Weekender: Ringo Starr on Taking a Team’s Temperature


Welcome to another edition of leadersayswhat’s the Weekender, a small octopus’ garden worth of guidance to start your weekend off on the right track. Why a small octopus’ garden? Because it’s the weekend!

Even the best teams have their off moments. Communication is misfiring, innuendoes are misinterpreted, and no one seems to be sharing the same mental space. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Ringo Starr discussed this very topic when the Beatles were recording the White Album.

I went over to see John. Knocked on the door and I said, ‘Listen, I don’t feel like I’m playing great, and I feel that you three are very close.’ And he said, ‘I thought it was you three.’ And then I went to Paul, and I said the same thing: ‘I don’t feel like I’m playing great, and I feel you three are really close.’ And he goes, ‘I thought it was you three!’

When the team is not clicking, it is time to take a temperature check. If ignored, these unresolved issues fester and build until the damage is beyond repair. The slightest comment can result in hurt feelings, mounting personal insecurity, and sometimes the end of the team.

Follow Ringo’s lead. Take it upon yourself to meet individually with each member of the team. Dig into the underlying issues and facilitate group discussion to clear the air. It may be a long and winding road, but with a little help from your friends, you can come together before help is back in the USSR (I admit, that last none was a stretch).

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