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There are two types of people in this world and there’s only one question that distinguishes them.

Beatles or Rolling Stones?

So tell me, which side are you on?

Contrary to your assumption, your answer has nothing to do with sugary pop or guitar rock. You think that’s what it’s about, but you’re wrong.

In reality, your preference between the Beatles and the Stones is a representation of how you live your life. And if there were any simpler test of your leadership style, I don’t know what it is.

Let me explain.


The Rolling Stoner

The Rolling Stones’ music is rooted in blues and rock n roll. It’s hard-driving music with catchy guitar riffs and the sexually-tinged British drawl of Sir Mick Big Mouth.

It took a few albums for the Rolling Stones to hit big yet even before stardom shone down on them, they had solidified their style. Their first album was released in the mid-1960s and they have stayed amazingly consistent for 6 decades and counting.

It is not a big stretch to go from 1965s “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” to 1981s “Start Me Up”. Slightly different guitar riff, slightly different melody, but undeniably iconic Stones, even though they were written nearly two decades apart.

You can always pick one of their songs out of a lineup, even with one ear tied behind your back

Rarely does a band excel for so long with such remarkable consistency (the only other examples that come to mind are Springsteen and U2).

The Rolling Stones Leader

If you chose The Rolling Stones over the Beatles, you are most likely trying to be a stoic leader. You want to be as strong as a marble statue.

You aren’t looking to make any sudden big changes. If something works, you lean into it.

Sure you will iterate a little as you grow in order to keep things new, but you are not about bringing in great risk with dramatic transformations.

You’re probably not overly entrepreneurial in your mindset – you’re not going to drop everything and start your own venture – and that’s fine. You appreciate the entrepreneurial leader (when they don’t screw up your goals), but you can’t be one of them. No matter how much you try and you try, it just won’t give you no satisfaction.

You are a valuable team player.

You appreciate hard work and loyalty.

You are rock solid. And when things are humming along, wild horses can’t drag you away.

The Beatles Explained

The Beatles appeared with force in the early 60s. One minute they were a group of funny talking lads screwing around in Hamburg, the next minute they Love Me Do-ed their way to mass hysteria.

They rocket shipped to unicorn status faster than Uber on the Autobahn.

They were a light-hearted foursome, always down for a good laugh and a new surprise. In so doing, they kept the world on the edge of its proverbial seat.

Consistency in style? Nah, it wasn’t their thing. They thrived on change. And they excelled with change. They knew who they were at their core, and wrapped that up in different costumes.

In less than 7 years they had multiple dramatic transitions in style. Their hair, their clothing, their personal interests – it all kept evolving. You never quite knew what you were going to get, the only thing you knew is that it would be Beatle-esque. Whatever the heck that means.

And their music followed suit. 1963s “Love Me Do” is practically unrecognizable from being the same band as 1970s “Across The Universe”. Yet both are beautiful Beatles musical masterpieces.

The Beatles Leader

A Musical Leadership Rivalry

Sometimes it seems like the two types of leaders can’t co-exist. But they absolutely can in the same way the Beatles and Stones coexisted.

In fact, some of the best companies have a Beatle-esque CEO and. Rolling Stones COO. It’s a stellar combination when it works.

Leadership styles aren’t black and white. You can have both Beatles and Stones mixed inside you.

I definitely fall firmly in the Beatles camp but I still love me a good Stones ditty. That comes through in my leadership style – though I embrace change and always look for opportunity, I also treasure consistency in my life and value how it keeps me grounded.

So what about you?

Who are you? Who who? Who who? Tell me who are you?

If you like this article, please share it

Somewhat Relevant Quote

Reality leaves a lot to the imagination. at whatever cost.

John Lennon, superhero

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