Ted Lasso, based off a seven-year-old ad campaign starring Jason Sudeikis, has a simple, yet silly, premise—take an American football coach who knows nothing about soccer and have him coach English “football” for a Premier League team.
In the show, Ted encounters his share of difficult moments. As you could expect, the moment he arrived in England, his team, owner, and their fans were all ready to write him off.
But in one seminal scene, he successfully hustles the primary villain in a game of darts as he opines about how, throughout his life, people underestimated him simply because of their first impressions. And that used to bother him. But then he learned an important truth.
Right before tossing the game-winning darts, he states his own credo borrowed from Walt Whitman: “Be curious. Not judgmental.”
As marketers, we’re bombarded with ideas—pitches, campaigns, headlines. We have to be judgmental about those ideas to create anything, and it’s easy to immediately dismiss suggestions based on a glance with “I’ve tried that before” or “no way is that going to work because X, Y, or Z.”
But try to apply the Ted Lasso logic: Be curious. Not judgmental. Instead of shooting down an idea that fails to inspire you immediately, stay curious and set it aside. Replace your “no” bin with a “maybe” bin.
Then, after some time, take a second look at your “maybe” bin, and see if the idea has grown on you.
Many won’t, and you’ll still say “no” to those ideas. But “no” is okay! It’s not about NOT saying "no," it's about giving yourself time to be curious about an idea. Because sometimes, a “maybe” will turn into a “yes” and you’ll have an opportunity you would’ve otherwise missed.
So the next time you hear a silly idea—like hiring an American football coach to run your English "football" team—take a moment. Say “maybe” instead of “no.” Be curious, not judgmental. Be like Ted Lasso.
~Jeff, and the Team at Clique Studios