationally. He helps individuals produce radical results and maximise their unique talents using strengths development tools to support their goals.

Let's try and remember all the above when we set the appraisal goals of our team at work and wonder if we have the right people suitable for each position or whether they will never be what we want them to be because their real talents lie somewhere else? Do we let them achieve their targets using their creativity or the only way is the highway? Do we ever bother to scratch beneath the obvious when it comes to our people?

Contributed by: Yota Tsiokri