Entrepreneurs

Lessons from Ted Lasso on leadership


5 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


I have always believed that film and television provide very good lessons for entrepreneurs, both in our personal and professional environments. When I saw the new Apple TV Plus series , Ted Lasso , it immediately made me want to write about it. It is a comedy produced by and starring Jason Sudeikis ( Saturday Night Live ), whose plot revolves around Ted, a football coach who is invited to England to coach a Premier League team. In addition to being a light and funny story (which will be liked by fans and not soccer fans), each episode has elements that we can take up for the leadership of our companies and projects. These were the ones I found:

1. You have to enjoy the process

For Ted, the objective is not to win (something that, clearly, is not well seen among managers), but to enjoy each training session, each game, each defeat and each triumph. If the only mission of your business is to make money and all efforts are aimed at it, it is likely that you will not be successful.

2. Motivation changes from person to person

Ted knows that Jamie (the young star) doesn’t respond to the same motivators as Roy (the veteran). He knows each of his players and knows what moves them. Not all employees are motivated by money or position, there are those who prefer greater freedom, others greater decision-making capacity. If you want to keep everyone on your team motivated, identify the interests of each one.

Image: via GIPHY

3. Learn to listen to EVERYONE

Nathan is the team’s water carrier, but he has very interesting suggestions on how to work with the players, as well as proposals for plays. Ted not only listens to you, but values your opinion and executes your recommendations. This can happen in your company: you never know where the best ideas can come from.

4. In a team, the “I” does not exist

Great teams are not made of a few stars, but of groups of people who know how to trust each other. Jamie is a great player, yet he is always looking for personal glory. When Ted gets her to understand, not only does his vision change, he even wins the victory.

5. Humility gives you greatness

Ted arrives in England without understanding about soccer and its rules. This generates a lot of criticism from his team and the media. But his attitude is never arrogant, he knows his limitations and understands that he must seek the support of others. As an entrepreneur, you will never be an expert on all issues, don’t pretend that you can solve everything alone; lean on those who know about it.

6. Look for the meeting points between your team

Before the arrival of Ted, the AFC Richmond had several disagreements between its members. Little by little, Ted finds points where everyone feels identified and gets to know each other better. This happens in all teams: there are people who get along, and others who don’t, but a good leader manages to minimize differences and enhance coincidences.

Image: via GIPHY

7. The key is in the people

Ultimately, the reason Ted becomes a loved and respected leader is because his true interest is in the well-being of the people, and that includes everything from the principal, to the assistant, and every single player. When an entrepreneur understands this is when he succeeds.

8. New talents + experience

Young players infuse AFC Richmond with vitality and energy; while the “veterans”, the experience. Try to put together a team that can give you both: young people learn a lot from the more experienced and vice versa.

9. Surround yourself with people who are not afraid to tell you the truth

When Ted is wrong, his assistant isn’t afraid to confront him and give his opinion. Don’t add people to your team who always tell you what you want to hear; look for people who complement you, add value and are honest with you.

10. Never underestimate the element of surprise

When AFC Richmond takes on the far superior Manchester City, Ted uses several surprise plays to confuse them and lose their confidence. Your best tool as an entrepreneur to face the big competitors is to innovate, to try different things from what others do. By imitating what is already being done, you will get nowhere.

11. Bonus: Create

From the first day Ted has been a coach, a sign with the word ” Believe ” hangs in the locker room. This is a motivating message for everyone on your team: When there is self confidence, there is no impossible.

Image: via GIPHY


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