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Be a goldfish

A Moment of Clarity lesson: instead of constantly revisiting mistakes and embarrassing moments, learn from the mistakes and move on (Photograph supplied)

This Moment Of Clarity column is the fourth in our series dedicated to sharing Lessons from Lasso, teachings that resonated with me from the TV series of the same name.

I believe they may also apply to our own experiences in the groups and teams with which we engage.

Consider this a possible spoiler alert – but I have tried not to give too much of the plot away in case you haven’t yet watched the series.

A brief recap: the first lesson was Bake Cookies for Your Boss – Share Your Authentic Self; the second, Ted’s Diamond Dogs – Find Your Tribe, and the third, Don’t Stop Believing.

The Fourth Lesson is Be a Goldfish.

It is one of the most memorable pieces of advice from Ted, the principle character.

Goldfish are believed to have a memory span of just seconds. Ted encourages his team to have a short memory, and to avoid constantly revisiting mistakes and embarrassing moments. He also encourages them to learn from their mistakes.

In other words, use mistakes, failures and losses, to gain insights into how to perform better in the future.

Don’t dwell on the past, take new insights and understanding and move forward. While this advice may seem somewhat simplistic, it can also offer valuable lessons about resilience, adaptability and teamwork.

In our fast-paced world, setbacks are inevitable. Organisations and teams often face challenges, failures and disappointments.

Ted’s philosophy encourages individuals and groups to embrace resilience by quickly bouncing back from these setbacks. Instead of dwelling on past mistakes, the focus should be on learning from them and moving forward.

When a team adopts the Goldfish mindset, they become less likely to dwell on failures, which can be demotivating and counterproductive.

Instead, they use the experience to approach new challenges with a fresh perspective. This resilience becomes a vital tool for maintaining morale, productivity and overall success.

Organisations and teams that thrive are often those that can adapt to changing circumstances. The Goldfish philosophy promotes adaptability by encouraging individuals to let go of the past and embrace the present.

It allows these groups to better navigate transitions, whether it's implementing new technologies, responding to market shifts, or adjusting to internal changes.

Teams that collectively embody this philosophy are more likely to develop a cohesive and supportive culture.

Members support each other through challenges and setbacks. They don't dwell on individual mistakes or past conflicts; instead, they focus on moving forward together. This sense of unity can strengthen teamwork, boost morale, and improve overall performance.

Effective communication is crucial for any organisation or team. When teams adopt the Goldfish approach, they are more likely to maintain a positive and open line of communication.

Instead of holding onto grudges or dwelling on negativity, they focus on constructive dialogue and finding solutions.

In the workplace, issues are addressed promptly and efficiently, fostering a healthier and more productive work environment.

Open communication also leads to better problem-solving and innovation, as team members know they can share their ideas without fear of judgment.

Effective decision-making is a critical aspect of organisational success. Goldfish leaders and team members approach decision-making with a fresh perspective.

They are less likely to be influenced by past failures or biased by previous experiences, enabling them to make more rational and objective choices.

Much like a goldfish, swiftly adapting to its environment, the ability to make decisions quickly and confidently is an asset in a fast-paced business world.

Organisations that adopt this mindset are better equipped to make timely and effective decisions, leading to improved outcomes.

In conclusion, Ted Lasso's Be a Goldfish philosophy may have applied to a fictional football team, but its principles apply far beyond the sports arena.

This mindset encourages individuals and organisations to embrace resilience, adaptability, and teamwork.

These, in turn, can lead to greater success, improved mental health and a more positive and cohesive work culture.

Gayle Gorman is the CEO and a director of the Bermuda Clarity Institute. Learn more at www.bermudaclarityinstitute.com

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Published September 11, 2023 at 7:57 am (Updated September 11, 2023 at 7:35 am)

Be a goldfish

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