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Values, Identity and How to Lasso the Transformative Power of Connection

It’s easy to lose perspective.

To get caught up in an echo chamber of negative beliefs.

We think we should be doing more, and achieving more, often comparing our success to that of people we read about or follow on social media.

Yet success for them may not be the same for us.

It may not match our values.

Reflect our unique identities.

In short, it’s not what’s truly important to and for us.

The problem is that we rarely take the time to examine what is.

We forget or don’t realize just how essential values and identity are to decisions we make and how much they impact our lives.

We go to schools, take jobs, and even develop relationships that may not feel quite right but seem like good decisions at the time.

Yet something always just seems a little bit off.

But we choose to ignore the lingering discomfort.

And without clear metrics to make a better determination the cycle continues.

On and on and on and...

The Lasso Effect and Life Outside the Comfort Zone

Last week I had the opportunity to take a closer look at my values, identity and other critical aspects related to my personal and professional leadership development.

I wanted to take my skills up a notch (learning/personal growth has always been a core value of mine) so, I got on a plane, and then into a mini-van full of strangers to participate in a highly experiential leadership training that pushed me out of my comfort zone.

While relationships are also high on my list of values my introversion has, at times gotten in the way.

However, I knew that to meet my goals, I’d have to push through my discomfort and manage these tendencies throughout the long days.

Understanding the why behind my motivation (thank you, Simon Sinek), my values, and how I viewed myself (identity) as well as how I wished others to see me were all big factors in this experience.

But if I’m being completely truthful, there was something else at play, something stronger…it was the Lasso Effect.

If you haven’t seen Ted Lasso or used it as a form of therapy during the COVID lockdown like I did :); Ted Lasso is the amiable US football coach turned British football (soccer) coach, who focuses on human connection, empathy, and empowerment to connect with his team and draw out the best in all of them.

My intense 4-day, experiential training was a lot like a dose of Ted.

The incredibly supportive environment helped me manage the four, long days of being “on” with few breaks and push past my discomfort...and I wasn’t alone.

In a room filled with people with unique identities, though admittedly quite similar values there wasn’t a person who went home without achieving some significant level of growth and gaining many new friends.

But what exactly is the Lasso effect and how do values and identities factor in…and more importantly how can you leverage it for your teams, relationships, and communities.

It begins with immense vulnerability, which on the show, is displayed by a very diverse group of players in an industry not necessarily known for its emotional openness.

Ted encourages his team to trust each other and the decisions they make and amplifies their voices to foster an environment of belief and collaboration.

He emphasizes that a person's value is not solely based on their skills or achievements but rather on their inherent worth as individuals.

The show tackles complex and difficult topics in an often-lighthearted way that at times masks the power behind the message.

They don’t shy away from societal issues such as sexual orientation, mental health, and systemic racism, because they know what matters to one, matters to all.

When one of the main characters, Sam Obisanya, has his restaurant vandalized after he bravely posts comments related to a fictitious Minister’s anti-immigration policy, his team shows up to support him and help clean and fix up the place.

It’s this continual emphasis on the power of connection, empathy, and support for individuals within a team that is core to the Lasso Effect.

It highlights that love can exist in various forms, including platonic relationships, friendships, and mentorships.

All of this is examined through the lens of leadership and what it means to be a leader (at all levels).

And while it takes some ability to suspend your beliefs since most of us don’t live and work in the land of Ted…a land which values the unique values and identities of the people around them, underneath it all lies the reality that when we’re we feel safe and can show up fully, while it doesn’t guarantee success …it makes it so much easier to achieve.

Living in the Land of Ted

1. Foster a culture of self-reflection: Encourage employees to examine their values and unique identities and understand how these factors influence their decisions and overall well-being.

2. Prioritize employee well-being: Recognize the importance of values and identity in employees' lives and provide resources and support to help them align their personal and professional goals.

3. Develop a supportive community: Promote a sense of belonging and collaboration within the organization, emphasizing the power of connection, empathy, and support among team members.

4. Create a safe environment: Encourage individuals to express their opinions and ideas and create an environment where everyone's voice is valued. Emphasize that a person's worth goes beyond their skills or achievements.

5. Address societal issues: Acknowledge and address societal challenges such as mental health, diversity, and inclusivity within the organization. Stand up for individuals who face discrimination or adversity and provide support to overcome obstacles.

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