Quotes And Leadership Lessons From Hypnotic

A Reel Leadership Article

My latest book, Reel Leadership, is now available on Amazon. If you love movies and leadership, you will love this book.

Hypnotic is the latest film starring Ben Affleck and directed by Robert Rodriguez. It’s an action/mystery movie that has more twists than you can shake a stick at. Because of this, it makes some of the leadership lessons you might find in the movie seem null or void. While the twists change things, the lessons remain.

So, what is the movie Hypnotic about? Affleck’s character, Danny Rourke, is investigating his daughter’s disappearance. He remembers bits and pieces of what happened but cannot find his daughter.

Ben Affleck in Hypnotic. Holding a safety deposit box while standing in a bank.

This leads him down a rabbit hole of a thriller. When Lev Dellrayne (William Fichtner) appears at the scene of a soon-to-happen bank robbery, Rourke begins to piece things together. Dellrayne is the man behind the disappearance of his daughter. Or so he thinks.

If you love a good mystery and suspense movie, this movie is for you. If you like action, you’ll enjoy Hypnotic. If you want to learn while watching a movie, Hypnotic is for you.

Let’s dive into the leadership lessons in Hypnotic!

Quotes And Leadership Lessons From Hypnotic

1. Therapist (Nikki Dixon):

Rourke, come back to us.

Rourke was seeing a therapist to try to piece together what had happened. The therapist begins calling Rourke. She tells him to come back.

His mind had drifted. He was going places mentally he shouldn’t have. He had to be called back to reality.

Wow! How many of us are like Rourke? We daydream, try to piece together the next significant step for our business, or chase the squirrel project…

Our minds drift. The company drifts. And we need to be called back to reality. 

Find someone on your team that can call you out. That can bring you back when you begin to drift.

2. Great leaders look for patterns:

A mysterious woman, Diana Cruz (Alice Braga), calls the police station. She states there will be a robbery at a bank. She even gives details of which safety deposit box will be hit.

Rourke’s partner, Randy Nicks (JD Pardo), considers the call a serious threat. Rourke brushes it off.

That’s when Nicks states there might be truth to the threat. There had been two other bank robberies very similar to this one. They had to take it seriously. 

Nicks saw the pattern (or knew what was really happening). He encouraged Rourke to continue to look into the call.

Patterns happen throughout our organizations. From the way an employee calls in on a regular basis to a machine in production breaking down. There can be patterns that we have to look out for.

We have to be aware of the patterns. We can’t be aware of them if we’re not watching for patterns.

Track the data. See what it’s telling you. Find the patterns.

3. Words are powerful:

Nicks and Rourke arrive at the scene of the bank. They see Dellrayne talk with a woman. He tells her it’s hot out today. She begins to walk away and strip off her clothes. She begins to feel the heat rise. Then there’s the bank guards. Dellrayne tells them it’s a sunny day. Something clicks in them and they attack each other.

Dellrayne’s words had power. He could control people with just a few simple words and intonation.

He was what they called a so-called Hypnotic. Hypnotics, in Hypnotic, were people who control someone’s idea of reality, getting them to see it in a way they could be controlled through their words.

You’re a literal hypnotic if you’re leading others. Your words have power. They carry a weight and responsibility others have to bear.

Watch the words you speak. You speak life and death with your words. They’re powerful.

4. Danny Rourke:

What if he was telling the truth?

Rourke was talking to Diana. He shared how his daughter had been kidnapped. The man, Lyle Terry (Evan Vines), arrested for her kidnapping, claimed he had no recollection of the kidnapping.

Rourke wasn’t sure he believed him. Over time, his opinion changed. He saw what Hypnotics could do. What if someone had done that to Lyle?

The truth can be hard to discern. You hear multiple stories and various viewpoints. You may even begin to question reality.

But, I think, a hallmark of great leaders is that they wade through the truth. They wonder, “What if that’s the truth?”

They don’t blindly accept what they see. They seek out the truth. 

