For a Three Musketeers Mindset in a Product Team
Les Trois Mousquetaires, also known as The Three Musketeers, is a historical adventure novel that was written in 1844 by the French author Alexandre Dumas. It belongs to the swashbuckler genre, which typically features noble and chivalrous swordsmen who battle for the cause of fairness.
It takes place between 1625 and 1628 and tells the story of the exploits of a young man named d’Artagnan (a character based on Charles de Batz-Castelmore d’Artagnan) after he leaves his hometown in order to travel to Paris in the hopes of becoming a member of the Musketeers of the Guard. Despite the fact that d’Artagnan is unable to join this elite corps, he is able to make friends with three of the most formidable musketeers of the age – Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, also known as “the three musketeers” or “the three inseparables” – and becomes involved in both state and court affairs.
The novel The Three Musketeers is primarily one that focuses on history and adventure. However, Dumas frequently depicts various injustices, abuses, and absurdities of the Ancien Régime. These depictions gave the novel an additional political significance at the time of its publication, which was during a time when the debate in France between republicans and monarchists was still fierce. The story was first published in serial form between March and July of 1844, during the reign of the July Monarchy, which was four years prior to the establishment of the Second Republic during the French Revolution in 1848.
The Origin of The Novel
Dumas disguises his novel as one of a number of recently discovered manuscripts, thereby transforming the story of how his romance came to be into an independent piece of intrigue. During the course of his research for his history of Louis XIV, Dumas came across a historical novel titled Memoires of Monsieur d’Artagnan (1700), written by Gatien de Courtilz de Sandras and printed by Pierre Rouge in Amsterdam. In the preface, Dumas describes how he was motivated to write the novel by a particular scene in the novel.
According to Dumas, the event in which d’Artagnan tells of his first visit to M. de Tréville, captain of the Musketeers, and how, in the antechamber, he encountered three young Béarnais with the names Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, who left such an impression on him that he continued to investigate.
D’Artagnan tells of his first visit to M. de Tréville, captain of the Musketeer. This part remains accurate; however, the rest is fiction.
After much searching, he discovered the names of the three musketeers in a manuscript titled “Memoir of M. the Count of La Fère, etc.” Dumas was granted permission of reprint.
Auguste Maquet, the co-Writer
In addition to working with Dumas on The Count of Monte Cristo and its sequels (Twenty Years After and The Vicomte of Bragelonne: Ten Years Later), Auguste Maquet was also involved in the writing of The Three Musketeers. After conducting historical research, Maquet would offer suggestions for plot outlines, which Dumas would then develop further by removing some characters, adding new ones, and infusing the tale with his signature writing style.
Between March and July of 1844, an installment of The Three Musketeers was initially released in the form of a serial in the newspaper Le Siècle.
The Plot in a Shinkansen Way
Once upon a time, there was a young man named D’Artagnan. He lived with his family in Gascony, but his dream was to become a member of the Musketeers of the Guard in Paris. So, one day, he uprooted his family and set out for the big city in 1625.
However, things didn’t go smoothly for D’Artagnan. While staying in Meung-sur-Loire, an older gentleman insulted his horse, and D’Artagnan challenged him to a duel. But his companions knocked him out and broke his sword, leaving him humiliated and without the introduction letter he needed to present to Monsieur de Treville, the leader of the Musketeers.
Determined to get his revenge on the gentleman, who turned out to be Comte de Rochefort, an agent of Cardinal Richelieu, D’Artagnan made his way to Paris. But when he tried to join the Musketeers, he was turned away because he forgot his letter. He ended up having to fight duels with three Musketeers, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, before finally being accepted into Des Essart’s company of the King’s Guards.
As he settled into his new life, D’Artagnan fell in love with Constance Bonacieux, a lady-in-waiting to Queen Anne of France. But their affair was complicated by the Cardinal’s plot to expose the queen’s affair with the Duke of Buckingham and start a war between France and England. D’Artagnan and his friends traveled to England to retrieve stolen diamonds, but they were constantly attacked by the Cardinal’s men. Eventually, they managed to save the queen’s honor, but D’Artagnan’s relationship with Constance was short-lived when she was kidnapped and later poisoned by Milady de Winter, one of the Cardinal’s agents.
The Musketeers then set out to bring Milady to justice, and D’Artagnan was promoted to lieutenant in the Tréville company of Musketeers. However, he was left with a broken heart when his friends refused his promotion letter. But even with his regrets, D’Artagnan knew that his adventures had made him a better man and a true Musketeer.
The Psychology of the Three Musketeers
D’Artagnan is a young guy who wants to become a musketeer and serve the king. He’s loyal, brave, and romantic but can also be reckless, impulsive, and hot-headed. He follows his feelings rather than logic, which leads him to both good and bad things.
