The Beatles recorded over 200 original songs during their career as a band. While virtually all of them are great songs (yes, I’m biased), there are a few whose titles alone could serve as a “mini-MBA” for business leaders. Today we’re going to look at three of them:
The Word (from the Rubber Soul album, 1965): For the Beatles, the word was “love.” Not a bad word to be associated with. But what’s your word (or combination of two to three words)? What single thing do your customers know you for? What one idea or concept do you absolutely own in your industry? For example:
- Federal Express = overnight delivery
- McDonald’s = fast food
- Wal-Mart = low prices
- Prius = green
- Mercedes = class
If you can’t define the core of what you do in a single word or phrase, then you don’t know your business well enough—you don’t really know what you stand for. And the bigger problem, of course, is that if you don’t know what you stand for, then how can your customers?
Every Little Thing (from the Beatles For Sale album, 1964): Sure, we’ve all read Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff by Richard Carlson. He urges us not to lose sleep over the little, inconsequential things. There’s a lot of value in that idea; however, in business, every little thing can send big messages to your customers. The font on your business cards, the way you answer the phone, the cleanliness of your lobby—these all communicate to your customer who you are. And these things, these little things, will play a huge factor (whether the customer is aware of it or not) in your customer’s decision to either continue doing business with you or look elsewhere. Bottom line: every little thing matters.
Get Back (single, 1969; also from the Let It Be album, 1970): Have you ever re-visited a business that you haven’t been to for awhile, only to find that it’s changed—and not necessarily for the better? Maybe it’s a restaurant whose soups used to be deliciously home made; maybe it’s a print shop where they used to know and greet their customers by name; maybe it’s a local television station that used to be much more community-oriented. Well, change is inevitable, and it’s not always bad. I would argue, in fact, that change is both necessary and desired in order for a business to move forward. But while we’re moving forward, we also need to get back to what made us successful in the first place. The Beatles were constantly changing, but they never forgot their roots as a rock and roll band. Their final album, Abbey Road, was a huge evolution from their “she loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah” days—but it ends with a three-way guitar solo from (in order) Paul, George, and John that’s pure, kick-ass rock and roll. If you’re a leader in a business or an organization then yes, you need to change and evolve. But don’t lose track of your roots, of what made you successful in the first place. As you grow, take the time to “get back to where you once belonged.”Share