Happy New Year to all.
I admit I took a couple of weeks off at the end of the year to catch my breath, relax, and spend time with family. Building off of my Thanksgiving Ted Lasso marathon, I spent time watching TV, reading, and trying not to think too much.
I highly recommend Get Back, the Beatles documentary directed by Peter Jackson leveraging 60 hours of video and 150 hours of audio recorded during the Let it Be sessions in 1969.
The documentary was fascinating in many ways, and I will leave it to music and Beatles historians to sort out the historical significance.
But as a coach and a fan, a few things stood out.
First, in 1969 the “four lads” from Liverpool were in their late 20’s and had already lived amazing lives.
Amazing probably does not do it justice.
Having a look inside the songwriting and collaboration process was also pretty cool. Like all talented teams, they had their disagreements and needed to take breaks from one another to refocus.
But when they were aligned, they arguably were one of the highest-performing teams of all time.
Focus on the Highest Priority
I do not think it would be a spoiler alert to share how the movie ends with the rooftop concert at Apple Studios. What is most instructive is the journey to get there.
As I watched the movie, I began to see it as a metaphor for prioritization and goal setting.
There are many conflicts presented in the movie, but the one that stayed with me from a coaching perspective is that there was a lack of clarity around the project’s goals in the early days of the sessions.
Was it about writing new material, performing a live concert, or making a documentary about the entire process?
This lack of clarity added fuel to the fire around a fraying partnership that was likely coming to an end. In addition, some disagreements impacted the creative process, resulting in tension and frustration among four talented people lacking a common direction.
As a result, George Harrison elects to leave the film studio and the group. As the cameras roll over the next couple of days, John, Ringo, and Paul come together and focus on their highest priority – getting George back and concentrating on the music.
The Beatles are able to bring George back into a studio – not a movie studio – but into the Apple Music studio. Their primary goal and highest priority was to create new music. You notice an immediate change in behavior among all four.
In my eyes, at least, they put away their differences and focused on the music. Interestingly enough, not just the music for Let it Be but they also focused on the music for Abbey Road, George’s All Things Must Pass, and other individual works of the group.
Speaking Words of Wisdom
The critical takeaway from Get Back that I am currently applying to crafting my 2022 resolutions is to…
Focus not on the quantity but the quality and importance of my commitments.
Are they on the list because I feel “obligated” to include them vs. being my highest priority and, by definition, those I am most passionate about?
I encourage you to take out your resolutions list and challenge yourself to identify and focus on your highest priorities.
Do you see any natural relationships?
Are there any patterns that tie back to past successes or failure?
What is most important to you and why?
As I complete this blog, my mind is full of other lessons learned from Get Back that will form the foundation for other blogs throughout the year. Some examples include Self Awareness, Using your Words, Dealing with Conflict, and Collaboration.
As always, if I can help you or someone you know, let’s start a conversation.