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Great Things Can Happen if The Ravens Come Together

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During the early days of Russell Street Report (fka Ravens24x7.com), being a huge fan of The Beatles, I once posted columns labeled Blackbird Singing and Paperback Writer.

Making matters worse (or getting better, depending upon your perspective), after clicking on those blogs, 10 seconds of the title song played. I thought it was cool until I received an email from a site visitor.

“Tony, I love The Beatles too but the problem with those songs is that every time I jump on your site to read Blackbird or Paperback, the music plays and those within earshot of my cubicle know I’m not working.”

Fair enough.

No more music.

Interestingly enough when I disabled the music I received even more complaints but after sharing the reason for the disabling, most of those who complained chuckled, understood why and accepted it as part of the growth of our then quirky little website.

But make no mistake about The Beatles’ influence remained.

You see these “youngsters from Liverpool” were the perfect storm. They combined ambition with talent and a great work ethic. When that happens, watch out!

Helping their cause was a musical scholar named George Martin who happened to be the band’s perfect complement as their producer. The Beatles couldn’t read music and therefore their thoughts weren’t shaped by musical logic. Their individual and collective creativity wasn’t handicapped by blinders. And that opened their minds to possibilities that a high-end musical IQ might never have imagined.

Martin understood this and instead of forcing the four Beatles to conform, he opened his mind and tried to capture their creativity on vinyl. It’s akin to a football coach conforming to the skill sets of his players versus forcing a system upon them.

Of course The Beatles had two of the best composers ever in the forms of John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Later on George Harrison would become a formidable creator as well.

As musicians McCartney was the most accomplished of the group and Harrison a very good guitarist. But Lennon was always regarded as average at best and Ringo Starr was the subject of many unflattering jokes, many of which insinuated that he was a tag-along who was in the right place at the right time.

Clearly that’s debatable and Starr defenders will argue (count me in) that he was perfect for this band. But what isn’t debatable is that The Beatles are the quintessential example of the old adage, “The whole is greater than the sum of the parts.” Together they were magical, changed music and arguably the world. Other bands may have had better players but they could never measure up to the four-headed monster that was The Beatles.

Think of what they accomplished in such a short period of time.

Their prolificacy is unparalleled and given the way music has changed from an album orientation in the days of The Beatles to today’s insatiable desire for eclectic digital downloads it is doubtful that any band will ever approach the quality and quantity of their music.

And that’s why 50 years later we still celebrate their arrival in America like it was Columbus Day.

So why is all of this relevant to the Ravens?

Talent – work ethic – vision!

Whether you are The Baltimore Ravens, a college student, an artist, an entrepreneur or climbing the corporate ladder, The Beatles happened because they believed in their talent, were willing to work hard and together and made personal sacrifices for the benefit of the team. They shared a vision.

That’s when the best things happen.

The Ravens have the leadership, the front office, a visionary owner and an improved coaching staff.

They also have the talent, the means and the skillful discerning eyes to improve the talent level.

Every single person within the organization needs to find that singular voice again, point fingers into their own chests instead of at each other and with no exceptions replace “I” with “we”.

They aren’t that far off.

It can happen again!

In the watered down conference known as the AFC the Ravens can once more unleash lightning in a bottle.

They only need to Come Together.

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