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6 Business Lessons from Top Gun: Maverick

Have you seen Top Gun Maverick?

It’s the much anticipated, long awaited sequel to the 1980’s Top Gun; only this go round, the movie has grossed over 1 billion (with a “B”) dollars to date! As Quinn and Kinsley settled in to enjoy their popcorn, they took notes on how many of the lessons from the movie apply to independent retailers. 

In today’s episode, they discuss:

  1. Your enemy knows your playbook. Know it, toss it.
  2. Be the guide, build the team.
  3. Build the team with play (e.g. play beach volleyball).
  4. Fly the mission and show your team it can be done.
  5. Stop thinking. Plan, prepare, be the best… then stop thinking.
  6. When you get shot down it’s not over…if you have a team that loves each other.

Listen in or watch and let us know if you’ve seen the movie and if there are any nuggets of gold we missed!

FULL TRANSCRIPT

Mark Kinsley 

Top Gun Maverick has catapulted well past a billion dollars worldwide at the box office. And we here on the dust Marco show today have six business lessons from Top Gun Maverick the dose Marco show starts right now.

Welcome to the dose Marco show with Mark Kinsley and mark when we’re mattress and furniture leaders gathered to grow, get the inside scoop, tell stories and take tequila shots. Welcome aboard. Here’s your passport to a planet filled with the mattress industry’s brightest minds and biggest ideas. The galaxy’s greatest mattress podcast has lift off in three to one

Mark Kinsley 

when do you know my old radio name was Maverick? That’s right. I remember the midnight to 5am guy so you are rocking with a maverick in the AM. Classic Rock big dog. 97.9 It is 63 in Webb city we got Anegada de vida coming up here. It is a 17 minute long song you know why? Because I’m gonna go on how to smoke. This is classic rock big dawg 97.9. Yes, thank you. Well, no, seriously.

Mark Quinn 

Damn, you’re good. I was a roller skating rink DJ.

Mark Kinsley 

of cool me. I bet you yelled out couple skate. And just like put on the sweetest music got everybody to hold the hand. Hey,

Mark Quinn 

everybody, get your dancing shoes on. We got the dance contest coming up Michael Jackson and beat it get ready. Hang on. Let’s go.

Mark Kinsley 

Yeah. Oh, man. What about the guy at the skating rink, who was always out there like way too old to be there like 13 and like doing the leg out in front like the splits and you’re like, how where? How old are you get? Yeah, to someplace else.

Mark Quinn 

It’s the fact that he was wearing parachute pants.

Mark Kinsley 

It was where a parachute.

Mark Quinn 

I had a pair of black ones. They were at box which is the freakin heck like adult EQ of a lot of money back then. So my mom bought me some and the very first one I wore him. I was skating at the skating rink. I was the DJ that night in Florida. And I burned a hole in him. Oh,

Mark Kinsley 

I was so crushed. And I bet no. And that was a heck of a lot of money. You know what else was a heck? A lot of money. A billion dollars at the box office. Tom Cruise Top Gun The Maverick. This film was incredible. You saw it?

Mark Quinn 

I did. I saw it as fantastic. And they can I went it was incredible.

Mark Kinsley 

Yeah, I actually watched the original Top Gun just so I had any of the seed plants from the original film. So I was ready to connect the dots to the new film. And I thought they did a really good job of, you know, some of the throwback stuff with, you know, goose and playing the piano and volleyball on the beach. And man, I just tell you, you don’t see that many movies with high flying jet action, where they’re pulling real G’s, and you just have that jet action sequences is so much fun. You just don’t see a lot of that.

Mark Quinn 

So Tom Cruise what I love about Tom, there’s, you know, he drives me crazy in a couple of ways. But what I have respect a lot is his art. And the fact that he does so many of his stunts, and I guess he was flying. A lot of those sequences are in the jet itself. And like I don’t know, just it brings some authenticity to it. It’s really cool. I love that he does it that way. And yeah, I mean, he’s all in when he makes a movie, that’s for sure.

