I have just finished watching the first series of Ted Lasso and am now deep into season two. It is one good TV show.
Ted is a likeable (think Ned Flanders) character who is sees the best in everything and everyone.
The plot follows his journey from a college-level American football coach who is unexpectedly recruited to lead an English Premier League football side, despite having no experience in the sport.
I love the humour, characters and storyline. There are plenty of laughs around the culture differences between US and UK and Ted’s crazy mannerisms . But much more than the laughs is how the Ted Lasso character, played by Jason Sudeikis, delivers a leadership masterclass.
At his core he is a process first person and lets everyone know that.
“For me, success is not about the wins and losses. It’s about helping these young fellas be the best versions of themselves on and off the field.“
Below are a selection of the Leadership lessons that have struck me so far. Please be aware that there maybe a little colourful language in the in the videos below.
BE A GOLDFISH
Which is the best animal to embody when you make a mistake? The one with a memory that lasts 10 seconds, of course. Next time you find your past taking control … be a goldfish.
Be Curious: Ted is one curious guy. He doesn’t have all the answers, but he has all the questions. He’s never coached soccer and he’s never lived in England, but he learns through questions. He also believes that people who aren’t curious underestimate him, to their detriment. Being curious and asking questions, enables us to understand more, assume less, learn more, judge less, build stronger relationships and help others learn.
TELL THE TRUTH TO THOSE YOU LEAD
From the start of the show it is clear that Ted isnt a fan of uncomfortable conversations. But despite his discomfort, he still finds the courage to have the crucial conversations anyway, because he knows they will improve the individual and serve the culture of the team.
MAKE THE TOUGH CALLS: Ted isn’t afraid to make the tough (and unpopular) calls in pursuit of his mission to develop people and the team. After a few conversations that fall on deaf ears, he makes his point by pulling the star goal-scoring player from the game and telling him a few home truths. Leaders who tolerate individual behaviours at the expense of the team don’t build cohesive and high-functioning teams that deliver results.
NOBODY IS BIGGER THAN THE TEAM
Coaching a team of high performers will likely mean managing large egos and resolving personality conflicts. Lasso tirelessly communicates his message that the team comes first, no matter your talent or superstar status.
Watching Lasso will make you laugh, learn, and most of all think how you can adopt some of his quirky behaviours into your own leadership style.
Ted Lasso Quotes
“You could fill two internets with what I don’t know about football.”
“Taking on a challenge is a lot like riding a horse, isn’t it? If you’re comfortable while you’re doing it, you’re probably doing it wrong.”
“I do love a locker room. It smells like potential.”
“If that’s a joke, I love it. If not, can’t wait to unpack that with you later.”
“You know what the happiest animal on Earth is? It’s a goldfish. You know why? It’s got a 10-second memory.”
“I think that you might be so sure that you’re one in a million, that sometimes you forget that out there you’re just one in 11.”
“Your body is like day-old rice. If it ain’t warmed up properly, something real bad could happen.”
“There’s two buttons I never like to hit: that’s panic and snooze.”
“I believe in Communism. Rom-communism, that is. If Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan can go through some heartfelt struggles and still end up happy, then so can we.”
“If God would have wanted games to end in a tie, she wouldn’t have invented numbers.”