How Good is Your “Satellite” Team?

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We all know their names: John, Paul, George, and Ringo. (If there are any children reading this who don’t know what I’m talking about, these are the names of the Beatles. The Beatles were a pretty famous musical group in the 60s. The 60s was the coolest decade ever, and you missed it. So there.) These four guys changed history, but they didn’t do it alone. Here are four other names:

Brian, Neil, George (a different one), and Mal.

These are just four of the crucial people on what I call the Beatles’ “satellite” team. And in your business, just as in the Beatles, your satellite team can make or break you. Let’s take a closer look.

  • Brian Epstein: The Beatles’ manager, up until his death in 1967. Without this guy, you and I never would have heard of the Beatles. He believed in them fiercely, and worked tirelessly to create, and then ensure, the success of “his boys.”
  • Neil Aspinall: You’ve probably never heard of him, but he was the Beatles’ right hand man through it all. He was their first road manager (driving them from gig to gig in a broken down van), then their personal assistant, and finally the CEO (and keeper of the flame) of their company, Apple Corps.
  • George Martin: The Beatles’ brilliant music producer. He recognized the spark and gave them their long-awaited recording contract (after every other producer passed on the band). He taught them, he molded their genius, and with them he created some of the best music in history.
  • Mal Evans: The “gentle giant.” Road manager, bodyguard, friend, and confidante of the Fab Four. He even played on some of the tunes (that’s him playing an anvil in Maxwell’s Silver Hammer.)

These four people, and a handful of others, kept the Beatles machine running smoothly (or at least as smoothly as the biggest act in show biz can run). They took care of the administrative work, the detail work, and the grunt work. In short, they took care of everything that might have kept the four Beatles from focusing on what they did best.

This is exactly what your satellite team should be doing for you, and you should choose them as carefully as the Beatles chose the members of their own “inner circle.” But of course to do this you have to be able to answer the question, “Where is my time best spent?”

“Where is my time best spent?” Most of us never ask that question, much less answer it. But if you can answer that question, and focus your time, energy, and creativity on your highest-value activities, you’ll become virtually unstoppable.

So what do you do with all the other activities that are currently taking up so much of your day? You already know the answer. Outsource them. Build a great satellite team—of bookkeepers, web experts, graphic designers, lawyers, editors, whoever else you need—and then spend your day doing the important work that only you can do. The Beatles knew that their time was best spent creating Beatles music. Which is why it was Mal Evans—and not John Lennon—who fetched the tea.


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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