When Phil Jackson, the professional basketball coach, sought to motivate the Chicago Bulls in 1989, he used clips from famous movies. In his book Sacred Hoops, Jackson recalls splicing game film with scenes from The Wizard of Oz.
Jackson showed video of a game in which an opposing player pummeled one of the Bulls as he drove toward the basket. Then he inserted a shot of Dorothy looking around the Land of Oz and saying, “This isn’t Kansas anymore, Toto.”
The young players laughed and got the message: They weren’t in college anymore. These games were different—and the team’s rookies needed to brace themselves for a more brutal, physical type of play.
You may not manage basketball players, but you can motivate and train your employees by borrowing from Jackson’s playbook. At staff meetings, show clips from movies or television shows that spur people to elevate their game. Whether it’s Sylvester Stallone triumphantly climbing the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Rocky or Tom Hanks charming a stubborn CEO in the underrated gem Nothing in Common, use inspiring scenes to provoke a lively discussion.
Looking for other creative tools to motivate people? Try eye-catching props.
A manager at a global manufacturer wanted his salespeople to appreciate the worldwide reach of the company’s products. So he brought in currency from eight countries where the firm does business. Employees marveled at the different forms of money and realized they needed to work harder than ever to support the company’s international growth.