A hidden hero. The heartbeat of the band. The rock and the anchor. Charlie Watts, drummer of English rock band The Rolling Stones, has demonstrated a legendary role of leadership in keeping the beat for the band in his own steady, quiet yet influential style.

Charlie was the quiet man who played behind the beat. However, this hallmarks his ability to remain calm at the centre of a storm, both on and off stage, making him an integral part of the band’s performances and energy. The news of his passing earlier this week was tough to receive, but it’s beyond a doubt to say that his leadership has become an inspiration for businesses.

Leadership is quite a complex capability.

There are a wealth of skills and nuances that can distinguish between a leader that leads a team towards success, or towards failure. Although executives may be aware of this, it’s common that some may find themselves pondering on the question whether or not they have selected the right leaders to lead the team.

Charlie has a lot to teach us. While an average drummer will simply lay the foundation of a song for the rest of the band to groove on to, Charlie served his music in a much broader sense. As Keith Richards, vocal lead of The Rolling Stone states, Charlie gave him that “freedom to fly on stage”. Giving a space for his band members to thrive and express themselves with confidence.

Charlie showed us that leaders who aspire to make the people around them a better version of themselves, is a value that makes great leaders.

During performances, Charlie simply played his parts, but ensured to strategically perform it in a way where he can say more with less. This gave room for the rest of his band to benefit from.

His commitment to putting the needs of his members before his own along with his rhythmic approach ultimately makes up a vital part of the Rolling Stone’s fingerprint that we will always remember, and a vision that businesses can follow in selecting the right leader.

Those who possess remarkable characteristics such as communication skills, while important, can often be overvalued when selecting leaders, and attributes like resilience in times of adversity can become understated.

We see so many experts in the workplace tackling well-defined problems. But when it comes to ill-defined situations, Charlie shows us that good leaders are the ones that exploit these to their advantage and see it as an opportunity to let others shine in their respective talents.

In addition, not all leaders need to show how hungry they are when it comes to success. We sometimes forget that true leaders, like Charlie, don’t always need to wear their ambitions on their sleeves. They can display the smallest amount of ambition on the outside yet on the inside, they’re full of fire and energy. These attributes can often go untapped.

Now more than ever, in a world where a number of events are taking place, we need something to show us the light. If we take Charlie as a basis for leadership, executives can feel inspired when sorting through criteria’s that they think will make the right leader for their team.

Charlie was the backbone of The Rolling Stone, and at Taurus, we hold that genuine care factor to do great work and help our clients up their game, even in times of crisis. And just like Charlie, we endeavour to deliver strategies that help businesses gain the confidence to meet their business objectives.

Scroll to Top