Here Are 5 Elements Forbes Believes Made The Beatles A Perfect Team
Words by Riley Fitzgerald
Graphic by Press
“None of us would have made it alone,” John Lennon once said of the Beatles. “Paul wasn’t strong enough, I didn’t have enough girl-appeal, George was too quiet and Ringo was the drummer. But we thought that everyone would be able to dig at least one of us, and that’s how it turned out.”
Forbes, it seems, would agree.
In a new article, the magazine has broken down what they believe made the band such an effective team.
The first was practice.
“The Beatles are known for the time they spent together,” Forbes’ Srikant Chellappa writes, “including on stages, during practice sessions and during downtime. They met often and played whenever they had the opportunity… Between 1960-1962, they tackled five extended tours in Germany, where they played more than 270 nights for nearly 1,000 hours.”
“When John Lennon met Paul McCartney,” Chellappa contends, “he immediately saw the songwriter’s skills and the charisma he exuded…. Instead of believing that Paul would chip away at his art, he was receptive to sharing the spotlight. Adding Paul to the front changed the dynamic of the band, and to this day, it’s still uncommon to see two lead singers, songwriters and guitarists effectively pivot back and forth in their role.”
By the time the band was recording Abbey Road Harrison’s songwriting was beginning to rival Lennon and McCartney’s own.
Starr however, despite making many serval modest contributions to Beatles canon, has stated that he believed he wrote better after exiting the band.
“In a way,” Chellappa muses, “they were a band with multiple leads who were able to express their creativity and drive friendly competition, forcing each other to get better.”
The third was that they weren’t afraid to discuss their differences.
(Of which they had more than a few.)
“No team works together perfectly at all times,” Srikant notes. “The Beatles faced these issues, too, especially as the band members grew up and moved through different personal relationships, musical preferences, and lifelong goals. For the most part, though, they talked about these concerns.”
Now, this point may be a little debatable considering that it was a breakdown in communications between the four which led to to the dissolution of the group.
The fourth element, that the band was prolific, is much easier to agree with.
“Between 1962-1970, they released 12 studio albums, 13 EPs and 22 singles,” the Sri notes. “In fact, 1966 was the last year they performed live as a group (except for an unannounced live concert in 1969). That is just four years! In total, their work contains more than 200 songs and 10 hours of playtime.”
“When your team feels comfortable taking lead on their projects,” he continues, “contributing to others’ tasks, and coordinating with a flexible team leader, everyone can get into a ‘flow’ state that fosters productivity, creative thinking, and dare I say it, extreme fun.”
Finally, the fifth element is that the Fab Four weren’t afraid to make mistakes and “fail forward.”
“Not every song was a masterpiece,” Srikant proffers, perhaps casting his mind to filler material like George Harrison’s ‘Only A Northern Song,’ “but plenty of them were incredible. They learned by making, so they moved through the process over and over again. In the same way, today’s teams should give each other the room to create and innovate and learn how to build on their successes and failures together.”
Forbes, however, may be missing the most essential of all the Beatles’ ingredients.
It’s one which Ringo Starr has often pointed out: “The Beatles were just four guys that loved each other. That’s all they’ll ever be.”
You can read the full article here.