Every Band (Or Group Or Team) Needs A Ringo

When Ron Howard was working on his documentary about The Beatles, he noticed one thing about Ringo that really impressed him. Ringo wasn’t the best songwriter or lyricist. He wasn’t the best singer. The running joke was he wasn’t even the best drummer in the band. But, he had an attentive ear and he was always willing to say “no.”

Howard said the whole band independently had examples about how’d they’d start working on something only to have Ringo say he wasn’t feeling it and something wasn’t right. Not in a walk-out, obnoxiously confrontational way (or at least not always), but in a constructive “we are better than this” way. Inevitably, he’d leave, they’d get to working, and the end result would be improved.

Howard was so impressed by this because he figured once you’ve achieved success the way The Beatles had, there would literally be no one left in your world to tell you “no.” The creative process, and really anything that’s iterative-
like making movies or documentaries or even finance or engineering- these all benefit from having “a Ringo.”

We level up with proper resistance. If everyone only says yes to everything, something is wrong. Making sure we have our Ringo present, even if he’s not the best drummer in the band, can play a powerful role in driving us to continuously up our game.

For this story and more, listen to the Infinite Loops Podcast, episode #19, “Ron Howard: The Past, Present And Future Of Entertainment.”

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