Inspiring future leaders one episode at a time

By Kyleigh Brunotte
May 4, 2023

Jason Sudeikis in "Ted Lasso," now streaming on Apple TV+.
Jason Sudeikis in "Ted Lasso," now streaming on Apple TV+.

To some, turning on your favorite television show can be relaxing. Whether it be a timeless classic or a new show you have been indulging in, television shows are meant to tell a story. In the case of Apple TV+’s 11-time Emmy Award winner, “Ted Lasso,” television shows can also inspire the future generation of leaders.

Protagonist Ted Lasso, played by Jason Sudeikis, was an American football coach in Kansas before being called up to coach AFC Richmond, a Premier League soccer team in England. Lasso knows nothing about soccer but is still able to make a difference in the locker room of AFC Richmond.

It’s more than the game

From the beginning, Lasso makes his intentions known. In the third episode of the show, Lasso explains his coaching philosophy to a renowned journalist, Trent Crimm, played by James Lance.

“For me, success is not about the wins and losses. It’s about helping these young fellas be the best versions of themselves on and off the field. And it ain’t always easy, but neither is growing up without someone believing in you,” Lasso said.

To Lasso, winning is not reflected in the team’s overall record. Instead, winning is developing individual players and making the best team possible. This ideology can be transferred to life outside of sports, whether that be in the workplace, interpersonal relationships, and beyond.

Brett Goldstein and Phil Dunster in “Ted Lasso,” now streaming on Apple TV+.

As displayed in the show, some players are more egotistical, open-minded, blunt, or even more hard working than others. To help each player reach their best and build team dynamic, Lasso does not take a “one-size-fits-all” leadership approach.

For instance, Lasso is tasked with breaking through to soccer superstar Jamie Tartt, played by Phil Dunster. Tartt can best be described by his fashion sense; as he walks around the AFC Richmond facility in a hat that reads “ICON.”

Or better yet, when asked whether he would rather be a lion or a panda, Tartt replied, “Coach, I’m me. Why would I want to be anything else?”

Confident Tartt would go on to face numerous hardships throughout the show. However, Tartt is one of many on the show whose character arc had a lot to do with Lasso’s leadership.

Connecting off-screen

Ted Lasso’s leadership approach closely relates to the message shared by novelist and speaker Chimamanda Adichie’s lecture, “The Danger of a Single Story.” In her lecture, Adichie explained the importance of looking beyond personal biases and taking a walk in someone else’s shoes.

Throughout her life, Adichie recalled past experiences of being stereotyped because she was African. In one instance, Adichie describes her roommate who had the idea that Africa is a poor nation with poor people. However, Adichie was more than African stereotypes. Adichie’s lecture teaches people to disregard preconceived ideas of others and celebrate individuality.

Throughout the show, Lasso becomes friends with everyone on the AFC Richmond staff. Whether they be office workers, assistants, or even the kitman. Lasso is kind, gets to know every person’s story, and gives people the time of day regardless of their position, which ought to be admired.

Lasso’s leadership is founded on curiosity, not judgment, and appreciation for who people are.

Lessons from Lasso

Jeremy Swift, Brett Goldstein, Jason Sudeikis, Brendan Hunt and Nick Mohammed in “Ted Lasso” season two, now streaming on Apple TV+.

There are a plethora of examples throughout the show of Lasso’s leadership and the lessons he teaches his players which can be used to inspire future leaders. Whether you are an athlete, student, parent, friend, or member of the workforce across any profession, these lessons can be used in everyday life:

The Ten Second Rule: “You know what the happiest animal on Earth is? It’s a goldfish. You know why? [It’s] got a ten second memory.”

Believe: “I’ve been hearing this phrase y’all got over here that I ain’t too crazy about. ‘It’s the hope that kills you.’ I disagree, I think it’s the lack of hope that comes and gets you.”

You’re never alone, even in sadness: “Look at everybody else in here, and I want you to be grateful that you’re going through this sad moment with all these other folks. Because I promise you, there is something worse out there than being sad, and that is being alone and being sad. Ain’t nobody in this room alone.”

Don’t be afraid to make your environment a happy one: From personal nicknames to silly dances and corny jokes, Ted Lasso never fails to spread joy and lighten any situation he is in.

Looking ahead

As of now, there will only be three seasons in the “Ted Lasso” series on Apple TV+. Ted Lasso may be a fictional character that Jason Sudeikis plays, but his leadership will continue to inspire future generations of leaders in our ever-changing world.

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Kyleigh Brunotte

I am a sophomore digital communications and social media major, and business management minor at Cabrini University. I grew up in Brick, NJ with my mom, dad, younger sister, and my Oma. Outside of school, I am a kickboxing instructor at 9Round Brick, NJ, a youth soccer coach, a campus captain of Cabrini's chapter of The Hidden Opponent, and a guest speaker for the NAMI Bucks County organization. Additionally, I am the co-president of the National Society of Leadership and Success and a former member of the Cabrini University women's soccer team. Today, I am an avid fitness and sports enthusiast, as well as a strong advocate for mental health awareness in students and athletes alike. I am a firm believer of always being proud of what you are doing and I hope to use my writing skills to make my corner of the world a better place to be.

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