Mark Kinsley 

Surely this man has a pilot’s life isn’t by now like an actual pilot’s licence? Oh, no, no, I

Mark Quinn 

think he was literally I don’t think he could have flown those jets just from

Mark Kinsley 

like, just maybe a smaller plane. No, no, here’s a pilot. Surely he can hop in a Cessna? Like cruise around a little bit. No, I

Mark Quinn 

jet pilot really? But yeah, anyway, I’ll have to go read up on that. Do you know that the original topkin Kinsley only gross like 373 million or something like that? So this one has totally eclipsed the original. So

Mark Kinsley 

well adjusted for inflation. I wonder how much that is? Especially inflation at its current rate? Surely, 374 is really high. But we have Hey, check it out. We watched the film, and we kind of went through it and thought, what are some business lessons from Top Gun Maverick that you can apply to your business right now. And I love the scene. This is number one for you. Dang, number one, your enemy knows your playbook. So Tom Cruise walked in, and he gets called back. Sorry, I’m gonna read it for some people. But if you haven’t seen it, go see it. He gets called back to be an instructor at the Top Gun school. And he walks in with this very thick manual. And he says I bet you know this front to back and everybody shakes their head. He dot tosses him in the trash and says your enemy knows your playbook too. So we’re not going to dig into your playbook because if you put your playbook out into the world, or if you have a formidable opponent, they’re really going to figure out what you have to do. So that means you have to be your own pilot. You have to fly your own plane. You have to hone your skills you have to build your team So I think that’s one of the reasons he was tossing it out. What do you think of when you hear your enemy knows your playbook?

Mark Quinn 

Well, I just think that like, you know, so, so many things are table stakes, right? So we want to have the best sales organisation, we want to tell our story, we want to have the best pricing, you know, that’s the same crap that everybody in the market saying, and that’s what they’re thinking when you say, Well, what makes you special? Why are people are better, we have better service. The end of the day, though, that’s not it, right? So throw the playbook out. Everybody’s got the same freakin one, and figure out what the magic sauce is going to be for your business. Because if you’re, you know, playing the game, the way everyone else is playing the game, the chances of you being able to capitalise and move the ball and be the leader in your market are much less than if you were playing a different game.

Mark Kinsley 

We’ve said it before. If you play somebody else’s game, they’re going to be better at it than you. And if somebody tries to play your game, you better dominate. So if your enemy knows your playbook, play your own game, and whenever you do it your way, it goes back to what we talked about with Trent on the fan Marketing Show. So if you haven’t subscribed yet, go over and subscribe to the fam Marketing Show on fam dot news. But Trent, like dressed up as all these characters in his marketplace and attracted a bunch of foot traffic, sold a bunch of mattresses and one day somebody shows up at a shop and he says, well, where’s your Elvis costume? And are your superhero superhero costume? He said, Where’s your superhero costume? He’s like, Oh, it’s in the back. Well, his competitor had started putting on a superhero costume. And he was playing trends game and now people associated that brand and that brand position with him. And it attracted business to his store.

Mark Quinn 

That’s so good. That’s funny. Okay, so they know your play. Like I get that. But you know, we talk about being the guide, Donald Miller wrote a great book about brands, right? And he talks about it to a lot of story arcs in Star Wars Obi Wan Kenobi, they’re the guide. You got Luke Skywalker, he’s the hero, right? And so be the guide. Tom Cruise came in and, you know, showed them and established his credentials, got the credibility that he needed, but then really worked hard on developing that team. So be the guide and build the team. In most movies, the guide isn’t also the hero in this one, though, Tom Cruise is the guide. And he’s also one of the heroes. So what do you think,

