Beyond the Pitch: 4 Key Leadership Insights from Ted Lasso

Leadership | Personal Development

Ted Lasso, the feel-good TV show that has captured the hearts of audiences around the world is more than just a show about football or as we say in the US, “soccer.” If you’ve had the opportunity to immerse yourself into the first two seasons of the series, you already understand why this story about leadership, relationships, and personal growth has captured so many hearts worldwide and why the upcoming season is so highly anticipated.

In the show, Jason Sudeikis plays an American football coach put in charge of an English Premier League football (soccer) club despite his limited knowledge of the sport. Beyond the characters, humor, and stories, the series provides a much-needed dose of optimism, making viewers both laugh and cry in the best possible way. Ted Lasso imparts numerous life lessons, such as his beliefs regarding ghosts:

Rebecca: "Oh, do you believe in ghosts, Ted?”
Ted: “I do. But more importantly, I believe they need to believe in themselves.”

What distinguishes Ted Lasso from other feel-good comedies and why Utah Jazz head coach, Quin Snyder, suggests that “@Tedlasso should be required viewing for coaches,” is the masterclass in leadership that it provides in each episode.

In anticipation of season 3, our team is excited to share some of Ted Lassos most valuable leadership insights and quotes from the show.


1. Focus on Results, Process, Relationships:

“We can’t really be good partners unless we get to know each other, right?”

Ted understands the importance of relationships and their impact on success. Throughout the first season, we see Ted make repeated attempts to forge a healthy work relationship with the team owner, Rebecca. He brings her homemade cookies each week and calls their check-in’s “biscuits with the boss.” Ted shows us that the hidden key to success in any organization is balancing a fine equilibrium of results, process, and relationships. You cannot successfully achieve one without also focusing time and energy on the other two.

2. Celebrate Accomplishments

“For me, success is not about the wins or losses. It’s about helping these young fellas be the best versions of themselves on and off the field.”

Throughout the show, we see Ted consistently praise and celebrate his football clubs’ achievements, both big and small, even when facing setbacks. He reminds us of the power in celebrating accomplishments and encouraging community and respect. It is clear to see how these actions help foster a sense of community among his team, as well as boost morale and motivation.

3. The importance of delegation & mentorship

“You may be one in a million, but you are also one in eleven.”

When Ted Lasso joined the team as head coach at the start of the series, he was well aware that he knew nothing about football. As Ted puts it, “You could fill two internets with what I don’t know about football.” However, through his patience, positive attitude, and eagerness to connect with the sport, he uses his leadership skills to push his team to reach new limits both on and off the field. Throughout the series, we see Ted fostering a collaborative team dynamic by emphasizing the importance of delegating tasks and responsibilities and recognizing and utilizing each team member’s unique strengths. Ted Lasso teaches us the power in leaning on others for knowledge and support.

4. How to listen and be curious

“Be curious, not judgmental.”

 In the show, when Ted is challenged to a game of darts, he shares a story about his childhood and that he was consistently underestimated throughout his life. Ted teaches us the importance of listening as an ally, sharing a quote by Walt Whitman, “Be curious, not judgmental” before [spoiler alert] hitting a game winning bullseye. Ted’s lesson reminds us that active listening can help us better understand other perspectives and experiences, such as Ted’s experience in darts­‑‑something his opponent may have liked to know before challenging him to a game. Listening as an ally outside of a game of darts, helps foster deeper connections and stronger relationships by enabling us to see beyond surface level.

In summary, Ted Lasso provides not only comedic relief but also valuable leadership lessons to all. From balancing relationships and success, celebrating accomplishments, the importance of delegation and mentorship, Ted Lasso teaches us the power in leading with positivity and curiosity.

Ready to take your leadership skills to the next level? Our professional development training programs at IA are designed to help you become a Ted Lasso-level leader and foster a positive and productive work environment. Learn more about our popular programs by clicking here.

About Katy O'Connor

Katy O’Connor is responsible for developing, planning, and managing IA events and amplifying brand awareness through marketing initiatives to enhance client value. Prior to joining IA, Katy managed the logistics of bringing both large and small-scale events to life for pharmaceutical brands across the trade show world. During her last two years of college, she completed internships in both business development as well as public relations for various businesses in the music industry by handling their social media strategy and increasing customer outreach. Katy is passionate about travel and protecting the beautiful natural landscapes she loves. Outside of work she volunteers for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Protect Our Winters, and various other green movement groups helping educate others about environmental protection. Katy’s favorite IA practice is Plus/Delta. These are brief feedback statements that help evaluate what went well and what we could be improved next time. This is a great tool to conclude any meeting for continued improvement. She feels that receiving actionable feedback is one of the most important parts of personal growth. She loves that this method brings feedback to a professional level. Katy holds a B.S. in Marketing and two supplemental minors in environmental studies and fashion merchandising from Lasell University. She’s also certified in HubSpot Inbound, Social Media Marketing, and Email.