Life Lessons From Ted Lasso?

Yeah it might be all that you get
Yeah I guess this might well be it
But heaven knows I’ve tried

If you’re a fan of the Apple TV comedy, “Ted Lasso” you’ll recognize those words from the show’s opening.  If you’ve never watched the program (and you should) those might also be construed as words to live by.  Give it your best shot. Don’t sweat the small stuff. And above all, be kind to yourself and others. Words of advice much needed today.

The past year and a half have brought many difficulties to both the workplace and the homestead including how to maintain a positive attitude and, where work is concerned in particular, how to effectively operate with a team mindset while largely located apart. In many cases, this can be a recipe for discontent, disconnect and frustration, all harmful to a harmonious and productive culture.

Set against the backdrop premise of a Division II American football coach being hired to fail by the vindictive owner of an English soccer team, Jason Sudeikis (as Ted Lasso) approaches adversity – including defiant players, unforgiving fans, the media and ownership – with unique charm and aplomb. In our current environment where we typically attack when attacked, Lasso lets it roll off his back as he turns the other cheek, shrugging it off with humor, wit and wisdom. For his team in particular, better to to disarm and mentor with one-liners such as: “You know what the happiest animal on Earth is? It’s a goldfish. You know why? It’s got a 10-second memory,” and, “I think that you might be so sure that you’re one in a million, that sometimes you forget that out there you’re just one in 11.”

Sure, it’s television but the show and its message of perseverance and positivity are needed and resonate. Just renewed for its third season, “Lasso’s” inaugural year netted 20 Emmy nominations (a record for a first-year comedy series), won three and brought creator and star Sudeikis best actor Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild awards. For me it has become both refreshing and a refresher course on trying to not take things too seriously and enjoying the moment. And that with colleagues, contemporaries and coworkers often afar, sometimes enjoyment and positive feedback need to come from within.

As Ted Lasso seems to be saying to himself every morning as he walks into the office, bearing gifts, of a boss who hopes he doesn’t last: “Break me down? I’ll just bake you biscuits.” It’s a lemons to lemonade approach and mindset that’s meaningful for all of us to consider – at  least for a moment or two.