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Want to be a leader like Tom Cruise? 4 Supersonic Leadership Lessons From ‘Top Gun: Maverick’

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After some time away from theaters and seeing so many consistent great reviews on social media, this weekend I took myself to see Top Gun: Maverick. I left with a big smile on my face and felt like it hit all the buttons for me. Tom Cruise does not disappoint.

It was also close to home, as I spent most of my time in San Diego and a lot of the movie was shot there. Hardly a day goes by that you don’t see some type of military aircraft go by when you live near the beaches.

I’ve talked before about how rewiring your brain and taking responsibility is extremely important to achieving your goals. Here are some specific scenes from the movie that will help you do just that and perform like a top entrepreneur.

Related: Want to Achieve an Overwhelming Goal? Try the simple trick which is “like the Navy Seals, but for personal growth”.

1. It’s time to let go

In the film, we see an emotional scene between Cruise and Val Kilmer, where Maverick is still torn over the decision he made to stop Goose’s son from going to the flight academy. The guilt causes an internal conflict with Maverick and “Iceman” shares that it’s time to “let go”.

In my experience, this is a very common challenge for entrepreneurs who are mentally trapped by past events and can create a psychological brick wall that they find impossible to break through. In the case of one client of mine, who ran his own consulting firm, he realized he harbored some anger over his divorce, which led him to self-sabotage in her new position and had an impact on her ability to get more clients. Accepting this allowed her to go through a process of taking personal responsibility for her part in the divorce, as well as opening up the possibility of difficult conversations to resolve negative energy with her ex.

2. Let me show you it’s possible

One of my favorite scenes from the movie is when Maverick is presented with a decisive moment of leadership and decides to show the pilots that the mission can be successfully executed. We watch them go from fear to confidence about the possibility of what can be achieved because they see Maverick succeed.

When I started to succeed in business, it was because I invested in brains, coaches and mentors who not only challenged my limiting beliefs, but also allowed me to see behind the scenes what was possible. This then created the possibility that I could do it too. It then became a choice for me to try my luck. When you fire enough, you eventually hit the target. Top Gun pilots trained again and again for a mission like the one featured in the film. You’ll never hit the biggest targets if you don’t get the practice shots. It takes overcoming fear, moments of courage and commitment to carry on despite the emotional challenges that will always be there. Keep on going.

Related: It’s Time to Overcome 5 Common Obstacles That Are Keeping You From Being a Full-Time Entrepreneur

3. Ditch the classroom; let’s go to the beach

When emotions reach an all-time high and leadership calls for a break from routine, we watch as Maverick takes the squadron to the beaches of Coronado for a soccer game to bond the team more tightly. This is initially considered unimportant by superiors, but they realize that a broken connection between the pilots could spell disaster for the mission.

Pressure, stress, and overload can cause burnout for the best of us, and it’s natural to want to get ahead. But the art of successful entrepreneurship is to understand that our body and our nervous system need to relax in order to function optimally. If we don’t, we run with smoke and then need pick-me-ups that are unsustainable and unhealthy. Also, whenever there is a disconnect with others, sometimes one of the best ways to move the energy is to do something fun. It may seem counterproductive to “take time”, but total engagement occurs when we disconnect to reconnect more strongly.

Related: How This Entrepreneur Finally Stopped the Cycle of Self-Sabotage

4. “Don’t think, do it!”

One of the tense scenes requires one of the pilots to navigate low-lying terrain in order to reach their target. When one of the team members begins to feel the pressure, they hesitate to reach the speed required to complete the mission. There’s a moment when something changes and the advice to “don’t think, just do” hits home.

When we get inside our head, we are dead. We must realize that when fear strikes, we will overthink, overanalyze and we may miss revolutionary opportunities. When I teach my clients about high performance and emotional intelligence tools, I always say there is often a very small window of opportunity for us to pass and often when that window closes, sometimes it won’t come back. not. When we are connected to our body (meditation is great for this), we become more intuitive and can strike at the optimal time. Sometimes it can make a huge difference in someone’s growth. That’s why it’s so important to have someone to bring us back to ourselves when we’re in a funk – someone we trust.

There were so many other shining moments of Top Gun: Maverick that made me think of entrepreneurship, that was just a small selection. Plus, the movie definitely reconnected me to my mission, inspired me to be a better leader, and maybe, just maybe, fly in a jet one day.