The Other Guys tells the story of two NYPD detectives: a timid, by-the-numbers Allen Gamble (played by Will Ferrell) who would happily die chained to his desk filing paperwork, and Terry Hoitz (played by Mark Wahlberg), a hot-tempered gunslinger who would rather die literally any other way.

There’s just one problem for Hoitz: In a series of unfortunate events, he shot star Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, and his captain refuses to let him leave the office.

A phrase that surfaces routinely throughout the film stands out in one particularly memorable scene. Hoitz’ passion finally boils over, and he exclaims (en route to kicking over a water cooler): “You can’t keep me cooped up in here, okay?! I am a peacock, you gotta let me fly!

In the next few minutes, I’ll show you how, in their own ways, Magneti’s team members and our clients are like peacocks — and share the secrets to letting them fly.

Empowering Those Around You to Spread Their Wings

During my career, I’ve had the absolute blessing of wearing dozens of hats.

I’ve worked for some of the most brilliant, fascinating minds, I’ve had the pleasure of managing some of the most uniquely skilled individuals, and I’ve been lucky to share the room with clients who hold a level of expertise in their niche that would bring envy to the most seasoned professionals.

I could write a novel on what I have learned from my peers — but there are two foundational concepts I will carry with me until the day I die.

“Death by one thousand micro-managements” – Taylor Rush

“All that I know is that I know nothing” – Socrates

Yes, I’ve just quoted myself, Socrates, and (well, stolen one from) Mark Wahlberg within a span of 300 words — but, let me explain…

The Dangers of the Coop

In a previous life, I spent the better part of 10 years as a Marketing Director for the Missoula PaddleHeads, a Minor League Affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks (where I had the honor of helping direct a wicked fun, national award-winning rebrand).

Over the course of my tenure, seasons would come and seasons would go, and the annual signal for an impending Opening Day was the arrival of a dozen wide-eyed interns, excited to make a name for themselves in sports.

Early in my career (before I held a stable of interns on my own), I’d watch colleagues and peers around the league hold these interns closely, scared of the mistakes they might make, micromanaging them to death and keeping them in bubble wrap.

Guess how that worked out?

By the end of each season, these kids left with nearly the same skill set they had arrived with, gaining little more than a fun line item on their resumes.

The Glory of Flight

If you ask any scientist about conducting an experiment, here’s what they’ll tell you: Make observations, create a hypothesis, devise a test, then put your test into action. That’s exactly what I did.

In my first season acting as the direct report for five interns, I made a new plan.

I held these interns close for their first two weeks (maybe three, in some cases)…then, I kicked them out of the nest. You see, part of creating a culture of trust, a culture of empowerment, and a culture that facilitates growth, is trusting your team to take the leap. 

Will they make mistakes? Will they need help? ABSOLUTELY. But that’s okay. Encourage those around you to lean into what makes them uncomfortable, what feels “new.”

Guess what? These kids THRIVED. Within months, they were creating new campaign ideas, asking to implement new operational procedures, and loving every minute of the job.

Years later, I’m blessed to receive routine texts from a number of former interns, often emphasizing how grateful they were for their experience, how it helped mold them into successful professionals, and how they’re attempting to carry the same culture of trust and empowerment into their new positions.

screen shot from Taylors' phone

Unleashing Your Team (In All of Its Brilliance)

What’s different about training interns and empowering your team? 

They won’t return to school in the fall…? Surprise, it’s no different.

Tight guard rails, hyper-micromanagement, and a “stay in your lane” mentality are like handcuffs.

Your team is full of peacocks, and they want to freaking fly. Let them show you who they are, what they’re made of, and what they can become!

Depending on your role, this might look like:

  • Letting your project manager take more ownership during critical moments,
  • Giving your specialist more control over creative direction,
  • Taking a “Socratic” mindset into meetings (instead of telling people what to do, explore issues with questions/answers until you settle on the right, democratic decision), or
  • Encouraging your team to sit in new, uncomfortable places — you might be surprised what comes out of it!

Working with clients and managing a team are not the same thing, but they do share foundational characteristics that are vital on the road to success. We’ve made the leap from interns to colleagues — now, let’s take the final step and explore the importance of empowering clients.

Clients: The Most Colorful Peacocks of All

So, what’s different about empowering your team and empowering your clients?

I’m so glad you asked…

When you put it all on the table and get beyond the minuscule details, your relationships with clients are built on common goals. For example: a desire for successful campaigns, more leads, increasing revenue — those sorts of things. Not to mention, keeping your jobs would be great. Whether you recognize it or not, you’re on the same team.

I believe wholeheartedly that, the moment you enter any engagement, if you believe you’re the smartest person in the room or that you know what’s best:

First of all, you’re wrong.

Second, you immediately embody the type of creativity-stifling energy that limits the originality, authenticity, and expertise your clients are capable of sharing.

I don’t care how long you’ve been in marketing — your clients know their industry better than you or your team ever will, and that’s how it should be! Again, I’ll say: LEAN INTO IT.

This is why Magneti account teams are committed to:

  • Leading any engagement with a clear statement of collaboration: “You’re the experts at what you do, and we’ll draw from your wisdom to drive success.”
  • Always maintaining curiosity (even when we think we have it down, our clients often amaze us!)
  • Building trust every day (trust creates comfort, and comfort makes transparent conversations easy to have).

Taking the Leap

If you’ve made it this far, you’re probably wondering what happened to our friend Terry Hoitz. (Warning: Spoilers ahead!)

Once Hoitz breaks out of his cage, faces down his Jeter-induced fears of inferiority, and takes to the streets again, he and his buddy Gamble crack a once-in-a-lifetime case and make some high-profile arrests. In other words, the peacock flies the coop — and the results are spectacular.

So, what if we kicked our colleagues and clients out of the nest, let them express themselves in all their expertise and authenticity, and experienced them in all of their glory? We can’t know for sure — but I’ve got a hunch the results will be spectacular.

Magneti aims to be the most effective and innovative growth marketing team in Colorado.