The Leadership Blog

If Ted Lasso Can Do It, You Can TOO...BELIEVE!

Jun 04, 2023

I just finished watching the final episode of Ted Lasso.  Don’t worry I’m not going to give away the ending if you haven’t seen it, but it’s the inspiration for today’s blog. I fell in love with Ted during season one.  He was full of playfulness, humor, vulnerability and passion, but the thing I admired most about him was his commitment to BELIEVE in his team and his process to win at anything in life.

The first step is you have to 

  1. BELIEVE it is possible.  

What is the IT in that last sentence?  Whatever YOU want IT to be.  

  • Maybe you BELIEVE you’ll find a new job.  
  • Maybe you BELIEVE you’ll build a successful business or create a new revenue stream.
  • Maybe you BELIEVE you’ll be able to coach your child’s football team to a championship.  
  • Maybe you BELIEVE you’ll lose weight, stop drinking, rebuild your marriage or make WHATEVER DREAM YOU’RE DREAMING COME TRUE!

Having a visual helps.  It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive Ted wrote BELIEVE on a piece of construction paper and put it above the doorway in the locker room for the team to see every day.  That simple poster didn’t seem to have much power in the beginning, but over time, through repetition the power grew and even though Nate ripped it down, the power of it was already too strong to negate.  The team found a way to continue to BELIEVE even though the sign wasn’t there anymore.  If you saw the final episode you know how they did it.  Sorry I can’t tell you.  

Here’s a by-product that happens when you BELIEVE.  You tend to procrastinate less.  You take action toward making your vision of what could be… your reality.  Sometimes we need to include others to help us believe.  Jamie Tartt had great skill on the pitch but he didn’t have much discipline or ability to focus on anyone other than himself.  He wasn’t much of a team player.  Coach Roy Kent cared enough about the team to help Jamie, even though he really didn’t like him.  The discipline Roy helped Jamie develop turned into a friendship between the two and gave Jamie the ability to BELIEVE in the team and not just himself.

Nobody else has to believe it’s possible for you to make your dream a reality, but if YOU DON’T BELIEVE, unfortunately IT will never happen.  You can’t wish it into being.  A wish isn’t a strategy, but belief is part of the process.  Process is a critical thing to help us to be able to BELIEVE and the first step in that according to Lasso is…

           2. Be a goldfish

 While research shows it’s a myth that goldfish only remember things for seven seconds, Ted encouraged people not to hold on to negative thoughts and to let them go in just seconds.  He wanted people to let go of the past that they had been a losing team and BELIEVE in the possibility that they could win, which brings me to my third step in the process.

         3. Be a possibility thinker

I learned how to be a possibility thinker over two decades ago when I read New York Times bestselling author John Maxwell’s book, “How Successful People Think.”  One of his 11 thinking styles was possibility thinking.  The key is to intentionally choose to see the possibility that something amazing could happen and then hold on to that possibility no matter how many times you fail.  Let me give you a couple examples.  When I first led a PBS production department over 20 years ago, I BELIEVED it was possible to win an Emmy.  I didn’t know how to win an Emmy.  I had never won one and no one on my team had ever won an Emmy either, but I believed it was possible.  It took three years of not just believing but taking the steps through trial and error, through watching the award-winning work of others and trying to implement the techniques and styles I saw in those programs in our own productions.  I want to be clear here.  It’s not just wishing for something.  It’s taking the necessary steps that gave us the skills to win that beautiful gold statue.  I’m honored to have led teams to 10 Emmys so far.

I’ve got another example for you.  One of my students from a production summer camp BELIEVED he could have a successful television career.  Alex earned his degree from Temple University and started working for a Philadelphia television station right away.  The station was so big he didn’t have opportunities to move up so he left and went to a smaller station in West Palm Beach, Florida as a promotion's editor.  He wanted to move into sales but was told he didn’t have any experience.  Instead of giving up, he got a job at GNC, the nutrition supplement business, as a weekend sales associate and became the top salesperson.  The next time he applied for a sales position at his station, he got the opportunity because he had earned it.   There’s no stopping Alex because he knows how to BELIEVE and I BELIEVE YOU DO TOO!  Believe your future will be better than your past.  Believe you can go to the next level.  Believe you can solve that troublesome business issue.  Anything is possible when you BELIEVE.  Ted Lasso proved it to us all!