Sunday night marked the 50th anniversary of The Beatles coming to the United States and performing on the Ed Sullivan Show. What an extraordinary group of young, enterprising men who changed music forever. They started out as just a band with four young men who loved playing music and adored one another. They came from an unassuming town in England, where generations grew up and stayed, never venturing out too far. So what empowered this particular band to lead the way to a rock and roll revolution? George, John, Paul and Ringo emerged as extraordinary leaders with qualities of leadership we all can learn from. Here’s how:
They believed in their brand
At the beginning, they chose a very controversial name for their band- one that spelled slightly differently (beetles) conjured up creepy insects. Yet, Paul McCartney explained that the four felt the name fitted them and decided to stick with it. Their music was a blend of many genres, yet called to them in a unique way. Their longer hair, not by today’s standards, separated them from other rock groups and branded them in a very authentic way. Even when mocked, Ringo shared that the “moppy” hairstyle really worked for them.
They stuck with their vision
The Beatles decided to take their Liverpool, England band on the road and share their music with America. This was a courageous and brave move, yet one that continued to drive their future choices. They knew they needed to leave their homes to become a successful rock and roll band. And they kept redefining their vision as they changed and followed different paths.
They supported their differences
Each of the four Beatles came with their different talents and gifts, which enabled them to create their perfectly executed music. They also valued what each brought to the band. It never seemed to matter that Paul did the bulk of the singing or Ringo was renown for his drummer capabilities. George brought his exceptional guitar strengths and John was an amazing writer. Their blending together created magic.
They trusted each other
It was very obvious that the foursome had a strong foundation of trust. Maybe because they came from similar backgrounds and knew about one another’s vulnerabilities, they were able to be a high performing team. They honored each other by showing up and doing their best. They never worried that one of them would let them down because they were committed to their shared dream.
Leadership lessons are abundant with The Beatles. Imagine pulling together a team that:
Believes in its brand
Sticks with its vision
Supports team member differences
Trusts one another unequivocally
How is your leadership similar to The Beatles? What lessons have you learned from this inspiring band of four?