Mark Kinsley 

and he really is the person we can talk about this, this, this is point number two, be the guide, build the team, we’ve talked about how to build the team. But he really was trying to develop the team around him. And then pick the best pilots to fly the mission. And in building the team and being the guide, he was developing people along the way. And most of the time, the guide is somebody that has been there has done that has the experience and like you said the credibility, but you need to think of your employees even as the heroes of the story. You’re the guide there to develop them, you’re the person that’s there to maybe hold their hand at times and maybe crack a whip at other times. But ultimately, the team needs to be built so they can sustain themselves outside of you. So be the guide and think of everybody else around you as the hero and how can you help them? How can you support them? That’s point number two on six business lessons from Top Gun Maverick. Number three, build the team with play. So we’re just talking about building the team if you’re going to be the guy, but there’s a great scene in Top Gun Maverick whenever he’s sitting on the beach, and it’s of course, it’s a throwback to the original movie, but all the people that are part of the Top Gun school are out there on the beach, you know, shirtless, and there’s going in slow mo but they’re playing volleyball having a blast giving each other a hard time. And the I think it was the colonel walks up and he says, You know, I thought I was paying you to, you know, develop these pilots. And he said you wanted a team. There’s your team. And it’s so underrated. And I think there are a lot of organisations that do a great job of this that deserve a spotlight shined on them. And there are a lot that don’t. I mean, you look at we talked to Peter Bolton from Jordans before and what they do in the warehouse and the Willy Wonka fac kind of nature to the Christmas parties and all the fun stuff they do with their employees and I look at what happens with Sweet Dreams matches and furniture and Greg and Katie law and Matt man and how much fun they have and taking time away from work and doing Top Golf and just finding ways to truly connect outside of the day to day grind is so important for camaraderie and laughter and just help people understand that this is your life and we want you to be connected to us through it.

Mark Quinn 

Now we talk about it a lot Marcus shared experiences right and so if you do stuff like that, if you take your team’s out, and you make sure there’s a healthy dose of fun, there’s also learn And then I go to a one of those rooms that what did they call them the lock, they lock you in and you have to like, find your way out right? The experience rooms or whatever,

Mark Kinsley 

what are you doing on the weekends?

Mark Quinn 

You know what I’m talking about the escape rooms, thank you. No, thank you. Kinsley, for you’re not helping me, letting me flounder in the moment. No escape rooms, or top golf or whatever it is. Because it’s fun, you get to work with your team, there can be strategy, pitting two groups of your team against each other, there’s so many cool things to do. But most of all, it’s just a great experience, you have fun with them. And it builds a connection to your people. So you can’t go wrong with that ever.

Mark Kinsley 

That is number three, build your team with play number four, fly the mission and show them it can be done. So in the film, this, this group was having a very hard time flying this practice mission. And so the practice mission entailed flying at a very low altitude so they wouldn’t get any the ground to air missiles shot at them and going through these canyons and literally like going upside down. Once they crossed over the top of this mountain and then flipping around and you know, shooting the target, with one plane shooting the target with another plane with the bombs and then going up this giant mountain and flying out and in the simulations, nobody could do it. And you know, there comes a time when Tom Cruise is effectively Lieutenant Pete Mitchell, sorry, Lieutenant Pete Mitchell, Lieutenant effectively relieved of his duties. And what does he do? He does what Tom Cruise Lieutenant Pete Mitchell does, he comes back, he grabs a plane, it tells him to hit the clock, he’s off in the air before anybody can catch him. And he’s flying that mission. In under the amount of time that it was supposed to take to fly. He had to show his team as the guy that it could be done. And you as the leader? How often do you have to fly the mission for your team? How often? Is it important to show them it can’t be done?

Mark Quinn 

Yeah, you know, I remember mark when I was younger, like I didn’t really understand leadership principles. And, you know, I remember when I was giving some given some authority and work situations and like, Alright, so how do I get these people to, like, respect me? Or how will they follow me, like, I remember trying to figure that part out. And then, you know, reading books later on in my life, servant leadership, you can’t just come on the scene, and I’m learning this, you know, mattress for me even because I’m so new to the company, you know, just to get to come in and like establish yourself and say, Okay, everyone, I’ve had lots of experience. You know, I’m a new guy, I kind of know what I’m doing. And like, it just doesn’t work like that. You have to get in and push a broom and do the work and show people that you are bought in and invested and willing to work just as hard as anyone else. And then people follow you. Right? Now, there are CEOs, I don’t know how many times they come in, and they just kind of sit at the top and they dictate what happens. The guys that get in, mix it up work alongside, in the trenches, working strategy, those are the people that the employees will go through a brick wall for it’s the people that like look at Gandhi, right? Look at Jesus, look at Martin Luther King, look at all these incredible leaders. They were among the people. And so I really think that’s it right flying the mission, build the respect, shown that can be done, see, let them see you doing the work, and it will inspire people in crazy ways.

