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Professional success

Leadership lessons from Ted Lasso

TV Character Tedd Lasso of Apple TV pointing at someone with a happy expression AppleTV showcases optimism, kindness, and leadership in Ted Lasso.

This article contains Ted Lasso Season 1 spoilers. I highly recommend watching the show before reading on.

Launching on AppleTV in August 2020, Ted Lasso won over millions of hearts through the past year. In what was a difficult year for many of us due to the global pandemic, Coach Lasso’s brilliant optimism, humor, and kindness gave us something to smile about.

Coach Lasso may know little about soccer, but he has a lot of unconventional wisdom to offer for navigating life, especially at work. There are many leadership tips to pick up from Coach Ted Lasso, but here are only a few lessons.

Lead with empathy

Lasso takes the time to listen to people around him and always tries to put himself in their shoes to fully understand them and figure out how he can get the best out of them. As a result, each person he interacts with is left feeling cared for and heard.

Try not to take it personally

As you can imagine, Lasso’s credibility and coaching methods were subject to immediate and ongoing judgment, including unfavorable name-calling from the media, public, and even his own players. Lasso shows us how to stay grounded in who you are and your leadership philosophies despite overwhelming scrutiny.

Optimism is infectious

Ted Lasso is the eternal optimist, and this creates a mixture of first impressions. Not everybody knows how to take Lasso’s almost over-the-top enthusiasm and positivity, but despite their initial resistance, they inevitably develop a soft spot for him. Lasso’s “can-do” attitude creates a ripple effect that raises the collective vibration around him.

Humor cuts through the tension

After all, the show is a comedy, yet there is something to be said about injecting humor into a high-pressure environment at the right time, helping to ease the tension and remind players to relax and enjoy their work.

Growth from one job might play out in your next one

Growth is hard and can even be painful. Sometimes, the space you need to grow requires a change of environment — whether to break old habits or find a new opportunity. Lasso went from coaching division 2 American football to coaching a professional soccer team in England, bringing with him the same principles but applying them differently.

Believe

Self-doubt can be crippling, especially when the odds seem stacked against us. It can seem impossible for us to achieve our goals if we don’t believe we are either capable or deserving of achieving them. Ted Lasso teaches us that we must believe to achieve and remember to have as much fun as possible on the journey.


I think what it comes down to is Ted Lasso treats each person with kindness, has confidence in who he is, and refuses to sweat the small stuff. How can you bring a little of Ted Lasso into your daily work?

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