Teddy Cheek

What Marketing Leaders Can Learn From Heist Movies

How do you get your team to buy-in to your big, bold marketing plan?

Believe it or not, there’s something to be learned from your favorite heist movie.

In every heist movie there’s a moment where the leader outlines the steps of the nearly impossible mission for the team. The leader acknowledges the difficulties and the risk. They describe how each person is crucially important. They talk about the life-changing reward. Then, the leader looks across the room and says… “So, whose in?” One by one, the team verbally expresses their intent to join the mission.

Casting a vision for your marketing team is a lot like inviting them on a high-stakes heist.  If you want full buy-in, follow “The Heist” Framework:

  1. Give a detailed step-by-step of the plan: Be clear about how each team member will contribute and how all of these individual actions come together.
  2. Acknowledge the challenge: Nothing is quite as demotivating as implying the plan is easy. It doesn’t instill confidence, it removes the challenge and with it, the inspiration.
  3. Lay the stakes: The “stakes” are what is to be gained if you are successful and what will be lost if you fail. No story, speech, or plan is inspiring without stakes.
  4. Emphasize the importance of each team member: Explain that the plan will only succeed if everyone pulls together.
  5. Ask your team to opt-in: This can look a lot of different ways and doesn’t need to be a grand gesture. Ask your team to send an email, sign a sticky note, or tell you face-to-face. Even a small action will increase personal commitment and buy in.

If this framework is good enough for Ethan Hunt (Mission Impossible), it’s good enough for your team!

About Teddy Cheek

Hi, I’m Teddy

I’ve led marketing teams since 2013. I believe that good leadership is marketing’s only cheat code. More important than tactics or talent, it can send a team into hyperdrive. Fortunately for me, it’s a skill that can be developed. I hope my blog helps you build a dominant team and career you love.

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