My husband and I often choose to watch anything that doesn’t involve heavy concentration after a long day’s work to disconnect – whether that’s the likes of Friends (that we have watched together over 6 times), or dare I say, it Squid game?

Rasha Hamzeh, Director of Strategic Marketing Investments at OMD UAE

Our next pick was Ted Lasso, a sports comedy drama series on Apple TV Plus.

An American football coach that travels to England to manage a professional soccer team. We ended up binge watching this series and falling in love with the characters and couldn’t help but pick out some of the leadership lessons that this series portrayed that can be applied to our everyday life.

If you haven’t watched it yet, my article has a lot of spoilers, so you have been warned!

  1. As a leader, the actual knowledge in your profession isn’t as valuable as your leadership skills and EQ.

Just as how Ted Lasso didn’t have experience in soccer, he didn’t even know what the offside rule was (who can blame him, I gave up trying to comprehend it as well). But what he does know is how to:

– Recruit and empower a diverse team and know how to play around the strengths and weaknesses of the team (the Roy Kent/Sam Obisanya/Jamie Tart dynamic).

– Believe in them and make them believe in themselves, breeding empowerment, breeding ‘confidence, or as ted puts it ‘I believe in hope, I believe in believe”

– Empower and listen to them as their ideas can come from anyone and anywhere, just as how ideas from ‘Nate the Great’, (the ridiculed kitman that was promoted to first team coach), helped bring on board team success in a couple of games.

– Know when something is just not working- This was manifested in two incidents; Ted’s relationship that came into realization that trying to fix his relationship will not be the best solution and ultimately reaching to the belief that his relationship had run its course and that he is not quitting but he is letting go. The second was around captain Roy Kent’s declining performance as a player and realizing that his talent can be used elsewhere for a better purpose and coaching the team.

2) The importance of empathy, the base that Ted Lasso’s character was built upon

– Taking genuine interest in your team- the way he cheered up Sam Obisanya when he was feeling homesick with candy from his hometown.

– The importance of being genuine and positive and investing in relationships without expecting anything in return which was demonstrated by the daily shortbread biscuits that Ted would personally bake and bring Rebecca everyday relentlessly. 

3) Making tough Decisions when needed

– Counteracting negativity at all costs. Jamie Tartt’s negativity was affecting the whole team. Despite him being the only star in the team, that didn’t stop Ted from benching him and bringing on board his character’s opposite Dani Rojas with his nauseous positivity and his famous line ‘Football is life’ making sure that everyone knows there is nobody bigger than the team.

4) Don’t take yourself too seriously

– Despite being set up for failure, despite everyone’s criticism and the ‘&anker’ chants, this did not bring Ted down. On the contrary it pushed him to do better.

– Don’t be too hard on yourself with the ‘be a goldfish’ motto and not to dwell on small losses or the past. A soon to be staple in any mentorship/coaching manual no doubt!

– Never give up on the people around you. Ted kept on being positive and nice to everyone around him despite their ill intentions, the lack of recognition and appreciation for his efforts and the continuous sabotage.

– Winning and losing is not everything and you should measure success holistically. Ted’s success was focused on getting the best out of every team member, which is why it is as important to celebrate the success of others even at your own expense. When we saw Ted congratulate Jamie Tartt for the goal that ended up relegating Ted team’s from the PL. We should all assume good Intent and role model compassion.

5) Celebrate Success

– I cannot stress this point enough. Always finding a reason to celebrate, no matter how small. There are many instances of this in this series. Be it celebrating a player’s birthday immediately after a game loss, or a Karaoke night to celebrate a team victory, people need to know that you appreciate them, and that you truly mean it.

These are just some of the lessons that I have taken from Ted Lasso. Not forgetting the overarching theme of excessive positivity and kindness. I would love to hear you add to the list and I cannot wait for the 3rd season! So how can you adapt a bit of Ted Lasso into your daily life? The workplace would certainly be a happier and more effective place to be.