Talent + Chemistry – A Reflection from Watching Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr on Stage Together at the Grammy Tribute

I was pretty transfixed in front of my television last night.  It was a surprise evening of emotion for me – one that I did not expect.

Paul and Ringo, Hey Jude At the end, with the image of Sir Paul McCartney singing at the piano and Ringo Starr playing the drums elevated behind and above him, it was…  perfect.

So, after it was over, I went on a true surfing trip though the web reading about the Beatles, and their early impact and lasting influence.  By the way, I know nothing about music, except to know that I liked the Beatles — a lot.  (I graduated from high school in 1968, so my teen years were Beatles centric).

Here’s something that stuck me.  Apparently, there is quite a controversy over just how good a drummer Ringo Starr was.  You can search it our for yourself. but here’s the gist:  one side says he was not very good vs. the other side says he was brilliant.  The consensus seems to be he was actually quite good — and, genuinely “just right” for the Beatles’ needs.  (One hint at how good he was:  he inspired a lot of people – a whole lot! – to take up drums).The Beatles

But, on some forum board I was reading, there was this quote (paraphrased):  “yes, Ringo Starr was a good drummer, but he was the ideal Beatle.”  The idea was that with the mix of John, Paul, George, and Ringo, Ringo played his role perfectly.  They needed his…  what I might call his sheer fun and joy.

(Here’s a good list of reasons to respect Ringo as a drummer here:  THIRTEEN REASONS TO GIVE RINGO SOME RESPECT by John Bryant.  John Bryant is a session drummer from Dallas, and Mr. Bryant started playing drums after seeing Ringo Starr on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964).

Now here’s the business lesson: 

teams need the right mix of talent + chemistry.

This kind of chemistry:

the complex emotional or psychological interaction between people.

And you could see it last night.  Whatever else they had, when you saw Paul and Ringo on stage together, even with two of the Beatles missing, the chemistry is still there.  Or, maybe, the chemistry was re-claimed.

Paul and RingoYes, I know about the difficulties they faced at times.  But now, in their 70s, it seems that both Paul and Ringo know just what “magic” they had in their years together. And their love and admiration for each other  — their chemistry — was pretty special to watch last night.

So, in your organization, as you put together your teams, get the right talent together…  but do not neglect the chemistry of the team.  They simply have to mesh together just right.  Otherwise, the result of their work will be less than it could be.

Talent + chemisty.  That’s the formula to remember.

3 thoughts on “Talent + Chemistry – A Reflection from Watching Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr on Stage Together at the Grammy Tribute

  1. Another nugget Randy.

    You of course saw Ringo air drumming as the various artists played the Beatle tunes (and you quickly understood why the Beatles were so good. I don’t think any of the recreations were 1/10 as good as the originals :))

  2. Yes, I did. Ringo just oozes something akin to joy. And, the audience was pretty multi-generational, yet the entire audience knew, and sang along with, the songs. Pretty amazing.

    I suspect we are a little biased. But I agree — the originals were superior to the recreations in every way.

  3. So here is a connection – something you do so well Randy.
    You can copy something someone, a group, an organization does, but it is never going to be like the original and most times (not all) not superior to the original. If I had the secret Coke recipe, I could likely replicate the drink itself but never the aura or pedigree that surrounds the original.

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