Be a top talent like Maverick: 6 lessons from Top Gun!

Be a top talent like Maverick: 6 lessons from Top Gun!

Spoilers ahead. Not a big action movie fan, but watched the movie because it was my husband’s all-time favourite movie. I was moved, awed and inspired by Maverick, his resilience and clarity of character. Not every day you come across a Maverick in an organisation, but when they come and go: there are so many lessons we can learn from them. Here are few lessons for HR on how to build Mavericks for future organisations.

1. Job roles change, own it and excel in it

Maverick was sent back to Top Gun, not to be a pilot but to train the best young set of pilots towards a deadly mission. Maverick whose passion is to fly, absorbs to his new role without changing who he is but bringing in a lot of clarity and purpose towards the mission. He changes the way he trains, watches them to understand their characters and completely twists the teaching style.

2. Learn the art of training Gen-Z, swing away from traditional styles

The set of pilots are savvy, intelligent and brilliant. They know their worth; they know their game. But they are not ready for the mission – Maverick knows this. He gets them to train in non-conventional ways which includes a dog fight on air. He shows by example with skills how he still can beat them and even lets them choose their punishment for failure.

3. Become a change leader to your team, help anticipate change

Change managers are common, change leaders are hard to build. Maverick leads change and gets the team to anticipate change throughout the mission. When Cyclone challenges Maverick and changes the game plan, Maverick shows that it is do-able and is the only way to survive.

4. Capabilities will differentiate you and keep you ahead of the game

Maverick pulled out the manual for fighter jet and threw it. Everyone in the class knew it by heart, so did the enemy. The enemy didn’t know the capabilities that the pilots have, that was their competitive advantage. Competitors know the industry, the business and they know how to recruit your talent. What they don’t know is what your talent is capable of.

5. Sometimes your contemporary can give you the best advice, take it

Seeing Ice reuniting with Maverick was nostalgic, Ice knew how capable Maverick was and he knew only Maverick can pull it off. But he also knew Maverick’s weakness – his past with Goose, and his present with Rooster. He advices Maverick to let things go, sometimes your contemporary or colleague can give you the best advice because they know you best.

6. Succession planning, wingman is a choice not a necessity.

Everyone needs a second in command, someone to replace the leader, someone who can take on the responsibilities of a leader. Choosing the next best needs to come unbiasedly and whole heartedly. Training the next best is a big responsibility while he keeps the ship afloat, he gets to see how you make decisions and gets to shadow a leader throughout, which is one of the best ways to learn.


Building top talent takes time and effort, but PeoplesHR will make it easier by taking over all your manual HR work so you have time to strategize and focus on your best asset, your people. Interested in what we have on offer? Drop us a message today.

Vichalya Wijesuriya
Vichalya Wijesuriya
Head of Marketing & Communications

About the Author : Heading the marketing team for hSenidBiz and PeoplesHR, Vichalya focuses on creating compelling marketing experiences with the product, people, and brand together. Being involved in the HR Tech industry & having gained over 8 years of domain experience, she closely monitors HR trends and patterns in the ever changing corporate world. Vichalya joined hSenid in 2013, bringing with her a decade of marketing and leadership experience. Head of Marketing & Communications

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