This week, Wednesday December 8th, marks the 30th anniversary of the assassination of John Lennon. Hard to believe it has been that long since we all gathered around our radios and TV’s trying to take in the news that one of the last great pacifists was murdered. Just like Robert Kennedy. Just like Martin Luther King. And just like Gandhi.
There is a lot that can be said about Lennon. We’ve heard all the good, the bad and the bizarre over the years and we’ll always have the debates of who was the most influential of the Beatles from lyrics to melody. But one thing that cannot be said about John Lennon is that he was not a leader. He built The Beatles. He fronted the anti war movement. He brought people together to open their eyes to injustice and lead them into action.
He believed in Peace & Love and at one time thought it was all we needed. As he grew older he realized that as long as we kept preaching it and believed in it, then there was at least hope for us all. So, I’m going to use those two words to make a point about leadership and its responsibility to their employees and consumers alike
Lennon used his musical and poetic abilities to call attention to things that were happening around us and break it down to simple words and emotions. He disseminated the message in a passionate and authentic way that all of us could understand. He Proactively Encouraged us to stand up and let our voices be heard. Through the Ambient Consumer Experience of music. he reached out to his customer base, the young and “the tuned in” and was also able to encourage those who may not have been “consumers” of his music to tune in as well and to at least listen to his message.
As we all know a good leader knows how to work with, bring out the best in and learn from their employees. Within the dichotomy and infrastructure of the team called The Beatles it cannot be argued that Lennon & McCartney were the embattled leaders of the band. But George Harrison and Ringo Starr all brought something to the table as well. Particularly Harrison, who left us some of the greatest songs of the last century. It was known that Lennon encouraged and in a way mentored Harrison in the later years of the bands time together. He saw the potential in Harrison and helped him to bring out the best of his abilities so that he could succeed as a member of the group.
With Ringo as well, Lennon supported him in his solo efforts by lending him songs that he wrote and would later become rock radio hits like “I’m The Greatest” and “Goodnight Vienna”. As Ringo once said, “I learned lyrics from John and I learned music from Paul. I had quite an education.”
Lennon was a Leader who Obliged his Versatile Employees. I know, I will take it on the chin for saying Ringo and George were employees of Lennon & McCartney but work with me here.
As leaders of any kind of business, especially ones that are involved with Customer Service, it’s important that we at least take note of the Peace & Love mentioned above. It’s also important that you also have a sense of real Peace & Love as it will guide you into a better place that your “Ringo’s” and “George’s” will want to follow you to and be an active part of.
Lennon said, “We were just four guys who made it very, very big. That’s all.” But they could not have done it without great leadership, teamwork and an understanding of each other and yes, love.
And thank you John Lennon.