I conduct a leadership class where I facilitate a discussion on leadership traits and why they matter. I have done this countless times, with countless people. Each class comes up with several traits such as authenticity, empathy, positivity, resilience, humility. The qualities are always similar.
When we discuss why it matters, I can think of no better example than Ted Lasso, the successful and heartwarming Apple TV series that celebrates the transformative power of positive leadership. Ted Lasso, played by the talented Jason Sudeikis, stands out as a refreshing and inspiring character that captivates audiences with his unique approach to leadership. He is a beacon of hope and a model of effective leadership in the modern world full of cynicism.
We needed Ted.
As we navigate our own leadership journeys, the lessons learned from Ted Lasso can serve as a guiding light. He offers valuable lessons that transcend the fictional realm, demonstrating how a genuine and empathetic leader can transform individuals, teams, and even entire organizations. He teaches us how leaders can influence and transform lives. In other words, the profound impact that leadership has and why it matters.
Let’s look at the previous qualities I listed above, which I often hear in my training, and what we can learn from Ted Lasso to influence others and transform our own lives:
Authenticity and Empathy: One of the defining qualities of Ted Lasso's leadership style is his authenticity and genuine care for others. He approaches every interaction with empathy and seeks to understand the individuals he works with on a personal level. By taking the time to connect with his players and staff, Ted fosters a sense of trust and creates an environment where everyone feels valued. This highlights the importance of recognizing the humanity in others and the power of genuine connections in building strong teams.
Positive Reinforcement: Ted Lasso is a master of positive reinforcement. Instead of resorting to fear or criticism, he motivates his players by focusing on their strengths, highlighting their achievements, and building their confidence. By creating an environment that encourages growth and fosters a positive mindset, Ted empowers his team members to believe in themselves and reach their full potential. This teaches us the significance of providing constructive feedback and recognizing the efforts of those we lead.
Resilience and Optimism: In the face of adversity, Ted Lasso maintains an unwavering optimism and resilience. He faces challenges head-on with a smile on his face and encourages his team to do the same. By setting an example of unwavering positivity, he inspires his players to overcome their own obstacles and believe in the power of teamwork. Ted teaches us that leadership involves remaining steadfast during tough times and cultivating a positive environment that fuels determination and perseverance.
Team Building and Collaboration: Ted Lasso recognizes that the strength of a team lies not only in individual talent but also in collaboration and camaraderie. He emphasizes the importance of unity and encourages his players to support and uplift one another. Ted fosters an inclusive team culture – a psychological safe environment - where every member feels heard and valued, regardless of their role or abilities. This highlights the significance of building strong relationships within a team, as collective success often stems from a shared sense of purpose.
Humility and Continuous Learning: Despite being an outsider in the soccer world, Ted Lasso approaches his coaching role with humility and a willingness to learn. He acknowledges that he doesn't have all the answers and actively seeks feedback and advice from others. By embracing a growth mindset, Ted inspires his team to embrace learning opportunities and continuously improve. This teaches us that true leaders are not afraid to admit their limitations and are open to acquiring new knowledge and perspectives.
Through the charismatic and uplifting character of Ted Lasso, the series offers us a beautiful and profound exploration of leadership. By embodying qualities such as authenticity, empathy, positivity, resilience, collaboration, and humility, Ted Lasso demonstrates that leadership is about positively impacting the lives of those around us.
Let me say that again: Leadership is about positively impacting the lives of those around us.
And by leading with compassion, understanding, and unwavering optimism, we have the power to transform individuals, teams, and even ourselves.
For the present as well as the future Ted-fanatics out there: Be a goldfish.
- Brian Townsend, Eagle 6 Training