6 Ways to Do Great Things in Business by Modeling the Beatles

by Chris Young

One of the most challenging aspects of being in a leadership role is building a team that works like a "well-oiled machine."  Often times managers spend much of their time working with a "toxic" employee who does not fit in with the rest of the team and the culture of the company.  When managers spend more time working with trouble employees, they have less time to work on other valuable tasks.  The same is also true when one superstar carries most of the work.  They might do a pretty good job solely, but they will never be able to achieve what one cohesive team is capable of.

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Steve Jobs made the point quite well when he said,

"My model for business is The Beatles. They were four guys who kept each other's kind of negative tendencies in check. They balanced each other and the total was greater than the sum of the parts. That's how I see business: great things in business are never done by one person, they're done by a team of people."

The Beatles - Can you really use them as a model for building a great team?  Yes, I think of my team in this way.  While each of us here at the Rainmaker bring something valuable to the table, we each also bring with us our "bad side."  We can count on our team members to praise when we do something that is really valued.  On the other hand, when our "bad side" comes out we are quick to call each other out on it.  No, we are not offended.  We understand that this is an important part of doing "great things." 

Just as the Beatles worked together to keep eachother in check and create a musical legacy, you can also do this by "getting the right people on the bus."

Here is what you can do to be more like the Beatles:

  1. Use The Right Instruments - While the Beatles all used different types of instruments, they all used the best from a Rickenbacker to a Hofner.  When selecting people for your team, only use the best instruments - assessments - on the market. Valid pre-employement assessments that measure Behaviors, Motivators/Values, Personal Skills & Acumen are best.  We are favorable to the TriMetrix® HD. Also, do not hire without using a pre-employment assessment. The Beatles could not have made music without their instruments.  How can you build a cohesive team without using instruments?

  2. Avoid A One Hit Wonder - Remember Vanilla Ice? No, not for his appearance on Celebrity Rehab. He had one hit in the 90s called "Ice Ice Baby."  Thus, his one hit has deemed him a one hit wonder and like many one hit wonders he ended up having to find work elsewhere.  

    Your team needs to constantly channel ideas and be a leader in innovation.  When you find a great product or service that brings in a lot of profit, do not rely on that product or service to always make you money.  Things get outdated, and you constantly need to innovate to stay ahead of the competition.  Having team members who are not afraid to share their ideas and constantly work to find the best product or service out there will help you avoid a one hit wonder.

  3. Build A Team That People Cannot Live Without - Everywhere the Beatles went they were loved.  Their presence was radiating.  People from all ages were going mad to see and hear the Beatles.  Even if you did not grow up during "the Beatles era," you still know who they are. 

    To be a team that people cannot live without (custumers need your service/product), you must create a "Winning" Culture.  Your team members are your culture.  Thus, those who do not fit should not be a part of the team.  When you create a strong company culture and fill it with team members that fit that culture, people will not be able to live without you.

  4. Do Not Let Your Members Go Solo - All good things must come to an end. But let's not let them end in this lifetime. The Beatles slowly broke up, and each member began working on solo projects.  While there were some hits that came out of the solo music from the members, the music was never quite as great as it was when they were together. 

    Do not lose team members to "greener pastures" because they do not feel valued in the company.  Keep all members of the team onboard through continuous 360 Feedback.  Then, work to resolve these issues so that you do not see any of your members going solo.

  5. Balance Out The Negatives - As Steve Jobs said, "they balanced each other and the total was greater than the sum of the parts."  Like the Rainmaker's team and the Beatles, you need to have team members who thrive when working together and balance out the negatives.  For example, when a team member has difficulty with time management, other team members should offer candid reminders of timelines. 

  6. You Have To Practice Until Your Fingers Bleed - The Beatles didn't become great overnight.  Prior to becoming a world sensation, they practiced and practiced and practiced.  The first song they made wasn't viral.  However, with practice they produced hit after hit. In order to create something great, you have to be persistant and PRACTICE.  You are going to have bumps in the road, but you need to keep your head up and learn from mistakes.  Let your team know that their hard work will pay off, and when it does make sure they are rewarded for it.

While you may not have a Ringo Starr, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, or George Harrison on your team; you should have people that fit the company's culture standards and are "rockstars" in your eyes. Remember, that your team together should be "greater than the sum of all parts."  Accomplish this and you will do great things.

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