Why is work constantly about tasks?

Ted Bauer
3 min readFeb 26, 2022

I need you to pay attention to this part of this article:

On the day I visited the Spurs, they were going to look at tape because they had lost the day before. What Popovich put on the screen wasn’t tape from the game, it was a CNN documentary about the Civil Rights Voting Act of 1963. He created a discussion around that. He was genuinely curious about what the players thought. Would you have stood up during that time? What did your grandparents do? That sense of being connected and curious and engaged with not just the job but with the person is what really happens across these cultures. It’s not magic. It’s sending a clear, targeted signal that we are connected.

Let’s unpack.

What’s the article?

It’s about “unlocking the secret of successful work cultures.” Admittedly most articles with that title are complete bullshit.

Why this part?

So many reasons.

I was working at ESPN in 2008. Regardless of your specific political bent, it was a big year politically. We elected an African-American. That had never happened before. It was so hard, for a variety of reasons, to discuss this type of stuff in a work setting. It was always about the tasks and the deliverables.



Ted Bauer

Mostly write about work, leadership, friendship, masculinity, male infertility, and some other stuff along the way. It's a pleasure to be here.