Creativity

The Beatles and Great Teams

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If you’re trying to create a great team, you may want to keep in mind some of the traits that made the Beatles one of the greatest teams in recent history:

  1. Diverse, yet complementary, skill sets. Guitars were a crucial element of the Beatles success, yet Ringo Starr was a terrible guitar player. Guitar playing wasn’t a skill set that Ringo brought to the game. Instead, he was the perfect drummer for the band. John Lennon may have been a musical ...
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Details, Details, Details

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I just listened to Strawberry Fields Forever again, for what must be the thousandth time, and I heard a harmony I had never noticed before. That’s one of the things I love about the Beatles’ music: there are so many layers, so many little details, that you can listen to it over and over again and still hear something new. That’s one of the reasons so many of their songs sound as fresh and exciting today as they did forty ...

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A Simple Economic Equation

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Why are the Beatles still popular today, nearly 40 years after they broke up? Nostalgia is a small part (the Baby Boomers still rule the earth)–but the much larger reason is that the music still holds up. The songs the Fab Four created from 1963 to 1969 still sound fresh and exciting today, even if you’ve heard them a thousand times. In other words, the Beatles created something of lasting VALUE.

On a personal level, there are two sides to the ...

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An Outside Perspective

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A couple of miles from where I live is an intersection where a local panhandler has staked his claim. Day after day he’s there brandishing his sign, looking for donations. Most days I just drive by and wave; he always waves back. Occasionally I’ll give him a few bucks. Clearly the location is working for him, otherwise he would have moved on long ago. A few weeks ago, during a brief respite from the winter cold, I was driving along ...

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24 Hours and a Choice

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I’m getting a little sick and tired of people moaning about the bad times.

“I don’t have enough money.”

“I’ll never be able to retire.”

“Nobody will give me a job.”

Now don’t get me wrong–I’m not saying these aren’t serious issues. These are challenging times, and I truly feel for those who are struggling to get by. What I am saying, though, is that moaning about it may not be the most effective response.

Look, the Beatles went through some tough times too. Times ...

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Where the Great Ideas Come From

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How often do you come up with a brilliant, innovative idea that changes the shape of your industry? The Beatles did it all the time. How? Partly by being continuously open to new ideas, no matter where they may come from. Let’s take a look at the genesis of two landmark Beatles songs: John Lennon’s I Am the Walrus and Paul McCartney’s Penny Lane.

John Lennon was sitting at his home in Weybridge, England one day when he happened to hear ...

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Linking Your Stories to Your Message

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There are many compelling reasons to use humorous stories in your presentations. They make you more likeable, they make you more memorable, they help you generate higher fees, etc. But as far as your audience is concerned, there is only one reason: you use humorous stories to further your point! That’s it! You’re not using them to get a laugh, because getting a laugh is about you, the speaker. Using a humorous story to help get your point across is ...

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3 Reasons NOT to Use Jokes in Your Presentation!

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We hear it all the time: if you want to get the big bucks, you’ve got to use humor in your presentations. Even if you’re not in it for the money—humor definitely helps you to get your point across.

There’s no question that if you give presentations in front of an audience, humor should be one of the big hammers in your speaking toolkit. For some people (the lucky ones!), this comes quickly and easily. The rest of us have to ...

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Where To Find Personal Stories

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If you know anything at all about me and my speaking style, you know that I am a huge, huge fan of humorous personal stories! I think they are, hands down, the best way to add humor to your speech or presentation. I like them better than jokes, funny quotes, and cartoons. Why? Because they are unique, memorable, bombproof, and a small handful of stories will cover you in a surprisingly large number of situations!

In my coaching and consulting sessions ...

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The Power of Personal Stories

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Most people who know me as a speaker, consultant, or coach know two things about me:

  1. I love humor!
  2. I hate jokes!

Don’t get me wrong: I like hearing a good joke; I’m just not a big fan of their use on the platform. I think there’s a much more powerful resource for humor available to the speaker, and it’s called the personal story.

In my experience, personal stories—or personal anecdotes, if you prefer—have several convincing advantages over jokes, and I’d like to explore ...

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