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Mick, Keith shine a light

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in Leaders & Managers

Despite their tumultuous relationship, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards decided in 1989 to thrash out how they would hold their band together. Why? Because they were better together than apart.

While most pundits focus on solo stars, success comes from partnerships.

“I’ve never done anything solo except take tests,” said Bill Gates, who built Microsoft with Steve Ballmer and now runs a foundation with his wife, Melinda.

And while business leaders tend to be alpha dogs, even alpha dogs run in packs. Michael Eisner, former chief at Disney, says partners need to be able to trust each other totally and maintain a delicate balance of similarities and differences.

Richards and Jagger play well together because Richards lays down the riffs while Jagger carries the tune. “I pull things out of him; he pulls things out of me,” Richards says.

Today, in their mid-60s, they’re talking about another world tour.

— Adapted from “Sticking together,” Schumpeter, The Economist.

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