Leadership Lessons from Sir Paul McCartney

I am one of the millions of people who has recently enjoyed a 24-minute video escape into happiness—also known as Paul McCartney Carpool Karaoke.

The video is fun, it is revealing, it is touching, and it stays on your mind for days to come. That’s lovely in and of itself.  But besides Penny Lane, the house of Paul’s youth, and the Philharmonic Pub, what did I see?

As a coach for The Ken Blanchard Companies, I couldn’t help but notice that the qualities Paul McCartney revealed in the video are the qualities of truly successful leaders.

  • Whether with the host James Corden, or with a shopkeeper, Paul was open and connected.
  • In conversation about his career, he was reflective, humble, kind, and humorous.
  • With strangers, he was patient and generous.
  • And for his fans worldwide, he continues to be creative and generative.

Paul’s interactions with people were a video illustration of our Blanchard ABCD Trust Model:

  1. Able is about demonstrating competence. Do the leaders know how to get the job done? Are they able to produce results? Do they have the skills to make things happen?
  2. Believable means acting with integrity. Leaders have to be honest in their dealings with people. Believability is also about acting in a consistent, values-driven manner that reassures people that they can rely on their leaders.
  3. Connected is about demonstrating care and concern for other people. It means focusing on people and identifying their needs. It is supported by good communication skills. When leaders share a little bit of information about themselves, it creates a sense of connection.
  4. Dependable is about reliability and honoring commitments. This is about leaders being accountable for their actions and being responsive to the needs of others. If they promise something, they must follow through.

Watch the video (again). In addition to the joy, what do you see?   For me, it can be summed up as Trustworthiness:  A firm and positive belief in Paul McCartney’s ability, integrity, goodness, and reliability.   And isn’t that what we want to see when we look around—and up?

About the Author

Mary Ellen Sailer headshotMary Ellen Sailer, Ed.D., is a Coaching Solutions Partner with The Ken Blanchard Companies’ Coaching Services team. Since 2000, Blanchard’s 120 coaches have worked with over 15,000 individuals in more than 250 companies throughout the world. Learn more at Blanchard Coaching Services.

4 thoughts on “Leadership Lessons from Sir Paul McCartney

  1. I, too, loved that video and have watched it time and time again. For all the reasons you’ve listed above. In light of all the things happening in our world today, Paul McCartney brought true humility and kindness into our world even just for a few minutes. And how refreshing!. Thank you for posting this.

  2. The video was eye opening and touching in many ways! I love it! And I love that KBC has written this great article on the parallels of Sir Paul’s leadership quailities and the ABCD model!

  3. This is a great read. Thanks for sharing. I didn’t follow Paul McCartney’s life or his work before reading this piece and watching the video. However, you raised some important points about leadership and what it should look like.

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