Written By Scott Sargent
If you’re not familiar with the phenomenon that is Ted Lasso, it’s a show on Apple TV+ developed by and starring actor/comedian Jason Sudeikis.
I must confess, I love it on several levels.
The series tells the story of an American football coach (Lasso) who accepts the job of an English football (soccer) coach. The trouble is, he’s never coached a soccer team before in his life and in a country where it’s a religion. From his first day, it’s clear there is a major cultural divide to overcome.
The interesting thing about Ted Lasso is that he’s far from your everyday, hard-nosed coach. He understands what motivates people and loves to communicate. And, if Ted doesn’t understand something, he’s insatiably curious to learn more. Combine this with a ridiculously positive outlook, and you start to see why players and staff believe in coach Lasso.
This show has many anecdotes of wisdom to share, however within many of his hilarious quotes, there are several lessons to take away from Ted Lasso.
Be Curious, not judgmental.
“Guys have underestimated me my entire life. And for years, I never understood why. It used to really bother me. But then one day, I was driving my little boy to school, and I saw this quote by Walt Whitman, and it was painted on the wall there.
It said, ‘Be curious, not judgmental.’ I like that.”
Believe it or not, some things are not always about you.
Genuine people ask genuine questions – they’re inquisitive. It’s also a good way to learn about the people around you, their experiences and life in general.
You may even find out you have more in common with someone than you realized. This type of communication is how relationships are forged and bonds strengthened. Getting to know the people you work with is a powerful leadership tool too.
Be a Goldfish.
“You know what the happiest animal on Earth is? It’s a goldfish. You know why? It’s got a 10-second memory. Be a goldfish, Sam.”
In sports psychology, this is sometimes called having a “short memory”.
Dwelling on our mistakes can start to creep into our performance and affect our self-confidence. Having a short memory allows us to move forward quickly to the next task. Of course, we can still learn from our mistakes by analyzing them later, but it’s important to put aside the current problem and get on with the task at hand.
What goes online
“If the Internet has taught us anything, it’s that sometimes it’s easier to speak our minds anonymously.”
When I’m speaking to a younger adult, I usually offer up a piece of advice about social media and the internet. If experience and observation have taught me anything, it’s what goes on the internet, stays on the internet. It’s just a good rule of thumb to keep yourself in check.
Think about it this way; At some point, you’re going to apply for a job. That recruiter will almost definitely look at your online profile(s). They may even go a couple of years deep.
Is there anything you’ve posted your mom shouldn’t read?
Did you go on an angry rant about a possibly divisive topic?
Always think before you write.
Stay Calm. Keep Moving.
“There are two buttons I never like to hit: that’s panic and snooze.”
There’s a similar, related anecdote that I’ve always liked: “Calm is contagious.”
In any high-stress situation or a crisis, panicking is the most counter-productive thing you can do. Before communicating, it’s a good idea to step back, take a breath and plan your response. Having a strong leader who can coolly guide the team and narrative is also invaluable to any company out there.
Teamwork makes the dream work.
“I think that you might be so sure that you’re one in a million, that sometimes you might forget that out there you’re just one in 11.”
Individual achievements are great but it’s easy to get caught up in our own “hype”. We often see this with superstar athletes who start to believe they’re better than the sum of the parts around them.
Remaining humble and giving credit to those who helped you achieve success, especially in a team environment, promotes harmony and cohesion. Individuals who put themselves on a pedestal may quickly find that they’re very alone.
Thank you, Ted Lasso. You are just what the world needs right now.