The ‘Ted Lasso’ Way

The Ted Lasso Way

I have become a little obsessed with this person, and it turns out I’m not the only one!

When delivering leadership programmes I always ask the learners for a famous leader (real or fictious) that inspires them. There are the obvious names that often come up such as the Obamas, Nelson Madela, Sir Alex Ferguson or Professor McGonagall and rightly so. However, there is one name that has started to repeatedly pop up time and time again. Enter Ted Lasso.

Yes, he is a made up soccer coach of the fictious Richmond FC from the hit Apple TV show of the same name, but there is something about his leadership that seems to inspire many. There’s a certain passion and loyalty that is stirred up when our learners explain why they have picked the American.

This got me thinking, there must be some key learns from Ted Lasso we could share with our network. So let’s take a deeper look at what we can learn from the great coach himself:

Here are our my five management lessons from Ted Lasso:

  1. Relationships matter: Ted is all about having meaningful relationships with his key stakeholders. Whether that is his boss, his coaching staff, the players, the fans, external stakeholders (like the press) and even competitors. He puts a real emphasis on the importance of building strong relationships. He does this by using emotional intelligence and taking the time to understand each person’s strengths, weaknesses, and motivators. We also see how his patience pays dividends throughout the series.
  2. Be vulnerable: Some leaders feel they have to be superhuman to be effective. Ted doesn’t. In fact, he isn’t afraid to admit his mistakes or seek help from others. According to DDI’s 2023 Global Leadership Forecast¹, employees are 5.3 times more likely to trust their leaders if they regularly show vulnerability. Coach Lasso shows vulnerability by regularly opening up, which allows his stakeholders to relate to him better. This approach fosters a culture of psychological safety, where individuals feel comfortable admitting their own mistakes and seeking assistance when needed.
  3. Believe in others: A key motto throughout the series is ‘Believe’. Ted demonstrates this from the offset, believing and trusting his team members to perform their roles effectively. He doesn’t try to micro-manage, rather sees the capabilities within the people around him and provides them with opportunities to grow. By believing and empowering others, he encourages personal development and allows the team to flourish.
  4. Create an inclusive and diverse culture: Ted values inclusivity and diversity within the team. He creates an environment where everyone feels welcome and respected, regardless of their background or abilities. According to McKinsey² organisations that identify as more diverse and inclusive are 35% more likely to outperform their competitors, and this is a lot easier to create with leaders who really buy into it. Furthermore, it is what most of the young workforce want, as Deloitte³ found 74% of millennial employees believe their organisation is more innovative when it has a culture of inclusion, and 47% actively look for diversity and inclusion when sizing up potential employers.
  5. Lead by example and with authenticity: Ted Lasso is his true self. His values and personality are easy for everyone to see. No politics or ‘playing the game,’ Ted shows his true self and what he stands for. He demonstrates hard work, a positive attitude and determination, motivating his team members to follow suit. He remains optimistic, regardless of failures, challenges or setbacks. This ‘unreasonable positivity’ is infectious and creates a more supportive and motivated environment, allowing individuals to not only perform at their best but enjoy and thrive at their place of work.

The Ted Lasso way might well be fictitious, but if he keeps being talked about in our current leadership programmes with such high regards, we might just have to create a Ted Lasso themed programme. I know I wouldn’t need much convincing!

If you enjoyed this blog, then feel free to drop me a message on LinkedIn, you can also find out more about our leadership programmes that can help you learn or develop these top skills by clicking here.

 

¹DDI:  Global Leadership Forecast research

² McKinsey: How diversity, equity, and inclusion matter article

³ Deloitte: The Radical Transformation of Diversity and Inclusion research

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