I’m a huge fan of the TV show Ted Lasso. My wife and kids laugh at me as the show is constantly on in my office beside my desk while I work.
As a conservative estimate, I’ve probably seen the show’s first two seasons around 25 times.
To prove it’s more than just mindless comedic gold in the background, I thought I’d write a list of 10 Business Lessons directly from the show.
If you don’t know the show, Ted is an American College football coach selected to coach a professional soccer team in the English Premier League. He knows NOTHING about the sport and is often set up for failure.
1: Ted is crazy honest about his abilities.
Ted never lies about what he knows. He never pretends to know more about soccer. He is comfortable with being himself and relying on his team for their areas of expertise.
2: Ted is highly communicative (even when it hurts).
If you’ve never seen the show, you’ll have to take my word for this: Ted communicates.
He asks questions.
No matter the difficulty, Ted communicates.
3: Ted is incredibly humble yet makes hard decisions with authority.
Ted is decisive. When he identifies the right path forward, he takes it. These decisions sometimes have consequences, but he moves with a purpose and adapts as necessary. Ted does NOT suffer from analysis paralysis.
4: Ted is likable (even when people are hurtful to him).
Ted forgives those that hurt him. He is polite and engaging with those who mock him (and there are lots). Ted doesn’t take things personally and is always courteous and respectful. In the rare instance he needs to, he apologizes sincerely and works to make amends. Ted knows the value of building relationships.
5: Ted tries new things.
Ted is very often outside his comfort zone. He’s responsible for a professional team in a sport he has never played and about which he knows nothing. From learning new cultures to trying different foods, Ted is never scared of new experiences. Even more important, Ted isn’t fearful of change.
6: Ted knows the value of the team.
Ted focuses on the team’s creation and is passionate about helping them overcome personal and professional challenges, even though many would argue his domain should remain solely professional.
7: Ted knows losing is part of the game (and accepts it).
Ted doesn’t like losing and hates tying (if you know, you know). But: Ted keeps the “long game” in mind and never lets a loss (or relegation) get him down. One of my favorite parts is when Ted tells Sam (a young professional on the team) to be a goldfish because they only have three-second memories.
8: Ted empowers others.
Ted is the embodiment of effective stakeholder engagement. He is a master at empowering others and allowing them to grow into more prominent roles.
9: Ted gets out of his comfort zone to solve problems.
If there is one thing about the first two seasons that becomes crystal clear to the viewer, Ted is very often outside his comfort zone. Still vs. sparkling water. Tea vs. coffee. Terminologies and histories. It is all new to Ted, but he adapts and overcomes it.
10: Ted BELIEVES.
It’s right on the wall above his office (and on the mirror in his apartment’s bathroom: “BELIEVE.”
One word, but much more than a simple “Successories” poster – Ted references this word often. He also works to make others believe, which is one of the best things about his ability to lead.