What Can Carlton “Lassie” Lassiter Teach Us About Leadership?

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(photo courtesy of USA Network)

If you guys are like me, you enjoy the USA comedy show Psych. If you’re not – well – you’re missing out. This is the final of three posts on leadership in Psych.

Detective Carlton “Lassie” Lassiter is the good guy who is kind of a bad guy sometimes. He is a thorn in the side of Shawn Spencer, psychic (but secretly not psychic) protagonist. Here’s how:

Shawn is a person who constructs lofty, wild pictures. He is aloof and – while he often is right and can solve the mystery with his gifts – he needs grounding. Gus, Shawn’s best friend, is excellent at pushing back and making Shawn think more about what he is positing. Lassie, on the other hand, is a complete rationalist. He would rather take the path of least resistance to make something happen. Lassie is a no-nonsense person (although not as much as much over time if you really follow the show) and he loves facts. In fact, he loves facts so much, I will repeat it again. Lassie loves his facts.

Every leader needs a Lassie. If you are a retail manager, Lassie is the guy making your price tags. If you’re a football coach, Lassie is your statistician or a coordinator. If you are a fashion design, Lassie is your guy to tell you what materials you need. You get the picture. Every leader needs a rational component to their game or else the game will fail miserably.

Do you have a Lassie in your professional life? How are you able to remain grounded in strong factual and rational thought while also pursuing lofty dreams of grandeur and – dare we say it – idealism?

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