A Crucial Trait

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There is one trait that the Beatles had which cemented their allure to the world. True, there were many elements that put the Beatles ahead of the competition; we’ve talked about several of them in previous postings, and we’ll be exploring more in postings to come. But the trait we’re going to talk about today may have been the most important (or at least in the top three). Without it, they still would have written amazing songs that would live at the top of the charts. They still would have achieved great success. They still would have been a force to be reckoned with. But I’m not sure they would have become the legends they did. And it’s a trait that’s just as important for leaders today as it was for the Beatles 40 years ago. What is this trait?

A sense of humor.

When the Beatles conquered America, it was as much for their brilliantly witty press conferences as it was for their music. Their first movie, A Hard Day’s Night, was a wonderful showcase for their songs, but the reason it still holds up today is because of the smart, sharp, funny dialog that John, Paul, George, and Ringo seemed to pull off so effortlessly. Plain and simple, the Beatles were funny! And even more importantly, they looked like they were having fun—like they truly enjoyed what they were doing.

Think about it: all other things being equal, wouldn’t you rather work with somebody who enjoyed what he or she was doing? So is it too much of a stretch to imagine that they might feel the same way about you?

I love what I do for a living! I love making an audience think, laugh, and say to themselves, “Wow! I’m so glad I’m here!” I have fun, and I make sure my audiences have fun too.

Now, that doesn’t mean I don’t take my work seriously. Enjoying your work and taking it seriously are not mutually exclusive, and this is where a lot of leaders miss out. The Beatles took their music very seriously, but they also had fun!

In challenging times, it’s even more important to keep your sense of humor, your sense of fun. Yes, these are serious times, and your work is serious. But remember: serious and somber are not the same thing!


About the Author:

29-time Emmy Award winner and Hall of Fame keynote speaker Bill Stainton, CSP is an expert on Innovation, Creativity, and Breakthrough Thinking. He helps leaders and their teams come up with innovative solutions — on demand — to their most challenging problems.
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