As many of you know, I love to listen to books but sometimes while resting and recharging, I tune into movies or TV shows that provide inspiration in unconventional ways. One of those shows is “Ted Lasso,” about an American football coach who finds himself coaching a British soccer team, even though he knows next to nothing about the sport. As we watch Ted deal with the challenges of coaching, we realize this show is basically a master class in leadership. Here are just a few lessons from Ted Lasso:
- Relationships are in the details.
- Make it a point to know the names and birthdays of every member on your team.
- Create a cadence of accountability. (Ted does this with daily “biscuits with the boss” morning check-ins.)
- Don’t harp on the losses; use the progress of the people around you as a benchmark for success in what Ted calls “the infinite game.”
- Live like a goldfish. They have a 10-second memory; if you mess up, learn from it then quickly move on.
- Know that tackling a challenge is just like riding a horse. If you’re comfortable when you’re doing something difficult, you are probably doing it wrong.
- Leaders empower leaders, just like Ted does with often-overlooked “kit man” Nate Shelley who eventually becomes a member of the coaching team.
- Treat everyone with kindness. (Nate was not treated well by anyone before Ted’s arrival.)
- Optimism over everything.
- You must always believe in yourself.
- Even when the odds are stacked against you, find positivity in the situation and keep moving forward.
So, what’s the message? Leadership can – and should – be fun. There’s humor to be found in any situation. There’s positivity to be found in even the most negative of circumstances. There are insights to be gleaned from every member of your team, and there are advantages to gain from truly getting to know who you work with and showing them, like Ted does, just how much you care.
P.S. If you watch this show and there’s anything you’ve learned from Ted Lasso that I’ve left out, please let me know!
Gino Blefari is CEO of HomeServices of America.
This article is adapted from Blefari’s weekly, company-wide “Thoughts on Leadership” column from HomeServices of America.