Mark Kinsley 

That’s number four, number five, Rooster just couldn’t get out of his own head in this film. And finally, Lieutenant Pete Mitchell says to him, stop thinking you’ve planned, you’ve prepared, you’re the best in the world. Now stop thinking. It’s causing you to slow down, it’s causing you to second guessed your decisions. It’s causing you to not be a great pilot. You’re a mediocre pilot. So stop thinking and let your training take over. And so it’s such a great lesson two, nobody’s saying don’t be prepared. Nobody’s saying, don’t study. Don’t work hard. Don’t practice your sales pitch. Nobody’s saying strategy is important. But once you get to a certain point, you know, the bullets start flying. Everybody’s got a plan until they get punched in the mouth. I think Tyson said that. Right? So you’re gonna get punched in the mouth. So you got to stop thinking and just be the best that you are. And practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect practice does. So when you are practising, practice with intention, practice to be perfect, because those rhythmic motions, those reps that you’re going to get when you are practising and you’re thinking things through and you are clarifying your vision. That’s all We’re gonna start to take over in the moments when it matters the most. And I think that’s what Tom Cruise was saying. To rooster. Whenever rooster was flailing and falling behind.

Mark Quinn 

It is sometimes Mark, when we have tough moments of where we lack self confidence or there’s an insecurity, it’s really easy to second guess yourself. So I think being aware of that is important. I think that the action thing in this idea is just move off your ass, get off of centre and Don’t overanalyze stuff, because action is the key. There are the answers be 90% buttoned up, but do not be paralysed from making those decisions. But that’s it. I mean, I think your your gut your intuition. You got to trust yourself. You got to believe in yourself and do the work. Make sure you’re ready. But man Oh, man, just make it happen. Action is the answer.

Mark Kinsley 

Even reading a book right now, I’m rereading a book from years ago called Into Thin Air, which is about a disaster that happened upon Everest. And they talk about this feeling that a lot of climbers get and they can’t articulate it. They don’t know where it comes from. But almost all high altitude climbers who who have any experience up there, talk about this. And sometimes that that spirit that feeling that tremor, that murmur in the earth is saying, Get down the mountain now. And it seems like everybody that lives to tell about it is glad that they took action didn’t think didn’t think about it. Especially when you’re at high altitude. If you start thinking at high altitude, what’s going to happen your brain is foggy anyway. And you get very low functioning in your ability to actually consciously evaluate the situation. So that’s, that’s where you’re going with your guts. Good. That’s number five. Number six is this. We saw it happen to Lieutenant Pete Mitchell. The Maverick got shot down but when you get shot down, it’s not always over. If especially if you have a team that loves each other is what happened rooster comes back guns blazing shoots down that helicopter. Then he’s able to go get with a Maverick and plan their escape. Just never give up. Just follow

Mark Quinn 

that Northstar I it perseverance I love the podcast how I built this. The best part of that is failure is very common. And mostly when you’re in business these days and so don’t ever be discouraged by that. Get up every single time just because get shut down in a plane just because you’re in enemy territory. Just because you’re out of rockets just because you don’t have any like hope and there’s no human being around. Don’t worry about it because rooster is on the way.

Mark Kinsley 

On the way man Hey, baby, if rooster wart on the way is still don’t give up. You gotta keep going at that point. Especially when when your life is on the line. I want that

Mark Quinn 

T shirt. I want a t shirt that says no worries. Roosters on the way

Mark Kinsley 

well hey no worries in this podcast that can’t be solved when you look back over these six business lessons. Surely there’s something that can take away a few worries. We appreciate you listening to the dust Marco show. Hey, did you get a business lesson from Top Gun Maverick that we missed? Head over to fam dot news text us you can do it in the bottom right of the screen right there. You can get it on the socials or LinkedIn and just give us a shout we’d love to hear from you. And if you saw the movie and you saw something fun that you love, let us know I saw one of my favourite pictures of all time was Scott Smalling. He posted it up on LinkedIn and him and his wife are going to the movie and they had on a full replica bomber jackets. I’ve been texted Scott said You look amazing. So hopefully you went out and created an experience around it had some fun with your loved ones. Great film didn’t see it. Go see it. Highly recommend.

Mark Quinn  No doubt everybody. Thanks for listening. Listen to us on iTunes or wherever you get your podcast and give us a review. We’d love it and remember, this is a campfire. We love to have you around it and bring your friends because it’s warm and toasty.

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