How To Collaborate Like The Beatles

Spring, 1967 – Abbey Road, Studio Two

As even casual Beatles fans know, Paul McCartney’s lyrics lean towards glass-half full optimism: “It’s getting better all the time,” “I’ll follow the sun,” and “We can work it out!”

Paul supplied an upbeat, hopeful lyrical ethos to the greatest selling band of all time. John Lennon, on the other hand, was a bit of a cynic…

This juxtaposition and the beauty of its outgrowth is wonderfully illustrated on the first day of recording “Getting Better” on March 9, 1967.

As McCartney tells it: “I was sitting there doing, ‘getting better all the time’ and John just said in his laconic way, ‘It couldn’t get no worse’ and I thought, ‘Oh, brilliant!’ This is exactly why I love writing with John…It was one of the ways we’d write. I’d have the song quite mapped out and he’d come in with a counter-melody…”

Paul sang, “It’s getting better.” John sang, “It couldn’t get no worse.”

The yin and the yang. Partly sunny and partly cloudy. Jab, Hook, Repeat.

Collaboration at its finest.

What can we learn from one of music history’s most prodigious examples of teamwork and how can we apply it in our own lives?

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Carroll and the Seahawks: Relationship-Based Coaching

Today’s the big day. Millions of viewers, millions of dollars and millions of hours of preparation collide to determine this season’s Super Bowl winner.

How did these two final teams–the Seahawks and the Patriots–make it to the world’s biggest stage for the NFL’s biggest game? What do these teams do differently from the competition? Do they simply possess more raw talent, better coaches, or better week-in, week-out game plans?

I loved reading Pete Carroll and Dr. Michael Gervais’ approach to “relationship-based coaching” in Wednesday’s WSJ. If we’re looking for 21st century leaders who “get it,” we can start here.

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2015–The Year Talent Management Strategy Changes

If best-selling talent specialist Marcus Buckingham and HR thought leader Jason Averbook prevail, talent management will look very different and vastly improved compared to 2014.

In a recent thought-provoking webinar (now posted for all here), Buckingham and Averbook urged viewers to get ahead of five key fast-moving trends to better engage their organization’s talent. Not only are these trends currently changing the talent management landscape, they are rapidly evolving as well:

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Do you behave dictatorially or collaboratively? Give advice or enable others to discover? Exert expertise or treat everyone as equals?

While effective coaching from managers increases employee engagement and commitment, coaching others does not always come naturally.

Improved collaborative listening skills and balancing advice versus discovering solutions together benefit employee engagement and the overall health of the organization.

Wise words from two of the world’s leadership development experts.

Finding the Balance Between Coaching and Managing – Jack Zenger, and Joseph Folkman – Harvard Business Review.

Had your coffee yet? You may not need it after the jolt from this study. 

Unhappy Employees Outnumber Happy Ones by Two to One Worldwide

Still too sleepy to click? Ok, go fire up the Keurig. We’ve got this.

–only 13% of worldwide workers feel engaged in their jobs. Ouch.

–63% are “not engaged” in their work. Clock in, clock out, assemble 99 widgets, punch psychological time card, get pay check, repeat. Ouch, Part II.

–Even more alarming: Combine the 63% “not engaged” and the 24% “actively disengaged” (i.e., you loathe your job) and the percentage of worldwide employees not engaged in their work is 87%.

For 87% of workers in the world, work is more a source of frustration than fulfillment!

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