5. Motivation is powerful:

Rourke took Diana to the police station. He met up with his partner, Nicks. Bringing Diana down to old prison cells converted to storage, Diana tells Nicks to go outside and get some fresh air.

This is when Nicks encounters Dellrayne. Dellrayne gives Nicks a command to kill Diana and Rourke. 

The command was so powerful it motivated Nicks to do self-harm after being handcuffed to the prison cell. He was willing to rip his hand off to get to them.

Another wow moment! The power of motivation is strong. 

If you’re motivated to do something, you go all out. You don’t hold back. Sometimes, you even cause self-harm unintentionally. 

Harness that power of motivation. Find out what drives people. Help them harness their drive, their motivation in a positive way.

6. We have more power than we know:

After Rourke and Diana head to Mexico, they’re chased by Dellrayne. He’s controlling the minds of the Mexican citizens, and they join in the chase. 

Eventually, Rourke and Diana are cornered in a dead end. It looks like the pair may have met their end.

But, no. They don’t.

This is where Rourke shows that he’s not just a simple person being chased by powerful characters. He’s one of those powerful characters.

He turns the crowd on Dellrayne. Dellrayne is shocked when this happens. Rourke has Hypnotic powers, too!

Rourke didn’t know he had the power he did when the movie first started. He looked to be a simple man. He wasn’t. Neither are you.

Our creator has given you special talents and abilities to do the things you were created to do. 

Seek out these skills and talents. Try new things. Find out what you excel at.

Then, use those powers to help others.

7. River (Dayo Okeniyi)

More than meets the eye, huh?

Diana tells River how Rourke took control of Dellrayne and the crowd. River acts surprised. He now saw the power that Rourke held.

We’re all more than meets the eye. Whether it’s our talents, hobbies, or skills, we have more to offer than people see on the outside.

Help people to see the skills and talents you have.

8. Organizations need to learn how to shift:

Watching Hypnotic, you’re led to believe the movie is about one thing. About two-thirds of the way through Hypnotic, there’s a big shift. A big reveal.

Minnie (Ionie Olivia Nieves and Hala Finley), Rourke’s daughter, was not kidnapped by Lyle. Minnie turned out to be a powerful Hypnotic that the Division wanted to control. 

Rourke didn’t want to see his and Diana’s (shocker! Diana is really Rourke’s wife, too!) become a weapon. He wanted her to live a normal life. 

So, to prevent that, Rourke took Minnie to live with his foster parents, Carl Everett (Jeff Fahey) and Thelma Everett (Sandy Avila). Rourke then had his mind wiped so the Division couldn’t find Minnie.

This was a huge twist and changed what the movie was about. The viewer discovers that what happened early on never really happened. It was all an act.

That was the shift.

How is your organization willing to shift? Are they willing to change the direction they’re going?

Great organizations shift when needed. They change directions, reveal hidden secrets, and more.

Allow your organization to shift when needed.

9. Look for clues:

Rourke thought the character played by Fichtner was called Lev Dellrayne. It was, after all, the name left on a picture of Minnie in safety deposit box 23. 

But that’s not reality. Lev Dellrayne was a hidden clue for Rourke to find. 

The name was an anagram from where Rourke had hidden Minnie. Rourke figured this out and the clue led him to Deer Valley Lane.

Much like patterns, leaders also have to look for clues. Your team members leave clues, other executives leave clues, and so do your customers.

Decipher these clues so that your organization can progress.

10. Danny Rourke:

You taught me everything I know, Carl, including how to keep a moral compass pointed in the right direction.

Carl, Rourke’s foster dad, asks Rourke why he trusted them with Minnie. Rourke didn’t hesitate.

He knew the kind of man Carl was. Carl had raised Rourke right and showed him how to live a moral life. 

That was all Rourke needed to know about them.

Great leaders not only lead well, but they also help their people find a moral compass. They point people in the right moral direction.

Help your people understand the moral thing to do, not just the right thing. Sometimes, they’re different.

Helping people with their moral compass gives them something more significant than success. 

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