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Leading with Heart: 5 Leadership Lessons from “Ted Lasso”

by Adam Glendye

“Ted Lasso,” the heartwarming TV series, has captured the hearts of many with its unique take on leadership and unwavering positivity. Ted Lasso, a small-time American football coach, takes on the role of coaching a Premier League soccer team in England. Through his journey, we can glean valuable leadership lessons that transcend the world of sports. In this blog, we’ll explore five leadership lessons we can learn from Ted Lasso’s coaching style.

  1. Optimism and Positivity:Ted Lasso’s unwavering optimism and positivity are contagious. He believes in the potential of his team, no matter how dire the situation may seem. As a leader, maintaining a positive attitude can uplift your team’s spirits and foster a can-do attitude even in challenging times.
  2. Empathy and Understanding:One of Ted Lasso’s defining traits is his ability to empathize with his players and staff. He takes the time to understand their personal challenges and motivations. Effective leaders listen, support, and connect with their team members on a human level, acknowledging their unique needs and concerns.
  3. Adaptability:Ted Lasso’s journey from American football to soccer is a testament to his adaptability. Leaders should be open to change and willing to embrace new challenges. The ability to adapt to evolving circumstances and industries is a valuable leadership trait.
  4. Team Collaboration:Ted Lasso emphasizes the importance of team collaboration over individual excellence. He believes that a cohesive team can achieve remarkable results. Effective leaders build a sense of unity within their teams, fostering an environment where every member’s contribution is valued.
  5. Leading by Example:Ted Lasso is not afraid to roll up his sleeves and work alongside his team. By leading by example, he earns the respect and admiration of his players. Leaders who actively participate in their team’s efforts and show dedication to their shared goals inspire others to do the same.

One of the most memorable moments that encapsulates Ted Lasso’s leadership style occurs during a challenging practice session. The team is struggling, and frustration is running high. Rather than berating his players or demanding more effort, Ted gathers them in a circle. With a smile, he asks them to close their eyes and think of a happy place.

As they stand there, eyes closed, Ted begins to whistle a tune. Slowly but surely, the players start to join in with their whistles. What begins as a disjointed symphony of sound slowly transforms into a harmonious, collective whistle. When they open their eyes, they are all wearing smiles.

Ted’s message is clear: in the face of adversity, finding joy and unity can be a powerful catalyst for change. This moment not only boosts team morale but also illustrates Ted’s unique ability to inspire his team through positivity and togetherness. It’s a perfect example of how Ted Lasso’s leadership isn’t about just winning games; it’s about fostering an environment where his team can grow, learn, and find happiness even in the toughest of times.


“Ted Lasso” serves as a reminder that leadership is not just about strategy or results; it’s about people. The character of Ted Lasso embodies qualities such as optimism, empathy, adaptability, teamwork, and leading by example, which are essential for effective leadership. As leaders, we can draw inspiration from this lovable coach to create a more positive, understanding, and successful work environment for our teams. Ultimately, the show teaches us that great leadership is not about winning games but about uplifting and empowering those we lead.

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