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Brain circuits

Why every team needs a Ringo: Part Two

IbyIMD+ Published 18 March 2022 in Brain circuits • 2 min read

The most effective leaders are those who empower their team and who focus on the relationships between people and their dynamics in the team. Top teams don’t happen by accident. There are certain factors that high-performance teams have in common, and leaders have tools they can use to affect the quality of collaboration within the group. In part one of this series, we looked at what executives can learn from The Beatles, with a specific focus on what Ringo brought to the group.

Now, as an exercise, think about Ringo and his contributions to the band and consider how effective leaders ensure their team performs to its fullest potential:Ensure your team has the Ringo-glue: someone who connects others and who ties lose ends together. Often, their work is less glamorous and happens in the background. 

  1. Ensure visibility for your Ringos: Find ways to shine a light on the contribution, “elevate” them, and make sure that they get airtime, whether it is meetings with top management, peers, or customers. 
  2. Reward connectors and their collaborative behaviors: the Ringos of today risk going unrecognized if leaders are not attentive to the “invisible” value provided by their role. Just like sports team reward assists and passes, teams in business need to reward collaborative behaviors that add intangible value. 
  3. Surface issues and verbalize team emotions: Call a spade a spade, while at the same time identifying and recognizing the individual emotions that are felt. This will validate team members’ experiences and will allow for more constructive conversations. 


Ina Toegel - IMD Professor

Ina Toegel

Professor of Leadership and Organizational Change at IMD

Ina Toegel’s research focuses on team dynamics, organizational change management, top management teams during corporate renewal, and founder influence. She directs the Leading High-Performance Teams program which supports executives in achieving team flow and transforming a group of individuals into a high-performing dream team.


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