August 13, 2021

Why Ted Lasso Is So Refreshing (And How You Can Be Too)

Ted Lasso. He may be a television character but we know him as a real person. He’s real because some of us have been led by a Ted Lasso. Some of us have been led by the opposite.

Here’s 9 powerful lessons from Ted Lasso so you can be inspired to lead like him or make sure you work for one.

He’s human. 

Every leader you’ve worked for or been led by was human. Most cover up their weaknesses, frailties, fragilities. Cult followers want a perfect leader without flaws. Healthy followers can give respect to those who are getting better even when they mess up. Healthy leaders inspire people with their higher mindset and victories. Healthy leaders relax people by sharing their struggles. If you only share the victories you are not relatable. If you only share losses you aren’t inspiring. 

He gets results by focusing on the process.

If you lead, results matter. Unhealthy leaders get caught up in the scoreboard and the win or loss. Healthy leaders focus on the direction of the performance, morale, and culture more than the perfection of it. They watch for the process of individual/team development and the practice of skills to continually improve. Love of the process replaces the anxiety of performance. 

He believes in himself and others when in new territory. 

From flying across the Atlantic to promoting hidden leaders, he has a confidence that is not circumstantial and available to all. That confidence? You have what you need. Within you is the mindset and know-how to figure out your challenges. It won’t be perfect. But then you can go back to the process. 

He’s friendly and strategic.

One of my early mentors in leadership who I value greatly was wrong about one thing. 

He saw me being friendly with the team I led and pulled me aside. “Chris you can’t be friends with them.” I don’t even remember his specific reason. I can imagine a lot of reasons he would say that. And he was an incredible mentor in many ways. But he was wrong. I had more pain and joy by being their friend and I’ve always done it that way.

He only brings intensity when built on a foundation of clarity.

Kindness doesn’t mean there is no passion. But when kindness is the foundation then in the moments where there is passion there is less misunderstanding in the communication and no diminishing the person.

He watches the trifecta: Performance, Morale, Culture.

The best leaders develop an intuition and simple models for these 3. They get the best performance without pressure. They build incredible morale and engagement without manipulation. They develop culture without conformity. At SightShift we obsess over these 3. We have simple models and scientific measurements for all 3. I’m burying this a little deeper for the close readers. More to come on this later but if you want more just reply back, “Show me the goods.”

He’s mastered new limbo moments.

Limbo moments are the in-between moments. It’s when we are leaving what we have known. Some limbo moments have the anticipation of joy with some anxiety like Ted coaching a sport he doesn’t know. You can do hard things. And sometimes the hard thing is just framed in your mind in an unhealthy way. My heart beats and stomach feels a little nervous the same as the first date with my wife as a giant speaking stage as anything else. It’s all how you frame it. 

He’s mastered painful limbo moments.

Limbo moments are the in-between moments. And sometimes they have pain, chaos, and uncertainty that is more difficult that we can put into words. We don’t like who we’re becoming, we don’t like how we’re showing up in our roles, or we wish we could change some circumstance. Even in Ted’s divorce he deepened his values and convictions, even forgiving his boss for using him. That’s the thing about limbo moments: they make you into a more healthy or unhealthy leader. Even if you’re a toxic leader you can get on a path of health. 

He’s transcended the give/take of leadership.

We all want something. We all desire. Unhealthy leaders get their personal needs and insecurities met from the mission and the people. We all have insecurities. And if we go to the mission or the people to get our insecurities answered or comforted we make peoples’ lives worse over the long term no matter how many results we achieve. The point of leadership isn’t accomplishment but developing people. The people are the vision. 

“Practice kindness all day to everybody and you will realize you’re already in heaven now.” Jack Kerouac

Video of the above: HERE

Audio of the above: HERE (Or search SightShift on your favorite podcast provider.)

P.S. SightShift is for leaders in limbo. Finding yourself or your team at an in-between? We can help make moves true to who you are or your team. Just ask.

Be kind today, 


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