The 5 Actions I have Seen Ted Lasso Do to Create Strong Leadership

Be careful – there are spoilers ahead if you are watching the series.

My wife gets annoyed when I watch TV shows or movies because I tend to write a lot down and think of ways to manage the content into leadership training or a bit of informative information. For example, one of my favorite TV series shows is Ted Lasso(AppleTV). In watching the show, I have identified many things Ted does or how he acts and reacts to the situation in his crazy job position that influences people.

Probably my biggest hobby is writing about leadership. I focus on things I struggle with or how I see others struggle in their approach to leading others. So I use Ted Lasso as a cheat sheet to develop information on becoming a good leader.

Just an FYI, I am referring to the show names, not real names.

If you’re looking for examples of how leaders behave—or should behave—Ted Lasso is perfect. Here are five actions I have identified where Mr. Lasso and his partners remind us of the way leaders should act:

BE CURIOUS, NOT JUDGMENTAL

This is something I sometimes struggle with. In a game of darts, Ted Lasso faces off against his boss’s ex-husband, billionaire Rupert Mannion. Mr. Mannion lost ownership of his beloved soccer club, Richmond AFC, in a divorce settlement with his ex-wife, Rebecca Welton. The billionaire challenges Ted to a game of darts and decides to wager. Here is how it goes, If Mannion wins, he can pick the player lineups for the season’s last two games. If Ted wins, Mannion is banned from the owner’s box, giving Ted’s boss relief from his harassment. While throwing the darts, Ted refers to a Walt Whitman quote, “Be curious, not judgmental.” He did this to explain why curiosity is more effective than closed-minded judgments. Had Mannion asked a question, such as, “Have you played many darts?” he would have learned that Lasso was a Dart ace.

BENCH THE BAD ACTORS 

Jamie Tartt, Richmond AFC’s star striker, is on loan to Richmond AFC from another club. Tartt is a ball hog on the field. He refuses to pass to other players, even when they have a better shot. He is a relentless narcissist who bullies and taunts his teammates off the field. Because of his lousy behavior, Ted decides to bench during the first half of an important game. I know you are thinking of the high risk of loss that now exists. However, with their coach’s encouragement, the team adapts and pulls out a win. When team members don’t follow the rules or meet expectations, even if they’re rock-star performers, it’s time for a change. Of course, these moves can result in negative consequences. However, they also result in inv higher employee morale.

ADMIT WHEN YOU’RE WRONG—AND apologies

Welton hired Ted Lasso, who had no soccer experience. Instead, he coached American football for a small college. She wanted the club to fail and make her ex-husband unhappy. But Ted Lasso’s wisdom, optimism, and commitment to changing everyone he meets softens hearts and wins over many of his critics. Throughout the season, Welton realizes how she has been changed. Finally, she confesses to Ted that she set him up to fail and apologizes. Ted Lasso forgives her, creating a more profound friendship and commitment to improving the team.

BELIEVE

Belief is a single word emblazoned on a yellow sign hung with duct tape over the coaches’ office. These words show the power of belief in oneself, the team, belief in ideals, and belief in the team’s goals. Belief doesn’t have to be perfect—it just has to exist.

KINDNESS MATTERS  

I’ve noticed in many episodes is that “kindness ” is a potent tool. Good things exist when we are kind and respectful to employees. Even when we need to hold them accountable, we must respect them and influence the change. The brutal soccer legend, Roy Kent, had a great way of influencing others through his commitment and kindness to the team players. Suppose you focus on Lesley Higgins and recognize his commitment to his family and the team. In that case, you will recognize his robust approach to handling different conversations and situations in a kind and effective manner. You should also look at Coach Beard, Lasso’s assistant coach, and watch how he successfully manages the value of wise and steadfast friends.

Denis is an Executive Director for the John Maxwell Group and is a certified leadership coach, trainer, keynote speaker, and DISC Behaviorial Consultant. Denis is a senior safety professional and a strong, passionate influential person. He is committed to teaching and communicating practical and relevant influencing techniques.  His unique, passionate, and emotionally driven style resonates with many, creating a desire to become an effective leader. 

You can contact Denis at dbaker@leaderinfluence.net for information on coaching, leadership, team and culture training, DISC Behavioral consulting, or to be an inspirational speaker at your next event.

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