Athos is the oldest and most experienced musketeer. He’s noble, dignified, and secretive. He has a dark past that haunts him and is a mentor to D’Artagnan. He values honor, justice, and friendship more than anything else.
Porthos is the showy, vain musketeer. He likes to flaunt his wealth, strength, and sense of style. He’s generous and cheerful, but also gullible and easily offended. He wants fame and glory, but he’s also into good food and wine.
Aramis is the religious, intellectual musketeer. He wants to be a priest one day but also likes love and war. He’s smart, charming, and cunning. He’s a great thinker and strategist.
A psychologist might say that these four characters represent different parts of the human mind. D’Artagnan is the instinctual, impulsive part. Athos is the moral compass that keeps them in line. Porthos is the realistic, practical part. And Aramis is the intellectual, analytical part. Together, they make a great team that works well together, balancing each other out.
The Musketeers Main Qualities
From the text, we can outline these main qualities and values as:
- Loyalty: D’Artagnan and the musketeers value loyalty to their country, their king, and each other. They are willing to put their lives on the line for what they believe in.
- Courage: D’Artagnan and the musketeers are brave and fearless in the face of danger. They are not afraid to fight for what is right, even if it means going against powerful enemies.
- Honor: The musketeers value honor and integrity above all else. They follow a strict code of conduct and are always true to their word.
- Friendship: D’Artagnan and the musketeers have a deep bond of friendship that goes beyond their duties as soldiers. They are always there for each other, no matter what.
- Justice: The musketeers believe in justice and fighting for what is right. They are not afraid to stand up to corrupt officials and powerful enemies to protect the innocent.
- Romance: D’Artagnan is a romantic who falls in love with Constance Bonacieux, and the musketeers are all gentlemen who value love and chivalry.
- Wisdom: The musketeers are wise and experienced soldiers who have seen it all. They use their knowledge and expertise to guide D’Artagnan and protect their country.
The Musketeers KSAO Framework
What if we try to develop the Musketeers’ qualities in a KSAO format (K: Knowledge, S: Skills, A: Abilities, O: Other Characteristics.
- Knowledge of sword fighting techniques and strategies
- Knowledge of the musketeer code of conduct and rules
Skills and Abilities:
- Sword fighting skills
- Horseback riding skills
- Physical fitness and agility
- Strong leadership skills
- Emotional Intelligence and
- Quick reflexes and reaction time
- Knowledge of war strategies and tactics
- Knowledge of human behavior and psychology
- Sword fighting skills
- Leadership and mentoring skills
Abilities and Other Characteristics:
- Strong willpower and determination
- High levels of self-control
- Ability to keep secrets and maintain confidentiality
- Knowledge of fashion and style
- Knowledge of weaponry and fighting techniques
- Sword fighting skills
- Strength and endurance
- Good communication skills
Abilities and Other Characteristics:
- Charismatic and outgoing personality
- Resilience and adaptability
- Ability to persuade and negotiate effectively
- Knowledge of theology and religious doctrine
- Knowledge of political science and history Skills:
- Sword fighting
- Public speaking and writing skills
- Strong analytical and problem-solving skills
- High levels of creativity and imagination
- Ability to adapt to change and handle ambiguity
What If We Combined Those Qualities in One Team Member
Let’s get creative and imagine that we could understand the Three Musketeers characters as a metaphor for the human (or team) psyche. What if we could combine all these qualities in one.
Helpful Qualities for An Exceptional Product Team
I. Loyalty and Commitment
- A team that is loyal to the company’s goals and committed to its mission is more likely to work collaboratively towards a shared vision.
- A team that is committed to quality work will ensure that the final product meets customer needs and delivers exceptional value.
II. Courage and Fearlessness
- A team that is courageous and unafraid to take risks can be more innovative in their approaches and more willing to try new strategies.
- A team that is willing to speak up and challenge the status quo can drive meaningful change and progress within the company.
III. Honor and Integrity
- A team that values honor and integrity will prioritize transparency, honesty, and ethical behavior in their work.
- A team that maintains high ethical standards can build trust with stakeholders and maintain a strong reputation.
IV. Friendship and Camaraderie
- A team that values friendship and camaraderie can build strong relationships with one another and work more effectively as a cohesive unit.
- A team that has strong relationships with one another can foster a positive work culture and increase job satisfaction.
V. Commitment to Justice and Fighting for What is Right
- A team that is committed to justice and fighting for what is right can prioritize customer needs and advocate for their interests.
- A team that prioritizes social responsibility can also build a strong brand reputation and increase customer loyalty.
