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  • Writer's pictureShandy Welch

A Non-Negotiable Trait of a Leader

I was recently urged (again) to watch the Netflix series Ted Lasso.  I heard the hype but knew nothing of the content.  If you haven’t watched it please do.  This is a series that has won every award imaginable and is adored by almost everyone who watches it- similar to Ted Lasso himself.

This series is set in England and Lasso has been hired as a football (soccer) manager to a struggling team.  The catch…he does not know the game (at all).  He has been set up to fail yet does the exact opposite.  Not because he mastered the sport but because he has an attitude, drive, and belief in others that is unsurpassed.  He sees what others can’t, and despite his challenges, he chooses positivity among all else. 

Lasso transforms others’ perspectives with subtle persistence and elegance.  He intends to find the greatness in others and disregard the negativity.  He has the unique ability to balance intentional ignorance with empathy and vision.  Lasso sieves out the negative parts of life that weigh us down;  judgment, “stories”, and resentment and focuses on the positive.  He believes in the pursuit of joy and showing up with consistency despite mounting odds against him.  

The Richmond team begins to win.  They draw strength from camaraderie, connection, and collaboration and are fueled by positive energy and the desire to be part of something more powerful than themselves.  It is these attributes that create the winning team.

So often we lead by doubling down on the tactical skills and efficiency.  Pushing harder and harder but how often do you consider the energy and positivity that you are modeling and GIVING to your team?  “Being a leader” is both a verb and an adjective.  There are things to do but I would argue, more importantly, it is WHO you are: a mindset and state of being.

Look at your job description, I will bet that there are no lines devoted to enthusiasm, energy, drawing out the potential in others, deeply listening, and positivity…  

If you want great leadership grant time to be a great leader.

Leadership takes time and should be valued as such.  Give your leaders time to develop relationships, understand their team, and infuse positivity.  While this is not directly revenue building, it is the foundation of all success.  If you honor the act of leading, you will have a great leader and subsequently a successful business. 

Many of these traits require a certain innate personality.  One who derives energy from the curiosity to servie others.  Those who see infusing enthusiasm as a gift to give versus a chore to do.  

So what if this is not inherently you? Can you still be a great leader?


You must recognize this gap and advocate strongly for the right person to fill it.  Don’t ignore it.  Find someone who has this natural trait of positivity and give them the job of “culture creator”, “energy infuser”, or the “instigator of positivity.”  Your job will be to partner with them, support their craft, and hold the shared vision.

You don’t have to be and do everything but you must recognize the importance of this skill and delegate it accordingly.

It is the intentionality from which you lead your team that will set you apart from the rest.

My Challenge To You:

  • If you were being filmed at work, would be proud to watch the reruns?

  • Would others refer to you when they needed an example of someone who led with intention, clarity, and enthusiasm?

  • If not you, who is your “positivity creator”?

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