Dominating the Field: 10 Ted Lasso Leadership Lessons!

10 Ted Lasso Leadership Lessons: We, the viewing public, cannot wait until July 23, 2021, when Apple TV’s smash hit series Ted Lasso returns for a third season. As a result, we were late to Ted Lasso. Judging by its cover, we concluded that the football TV show was not for us.

We were completely wrong. Relationships, adversity, teams, professional paths, open dialogue, and more are all explored in this show. This show is great fun even if you know nothing about football (as Ted himself might say).

Due to his lack of Football experience, Ted is unable to provide authoritative guidance. Instead, he needs to make use of a wide variety of other abilities, methods, and strategies. Leaders can learn a lot from Ted.

Beautifully edited to give you a taste without giving too much away, this montage is a must-see even if you haven’t seen the film (though, heads-up, the rest of this article does describe specific plot points from Season 1).

10 Ted Lasso Leadership Lessons
10 Ted Lasso Leadership Lessons

1. Pay attention to everyone around you

Ted arrives at Richmond FC (Football Club) in the premiere and takes a stroll around the facility. On his way to the Director’s office, he stops to chat with young Nate, a kit man—one of the lowest-ranking positions in a football club. Nate can’t believe Ted actually spent time on this.

Then, in the third episode, Ted decides to reward the participants with presents. He doesn’t waste his money on flashy items, but rather on intangibles like his time, energy, and attention. He bestows upon each participant an item of personal significance.

The things we focus on say a lot about what we find important in life. There are a lot of things that compete for our attention, but how we choose to spend our time and effort is a powerful indicator of who we are to those around us.

2. Learn people’s names

In the very same episode, he finds out Nate’s full name. He doesn’t just hear it, he makes sure to remember it and he uses that knowledge, later on, to begin building their relationship. Nate is taken aback by Ted’s apparent concern that he remembers his name, which is out of his norm.

Our name is so fundamental to our identity that, when someone remembers it, we feel reassured that they have remembered us.

Knowing that most people aren’t able to recall specific names instantly, we infer that they must value us sufficiently to go out of their way to do something on our behalf.

This recent episode of the BBC Word of Mouth podcast features another motivational person, Michael Rosen if you still need convincing.

3. Invest in people instead of things

Ted, the owner of Richmond FC, begins his relationship with Rebecca (the club’s owner) in the first few episodes by facilitating meaningful encounters between the two of them.

He inquires as to which concert she attended first and which was her favorite. He’s eager to tell her more about himself and develop a close relationship with her.

In episode 2, Ted is given a care package by his son in the United States. Ted’s favorite peanut butter and a set of toy soldiers are included.

When one of the football players (let’s call him Sam) is having a tough time, Ted decides to hand over one of the soldiers to Sam as a way to prove to him just how valuable he is.

To show someone we care about them by giving them our time (and other valuables) is to show how much we want to grow closer to them. Doing so with no ulterior motive strengthens relationships because of the good character it reflects.

4. Use customs as a bonding tool

In the first few episodes, he establishes a tea and biscuits ritual with his manager. He regularly visits her with biscuits and a friendly word. There will be an instant connection between them because of this.

Then, in the sixth episode, he has the players get together for a ritual discussion of a treasured item. Ted is aware that sharing personal stories and showing emotion is a powerful way to bring the group together.

There is a rapid cultural anchoring of rituals. We are bound to one another by the habits we’ve developed together. As a matter of fact, they serve as a stage upon which to forge meaningful connections and accomplish other significant goals.

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5 Always put your family first

In the fifth episode, when his family arrives from the United States in the middle of a practice, he makes it clear to his team that he will be putting their needs behind his own.

Despite the fact that this is the norm, leaders sometimes fail to demonstrate it themselves. There are many demands on a leader’s time, so it’s all the more crucial that they be seen to prioritize their own family.

Everyone else in the company can move forward with the assurance that they are doing what is best for their loved ones.

6. Effective teams grow and prosper as one.

In the seventh episode, Ted decides to help Nate develop his talents by giving him a chance. Nate gives the pre-game speech before a crucial match. Ted recognizes that even though failure is possible, experimentation is essential to growth.

Episode 6 takes place during a match between Richmond FC and Manchester City, and he decides to bench one of his star players for unsportsmanlike behavior, despite the fact that doing so could potentially cost his team the game.

By doing so, he makes it abundantly clear that the team’s performance as a whole is far more crucial than any single victory.

It’s easy to forget that the most successful teams also value humility and hard work. That humility isn’t just a social virtue; it’s the fuel that powers each person’s ongoing development, no matter their existing set of skills.

A top performer who lacks humility will be overtaken by those who recognize they have much more to learn.

7. Create a positive impression on other people

In the fourth episode, Nate worries he has arrived too soon to meet Ted at the gala where Ted has invited him as his guest. Nate is made to feel more at ease after Ted makes a remark that helps normalize the situation. He changes the subject to solicit counsel from Nate.

Ted regularly discovers reasons to be thankful because he centers his thoughts on that emotion. The most important part is that he never fails to express his appreciation, which positively affects those in his immediate vicinity.

Ted’s outlook is predicated on the idea that every individual has inherent worth. This worth is not contingent on their present or future abilities, but on the people, they have the potential to become.

He maintains a strong sense of a person’s inherent value even when they make a fool of themselves. Because of this mindset, leaders can more easily create diverse, high-performing teams that everyone enjoys being a part of.

8. Always be receptive to new suggestions

In episode three’s Nate comes up with a strategy, but Ted may dismiss it as juvenile and inexperienced. Instead, Ted urges him to share, which proves to be a brilliant move. Once again, Ted has put his pride aside.

Ted, being a coach, knows the importance of having a fair playing field (both metaphorically and literally). Therefore, he understands that putting meaningless barriers in the way of people’s ideas is foolish (and divisive).

If you don’t pay attention to someone because of their age or social standing, you’re throwing away an opportunity to learn from them and damaging their confidence in speaking up.

9. Revert to your childlike ways and have fun

In episode three, the team goes to a nearby school and sets up a challenge for the kids to complete on the playground. Ted may relax now that his team has everything under control. Instead, he recognizes the importance of play and opts to take part.

He has dinner at an Indian restaurant with a journalist in the same episode. He’s in the mood to try new things, so he lets the waiter pick the menu and the heat level. When he hears about an opportunity, he jumps at it.

When we adopt a playful perspective, we can relax and enjoy the ride rather than fixate on getting somewhere specific. We are far more imaginative and receptive to unexpected value when we are in a playful mood.

The most important lessons and the strongest bonds are forged through play. Without fun, leadership is just management.

10. Be human and humble; don’t take yourself too seriously

He constantly makes jokes about himself that are meant to be self-deprecating. His underlying message is “I’m human, I’m vulnerable, and it’s all right.” By freely admitting his own shortcomings, he emphasizes the importance of doing the right thing over being right.

When he’s talking to the press before the team goes to play at Everton, he openly admits to not knowing about relegation. The reporter who was out for blood ends up warming up to him after being disarmed by his forthrightness about his flaws.

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