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  • Writer's pictureKeri Schwebius

Turns out binge watching can teach you about leadership

I finally caved to the hype and signed up for Apple + just to watch Ted Lasso, the story of an American football coach who moves to the UK to coach soccer. It does not disappoint.

I am not being compensated to promote Ted Lasso or Apple+ but I’m only five episodes in, and the leadership lessons in this series are endless. Here are a couple I’ve noticed already.

1. Every member of the team is valuable and should be made to feel that way…no matter their role.

One of the first things Lasso does is introduce himself to the lowest man on the hierarchy of the team and, within a short time, asks for his opinion. Nate, the kit man, who is also responsible for grounds maintenance, had previously been almost invisible as is made evident by his surprise when Lasso remembers his name.

When you treat everyone like a valuable member of the team, they are happier and more engaged in their work. Furthermore, when the individuals on a team all treat each with respect, the team functions more effectively together. When that happens, you will see better results—monetary and otherwise.

2. You must hold people accountable for their behaviours, even if they’re a star player.

In the series, Jamie Tartt is the star player on the team. His proficiency in soccer, however, is outweighed by his enormous ego. He is not a team player and even bullies other members of the team. Without giving anything away, Lasso holds him accountable and instantly sees positive results for the team.

Perhaps you have an amazing salesperson on your team who consistently outsells everyone else. On the other hand, he is not a team player, doesn’t communicate well with other departments and he makes no effort to develop the less experienced salespeople…. after all, he doesn’t want them cutting into his commissions. Yet, he is often recognized as a star player because he’s so great at sales. You put up with his bad behaviours (that aren’t contributing to a constructive culture) because this guy makes the company money.

What if you held him accountable for collaboration and communication? You may see other salespeople learning from him to create a sales team full of star players. You’ll probably have happier customers because what he’s selling is exactly what the company is providing. You’ll be able to develop better products and services for you customers because he takes their input and feeds it back to the rest of the team so your company will know their customers and how to serve them better.

If you want to learn more about how to become an effective leader and be thoroughly entertained at the same time, I recommend Ted Lasso. If you want to become a leader like Lasso, I recommend coaching.

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