About a year ago I got tickets to a Paul McCartney concert for my husband’s birthday.  It was amazing to see how, now well-past that mythical and unimaginable age 64, McCartney is ever-brilliant. 

One of my favorite stories about the Beatles goes back to the mid-1960’s when McCartney woke up in the middle of the night with a song idea.  He liked it so much that he immediately played it through on the piano to ensure that he didn’t forget it.  It was a good melody, too good McCartney thought.  He was concerned that he was subconsciously plagiarizing some else’s work and was so sure of it that he didn’t even both to write words for it.  He called it “Scrambled Eggs” and left it at that. 

McCartney spent months playing the melody for friends, family and associates in the music business trying to figure out where the melody came from.  No one could place it and everyone thought it was beautiful.  There was also some internal pushback as the Beatles thought the song “too soft” and it didn’t fit their image.  McCartney believed strongly in his instincts and after some time, he decided to claim the song for his own and wrote proper words for it. 

The song became “Yesterday,” a huge hit for the Beatles, voted the #1 pop song of all time by MTV and Rolling Stone and has the most cover versions of any song ever written with over 3,000 recorded versions.   

Had McCartney decided that his song was too good to be true, this would just be another unused melody in his head.  How many ideas have you had that you didn’t see through because you thought they had already been done?  

In executive coaching, our job is to help leaders get ideas out of their heads and into the heads of their audiences.   Here are some tips on how to get a little bit of “genius” into your presentations:

  • When you have an idea, write it down even if you don’t know what to do with it
  • Share it with someone and ask what they think about it
  • Play around with it until it takes shape 
  • Run it by your coach or person on your team assigned to prepare communications
  • Summon the creative courage to try it out with your audience

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