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Lessons in Leadership from TED LASSO....

.....A MUST WATCH for any CEO or TEAM LEAD.

Ask any marketer what is the most valuable form of marketing, the one that consumers trust above all others, inevitably it would be word of mouth. Hence, when my brother recommended watching Ted Lasso for lessons in leadership, although slightly phased, I dove straight in.

It is an American comedy, (a genre I typically do not gravitate towards) but it plays a great deal on British humour. Ted Lasso, a former successful American football coach from Kansas, is surprisingly head-hunted to take the role as the manager of AFC Richmond. An English Premier League footie team.

He confesses he knows absolutely nothing about the game. It is his openness and honesty that gets you captivated right from the start. Summed up by a very funny quote from Ted - "You could fill two internets with what I don't know about football!”

I have clearly defined the PLATO values I want to live, work and play as a Focused Founder.

They are as follows:

  • People Focused whilst relating.

  • Listen-Learn by example

  • Ambitious in goal setting

  • Transparent in Actions.

  • Optimistic in Attitude.

In order to really ‘walk the talk’: I asked myself when-how did Ted Lasso exemplify each of these values as an inspiring leader? I will now share with you habits, actions and scenarios Ted lead by, that I will reflect and learn from to help me become a better team-lead and CEO. I hope they help you to do the same also.

People Focused whilst Relating.

Ted understands that he needs to focus on nurturing and developing relationships with his people, his team, more so off the pitch than on it. He is a shining example of my phrase:

"Trust is a habit, it takes time, work and ,most importantly of all, consistency”.

This is exemplified by his informal daily "biscuits with the boss'' check-in meeting with Rebecca, his reluctant and very "cold" boss. A creative and very personal attempt to slowly crack her hard shell and encourage her to open up.

He embodies the virtue of understanding before being understood, he has no choice. He immediately identifies to succeed he is going to have to bring out the best in all the people he has the fortune to work with….and then let them perform by getting out of the way.

Listen and Learn by example

Ted has a genuine" Care to be Curious” attitude! He may not have all the answers, but he certainly has all the questions. Being so intensely focused on his people he asks the questions to encourage them to be more open, honest to engage. These are the fundamental foundations to build trust in teams.

I loved the spontaneous “Diamond Dog" ritual meetings, providing an opportunity for his “inner circle” to share any challenges they are facing and seek advice from their trusted colleagues.

Ambitious in Goal Setting

Ted is more of a life coach, than a football manager. His primary goal is for all of his people to their best selves. He is kind, optimistic and sees the best in everyone he encounters.

Promoting the once shy and hesitant “Nate the Great" from kitman to assistant coach. Giving the foul mouthed and ‘double-hard Roy Kent’ the opportunity to also coach, in a rather different, but also very valuable style. A style that compliments his own to support each and everyone of their players (and supporters) to hit ambitious goals. He understands the importance of embracing diversity in teams.

But I think the defining "symbol" of Ted's overarching ambitions goal is the "Believe" poster pinned up in the locker room (and bathroom mirror). Serving as a daily reminder for everyone to believe in themselves and their goals.

Transparent in Actions

Ted fully understands he is far from perfect. He is willing to apologise when the situation warrants and displays a mind blowing level of emotional intelligence and empathy.

This takes courage and strength in character to be vulnerable.

A quality and example to lead by.

  • Courage to face the media during the challenging times with honesty and sincerity.

  • Courage to interact daily with the local community…even if things are not going his or the team’s way.

  • Courage to be vulnerable and honest with his team about his own mental challenges

  • Courage to support Rebecca as she "sings" her father's eulogy.

Ted understands it is at times of struggle and adversity when people need to unite most. As a team, you have to have the bad days to appreciate the good ones.

Optimistic in Attitude

If you asked anyone what is the overriding defining quality of Ted Lasso... I would suspect that it would be his optimism. A level of optimism that is almost infectious

anyone and everyone..... including those that are watching at home on their sofa.

We are all human.... we make mistakes.... it is ok!

There is a saying that watching Ted Lasso reminds me of that I repeat to myself daily.

“We don't lose, we win or learn”.

Thank you, Jason Sudeikis, the co-orator and actor who plays Ted Lasso. You have been invited to my imaginary "dinner table" of living legends that I host in the theatre of my mind…I am sure you will provide some valuable insights and a healthy course of optimism.

Jason, should you ever decide to retrace your father’s Lithuanian roots…It would be a pleasure to ensure you not only visit, but truly experience this great country to full…we could all do with some of Ted’s optimism in this part of the world during these times.

Who knows that imaginary dinner party might become a reality one day!

Lets hope so…Let’s BELIEVE :)

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