VI. Creativity and Imagination
- A team that is creative and imaginative can generate new ideas and develop innovative solutions to complex problems.
- A team that thinks outside the box can differentiate themselves in the marketplace and deliver unique value to customers.
VII. Adaptability and Problem-Solving
- A team that is adaptable and able to problem-solve can respond effectively to changes in the market or customer needs.
- A team that is able to pivot and adjust quickly can stay ahead of the competition and deliver exceptional value to customers.
Building a team that values these qualities can foster a culture of excellence and drive innovation, creativity, and success within the organization.
What Makes Musketeers Friendship so Exceptional
The friendship between D’Artagnan and the three Musketeers is so strong because they share some common characteristics that make a good friendship, such as:
- Being present and psychologically available for each other, especially in times of danger and difficulty.
- Supporting and encouraging each other’s goals and dreams, such as becoming a Musketeer or serving the king and queen.
- Being empathetic and understanding of each other’s feelings, pains, and joys.
- Being loyal and trustworthy, never betraying or abandoning each other.
- Having fun and enjoying each other’s company, sharing jokes, stories, and adventures.
- Respecting and accepting each other’s differences, such as their backgrounds, personalities, and opinions.
- Growing and learning from each other’s experiences, mistakes, and feedback.
These are some of the elements that make their friendship so strong at a deep level. They are more than just companions; they are brothers-in-arms who live by the motto “all for one and one for all”.
The Musketeers Motto: “All for One, and One for All”, and Its Meaning
The motto “all for one and one for all” means that each member of a group is willing to support and defend the others, and that the group as a whole will do the same for each individual. It implies a strong sense of loyalty, solidarity, and mutual aid among friends.
It also suggests that friends share a common goal or purpose that they are committed to achieving together.
This motto can have a deep meaning in friendship, as it shows that friends are ready to sacrifice their own interests or safety for the sake of their comrades. It also shows that friends trust each other and have confidence in their collective strength. Friends who live by this motto can face any challenge or adversity with courage and determination.
However, this motto can also have some drawbacks or limitations in friendship. For example, it can lead to blind obedience or conformity within the group, without questioning or challenging its decisions or actions. It can also create an us-versus-them mentality that excludes or antagonizes those who are not part of the group. Furthermore, it can make friends neglect their own needs or preferences in favor of the group’s demands.
I would argue though, that in a product team where a higher goal such as a product success in phase with a deep sense of value and purpose can seldom meet these shortcomings.
This motto inspires and motivates friends or product team members who can share a strong bond and a common cause.
How The Musketeers Motto Can Be Applied to Product Team in several
- Why: Building a strong sense of camaraderie and teamwork can foster a positive work culture and increase job satisfaction. It can also improve collaboration and communication, leading to more effective and efficient work.
- How: Encouraging a sense of shared responsibility and accountability can help build trust and create a more unified team. This can involve setting clear expectations, establishing team goals, and promoting a culture of open communication and feedback.
- What Musketeers Have in Common: The musketeers all shared a strong sense of loyalty and commitment to one another, as well as a common goal of serving the king and protecting their country.
- They also had a shared code of conduct that emphasized honor, integrity, and chivalry.
- How to Apply the Motto: In a product team, the motto can be applied by promoting a sense of shared ownership and responsibility for the product or service being developed. This can involve setting shared goals, celebrating successes as a team, and working collaboratively to overcome obstacles.
- Benefits of Applying the Motto: By emphasizing a “all for one, and one for all” mentality, product teams can create a strong sense of unity and shared purpose. This can improve team morale, increase productivity, and foster a culture of innovation and excellence.
Conclusion if There Shall Be One
From day one, imagining the whole “Project-15” initiative, I had 3 concepts in mind to make this a structuring one.
- IT education,
- entrepreneurship education and
- ecosystem education and support.
As strange as it may seem trinities, trio or triplets have often become a component of my writing in some often-unexpected ways.
- Trio of the musketeers that in fact became four with the Hero.
- The triplet of my fencing practitioners that I borrowed from a 19th century newspaper (sometimes a simple image can influence me in a deep way).
- The trinities of projects in an initiative (P15 Incubation, P15 Ecosystem Builders, P15 3 Gen).
- And the triad, but this time in the way of 3 main product team members (UX Designer, Growth Marketer, and Full Stach dev). Yeah I know, I can hear you, what about D’Artagnan, that makes a potential 4, leading the pack? This is when the Product Manager comes in. More on this later.
So there we have it, everything that makes sense to me: the Compagnons du Tour de France from the XIXth Century (for the professionalization path), The Musketeers Spirit (for the deep value set), and the local economic development initiative that makes the whole stick.
Oh My! this comes in three, again.