Leadership lessons from Ted Lasso

Ted Lasso is a TV series that premiers on Apple TV+. It is a comedy series about an American football coach being recruited to coach premier league soccer team in England. I completed the season 1 recently and found that it has loads of leadership lessons to learn from the character Ted Lasso.

I have compiled a list of takeaways for a leader to learn from the show and here we go.

A great leader need not be a subject matter expert

Ted knows little about soccer but he knows what makes a great team and how to bring the best out of them. He believes football is a football ⚽️ irrespective of what you call or where you play and he knows how to build a winning team.

Here’s my take on it from my personal experience:

When I joined my current company 3 years back, I got a similar advice my boss.

“Don’t let the fact that you not being a domain expert affects you in leading the team.”

The best practical advise I got from my boss 🙂

I used to lead a team by being an expert in the domain and technology but when I joined my current company in 2018, I was managing a team who are more talented and knew more than what I knew. This made me to choose between one of the two managerial styles – Specialist and Generalist. I adopted the generalist style and started to add value to the company by enabling things to happen rather than doing it by myself.

This is what Ted does in the show. He spends time with the individuals, earns trust, builds relationship and brings out the best of each team player.

Believe in Believe

Ted put up a handwritten sign that says “Believe” over the door to his office. Belief brings confidence so Ted enables his team to believe in themselves that helps great things to occur.

I believe in Hope, I believe in Believe.

Ted Lasso.

Be curious; Not judgemental

The episode 8 of season 1 has one my favourite scenes where Ted was challenged to play darts at a local pub and when he is about to win, he explains why one needs to be curious than being judgemental.

The underlying message says if you are judgemental, you come to conclusions and may underestimate a person or a situation, but if you are curious, you’ll ask questions and try to learn and act better. Take a look at this scene.

This reminds me of the book I read – Mindset by Carol S. Dweck. She suggest a similar mentality as well. The author says people with growth mindset performs better than the people with fixed mindset.

These are the top 3 leadership lessons that I learnt from Ted Lasso. Thank you for reading, let me know what is your take on it.

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