Rolling Stones: The Magic is in the Mix (0)
December, 11 2012 / BY SUPERTEAMS

Harmonising is about emphasising differences together. The Rolling Stones epitomise this philosophy. From the outset, the Stones' music has married lead, rhythm and bass guitars, drums, harmonica and Jagger's vocals.

Each member of the band is a master of his own instrument or voice. The Stones' alchemy also represents the creative abrasion and fusion of four different personalities 
and passions


On stage Jagger is a natural showman. He also takes the lead as the driving force in the Stones organisation and their highly lucrative business empire.

It was Jagger who had the insight to bring in merchant banker Prince Rupert Loewenstein to turn around the band's fortunes in the late 1960s. His need to control is legendary, as Martin Scorsese discovered when filming the Stones performance at New York's Beacon Theatre for his Shine A Light documentary.

Right up to the last moment, Jagger would not reveal the set list to the Oscar-winning director, despite Scorsese urgently needing to know. Jagger is similar to other leaders of major organisations, a sovereign.  


Compared to Jagger's vision and need for a clear plan, Richards claims his only ambition has been to be in the Rolling Stones and to make records. Taking things day by day, "happy to just wake up", he writes music and lives much more loosely.

In his words, "Mick's Rock, I'm Roll." If Jagger is the band's CEO, Richards is the Stones’ shaman, its musical spirit.


The essential creative abrasion between Jagger and Richards is kept in balance by the solid, straightforward nature of Watts.

Charlie Watts is more focused on excellent execution and keeping a rock-steady beat than in the trappings of fame, fast living and groupies… his tour ritual is to sketch every hotel room he has stayed in.


Still the new boy after all this time, Ronnie Woods is the team member most focused on team cohesion, building the magnetic force that keeps the band together.

With his infectious enthusiasm, coupled with the instinct of a seasoned peace negotiator, Wood has acted 
as mediator and middleman more than once, reconnecting Jagger and Richards and keeping the lines of communication open.

While skill is often the key criterion for selection, the chemistry between members can be vital 
in ensuring both creativity and longevity. The Stones' performance on record and on stage is the result of the combustible collision and also the balance between their distinctive natures.

The explosive energy and endurance of the Rolling Stones comes from the diversity and cohesion in the team….

"The magic is in the mix".

Read more on British Airways Business Life:

"Supergroup: Teamwork lessons from the Rolling Stones"

See Khoi Tu speak at the RSA or follow his story on Twitter @buildsuperteams



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