Most leadership lessons come from management books, but sometimes they pop up in unexpected places, like Rolling Stones lead guitarist Keith Richards' memoir, Life (Little Brown, 2010). As you would expect, Life is filled with rollicking stories, like the one in which a very ticked-off Charlie Watts punched out a very wasted Mick Jagger for imperiously demanding to see "his drummer" at five in the morning. But it also offers a few business insights.
One of them is the importance of focus and prioritization to a successful career. You might think that being the lead guitarist of the world's greatest bar band is all about sex, drugs, and rock n' roll. But the 550-page book makes it clear that rock n' roll always comes first for Richards. The fact that Richards takes his music seriously shouldn't be surprising. After all, you don't get paid a king's ransom for more than a half-century for doing your job unless you're damn good at it.
My favorite business lesson in Life comes in a throw-away paragraph early on. Read the rest here.