Leadership has gone through many changes in the last couple of decades. We have come to realize that great leadership is not about being authoritarian and exercising control, and it is not about the Intelligent Quotient (IQ) but the Emotional Intelligence. To be an outstanding leader, you need several essential skills, all of which you can learn. The skills are nuanced with emotional intelligence, which can also be acquired. For example, communication is a critical skill for leaders. One can learn it with practice. The more you write and speak, the more you master the basics, but how you communicate is entirely up to your emotional intelligence. What kind of communicator are you? Do you understand your audience? Is your communication situational? Do you know when you should be a forceful, direct communicator and when to be a sympathetic listener? Leadership is about inspiring yourself and others to achieve a common goal. As a leader, you can bring the essence of leadership to your life every day. You can motivate yourself and those around you to be better versions of yourself and live virtuous lives.
The Beatles were leaders of the music industry. In the early days, they encountered many rejections. They took risks throughout their careers by experimenting with different musical elements and devoted enormous time to their craft. They embraced their differences and individual strengths and weaknesses and created music that transcends generations of music lovers. Their music is timeless, just as certain principles of leadership are. This book is unique as the author weaves leadership ideas to the song titles of the Beatles, making this book fun, playful, thoughtful, and valuable. Each chapter is organized with a central message on a leadership attribute prompted by the Beatles’ song title, a how-to on becoming better at the message’s target, a practice to become better at it, questions to ask yourself to think about the message and resources for more reader. The author begins each chapter with how and why she chose the song title and includes fun facts on the song itself. It’s an engaging book that blends the words of perhaps the greatest rock band ever – The Beatles – with basic principles for becoming a better leader.
I can think of at least two good reasons for reading this delightful book. First, the leadership lessons that include the author’s story are as engaging as they are compelling. A brilliant student who studied engineering while becoming fascinated by leadership at an early age, Shantha Mohan jumps off the page in a way that makes you wish she was a friend living nearby. Second, it’s just plain fun to think about these old Beatles songs as leadership lessons. – Amy C Edmondson, Professor, Harvard Business School; Author of The Fearless Organization: Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation, and Growth. (Wiley 2019)
Leadership Lessons with The Beatles is an extraordinary literary tour de force and a worthy addition to the catalog of must-have actionable business books. Principally a guide to developing leadership skills, it uses the important themes of several famous Beatles songs to explore and teach the core skills that great leaders exhibit. But it’s so much more than that. Shantha takes the reader on a journey through contemporary technology history including many of her own personal stories and experiences, stopping to share the lessons of successful organizations and their leaders such as PepsiCo, Microsoft, Tesla, Starbucks, and many others. At each step, leadership tools and techniques are explained in simple and practical terms. Shantha has written an accessible and practical book for aspiring leaders, existing leaders, and anyone interested in developing important skills for the 21st century economy. Of course, fans of The Beatles, like myself, will get a particular kick from Shantha’s approach to the subject matter. – Jonathan Reichental, Founder, Professor, and Author
Just like music resonates deeply, striking a chord within us that moves and motivates, Leadership Lessons with The Beatles will resonate with everyone who desires to improve our world by investing in others. In the dynamic world, the need for outstanding leadership remains unchanged, and Shantha allows the reader to learn key lessons she discovered in her successful career. The powerful yet straightforward advice she offers will help others create an environment where people flourish, supporting employees to do their jobs and meet their own needs. Her guidance will help all of us become better leaders and better people. – Peter Boatwright, Professor, Tepper School of Business; Director, Integrated Innovation Institute, Carnegie Mellon University
Shantha has a ticket to ride the wealth of experience garnered during a distinguished career as an entrepreneurial leader to deliver these pearls of wisdom. Full of down-to-earth common sense, this book is akin to a best friend giving much-needed heartfelt advice like a blackbird singing in the dead of night. In this post COVID world, it heralds in a good day’s sunshine. Imagine coming together to discuss any problem with a little help from your friends. Let it be part of your magical mystery tour of leadership. – Stuart Evans, Distinguished Service Professor, Integrated Innovation Institute, Carnegie Mellon University- Silicon Valley
After reading so many different books on leadership over the years, I sort of lost interest in the subject and hadn’t read one in many years. Shantha’s refreshing approach to the topic is brilliant, and it sucked me right in. I think I was in the third chapter before I realized I was still standing up and needed to find a comfortable place to sit and read the rest. Familiar metaphors are powerful tools for illustrating and learning new ideas. Shantha nails this in a powerful and entertaining way by tying in her own hard-earned and unique leadership lessons with our collective and near-universal familiarity with different Beatles songs that bring each chapter to life. I’ve since dusted off my Beatles collection and have been putting Shantha’s unique leadership lessons to work. – Mark Bowles, Serial Entrepreneur
Leadership Lessons with The Beatles highlights sixteen ways to become a better leader, each featuring actionable tips and anchored in a well-known Beatles song. (My personal favorite? All You Need Is Love!) Hear any of those songs and you can’t help but be reminded of the book’s great insights. – Alan Eagle, co-author, How Google Works and Trillion Dollar Coach
Shantha Mohan delivers insightful leadership advice to both novice and seasoned leaders, uniquely aligning her real-life examples with universally-recognized storytellers. Leadership Lessons with the Beatles brings together multiple core concepts for elegant management success into a concise, engaging journey. – Dave McCandless, Information Technology Executive, Advisor and Lecturer, current Senior Director Information Technology, Guardant Health
Have you ever pondered the possibilities of merging the unquenchable spirit and optimism of the Beatles’ timeless music with a humanist-oriented business strategy? Shantha Mohan’s Leadership Lessons with the Beatles does precisely that. In this way, Mohan gifts the world with a winning approach to affording our business lives with the Fab Four’s unique balance of buoyancy and goodwill. Better yet, Mohan demonstrates the myriad ways in which a humanist outlook not only benefits the world of business but can help it truly thrive.—Kenneth Womack, John Lennon 1980: The Last Days in the Life
I was lucky to have Shantha as my mentor and role model early in my career. It is beautiful to see the standards she lived by transformed into leadership lessons in Leadership Lessons with the Beatles. The essays in the book will help you become a better leader – for example, “Within You Without You” on becoming a humble leader – and how to live life to the fullest. If you are an aspiring leader, use this book as your guide and inspiration.” – David Sun, CEO, SF Healthcare