Leadership Lessons with Ted

If you haven’t yet checked out the comedic stylings of Jason Sudekis and company in the incredible show, Ted Lasso, please stop everything and watch! Not only has this show provided “spit milk through your nose” level laughter, but there are also some serious takeaways for leaders. While Brené Brown cataloged quite a bit in her Unlocking Us Interview, here are just a few lessons I learned from Ted.

Ted: I’m not exactly sure what y’all’s smallest unit of measurement is over here, but that’s about how much headway I made.

Change takes time and often the teeniest steps feel laborious. Being a change maker can’t always been measured in immediate results. Nuance matters.

Hey, takin’ on a challenge is a lot like ridin’ a horse. If you’re comfortable while you’re doin’ it, you’re probably doin’ it wrong.

Change and challenge force us to lean into situations of discomfort. While we we want to provide spaces for psychological safety, we have to model healthy risks for our teams and for our students. I had a former boss once give me counsel, “if you’ve made everyone happy, you’re doing it wrong.”

You beating yourself up is like Woody Allen playing the clarinet. I don’t want to hear it.

Being the leader can be lonely and hard. While we make concerted efforts to provide affirmation and emotional support for our teachers and students, it is not a regular part of our receiving list. I also tend to be someone who wears my heart on the outside–I consider this a positive trait, but it does mean that I might self-flagellate just a little more than the next gal. Beating ourselves up doesn’t help us move forward.

for the love of meghan markle, do not blow that whistle again…

The one gave me quite the chuckle, but…as leaders we need to know when to call uncle. If we keep blowing our whistle and not getting results, we need to look for a new path, a fresh perspective, or a new set of rules.

be curious, not judgmental…ted lasso or maybe walt whitman?!

They say this quote is attributed to Walt Whitman, but I’ll happily attach it to Ted. Regardless, this is perhaps the most profound scene in the first season of the series. I won’t give it away because I really think you should watch the show. (If you must google-it’s the darts scene.) It is so easy to be quick to judge, no matter the scenario, but I’ve found that curiosity makes fantastic inroads for understanding another person or tackling a problem. Leadership + Design uses the phrase ‘be more curious than certain’ which I steal regularly. I am not the expert, but I will always be in pursuit of learning.

Ted Lasso has a persistent optimism that is both realistic and visionary. If our circumstances in the last eight months have taught us nothing (ha!), they have certainly taught us that optimism that is balanced with practicality and curiosity is going to get us through these turbulent times. Oh, and shortbread doesn’t hurt either.

Ted Lasso' Renewed for Season 2 at Apple TV+ — Jason Sudeikis Comedy |  TVLine
Ted has your back.

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