14 Leadership Lessons We Can Learn from Ted Lasso

My colleague Selda and I love Ted Lasso. We consider this show as a masterclass for anyone who wants to become a great coach. Ted is not a Soccer expert but he is a magician in developing teams and people.

14 leadership lessons we can learn from Ted Lasso

Ted is not a Soccer expert but he is a magician in developing teams and people.

Ted Lasso: Courage is about being willing to try

1. Courage is about being willing to try

Ted is a great role model for “willingness to try” new things. He experiments with players changing positions, with new tactics, and with new coaches on his staff.

Ted Lasso: Be open! Good ideas come from anywhere

2. Be open! Good ideas come from anywhere

He let’s the person in charge of washing the jerseys make suggestions on tactics... that guy ultimately becomes a coach on his staff.

Ted Lasso: Pay attention to the details

3. Pay attention to the details

On multiple occasions, Ted demonstrates attention to detail. Be it specific things he remembers about people, how meticulous he is in designing the locker room, or the sweets he bakes for his boss.

Ted Lasso: Courageous leadership earns trust

4. Courageous leadership earns trust

Being an outsider to the Premier League and to the sport itself, Ted faces a lot of doubt initially. Neither his players nor his boss trust him. Eventually he wins all of them over through his courageous leadership.

Ted Lasso: Move forward from mistakes

5. Move forward from mistakes

Being courageous Ted makes several mistakes, but he moves forward. He also moves forward when others make mistakes. He does not spend a lot of time thinking about the past... instead he chooses to live and act in the present.

Ted Lasso: Empowerment breeds confidence

6. Empowerment breeds confidence

As a master coach - and also not really understanding the sport itself - Ted needs to empower others. He needs to empower his coaching staff and his players. This makes them more confident.

Ted Lasso: Vulnerability is a strength not a weakness

7. Vulnerability is a strength not a weakness

Brené Brown talks about this concept a lot. Ted Lasso lives vulnerability... although in some occasions he hides the things that hurt him the most, which results in him not being the best version of himself.

Ted Lasso: Tell the truth to those you lead

8. Tell the truth to those you lead

Other than his personal issues, Ted is very frank about the context the team is in. He is frank about his own shortcomings and about what the team can do better.

Ted Lasso: Know your purpose

9. Know your purpose

Ted realizes that nothing drives him more than the ability to develop his young players and help them a) become a great team and b) become grown and responsible men.

Ted Lasso: Apologize

10. Apologize

Such a simple thing in theory... so difficult in reality. Ted is never too shy or too proud to apologize. When he makes a mistake, he apologizes. This is one of the things that makes him very likable and respected.

Ted Lasso: Leaders don’t always have to be taskmasters

11. Leaders don’t always have to be taskmasters

Ted organizes things really well... but he doesn’t have to do it all the time.

Ted Lasso: Obstacles can be opportunities

12. Obstacles can be opportunities

Not knowing the sport is an obstacle... but also an opportunity. Not knowing the culture... likewise.

Ted Lasso: Everyone is worthy of your attention

13. Everyone is worthy of your attention

See the story about the locker room guy above...

Ted Lasso: Be a goldfish

14. Be a goldfish

I share this with my kids all the time. If you do something wrong do not let it define you. Forget it - like a goldfish - within 10 seconds. This allows you to succeed in the present.

And What Kind of Leader Are You?

At the Agile Academy, we deal a lot with the topic of Agile Leadership and leadership training. Especially in a VUCA-world it is important to be open to change as a leader and to adapt the form of leadership to the circumstances.

We have a number of articles on this, e.g. on the different leadership types (Expert, Achiever and Catalyst Leader) or the demands that are placed on leaders today.


Photo of Sohrab Salimi

Sohrab Salimi

Scrum Academy GmbH

Sohrab is a long-standing Certified Scrum Trainer (CST) and CEO of the Scrum Academy GmbH based in Cologne. He is a trained medical doctor and worked for Bain & Company as a consultant and as a CIO at SE-Consulting, among others, before founding the Scrum Academy. As a consultant and trainer, he has been supporting companies from a wide range of industries for over a decade on topics related to agile transformation, innovation and organizational development.

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