The third season of the popular series “Ted Lasso” has recently started running on the Apple TV streaming service. A football coach from America dares to make the leap to football in England. The series skillfully manages the balancing act between humor and seriousness. Lasso’s strength is not his football skills, but the ability to inspire those around him. The following ten quotes from the show are tongue-in-cheek, but contain many truths that can also be applied in professional life.
The happiest animal for Ted Lasso is clearly the goldfish. Why? Because he only has a memory of ten seconds. Uncertainties about past mistakes or crippling regrets about missed opportunities are therefore not possible for the goldfish. And that’s exactly what Lasso gives its players along the way: The next moment is always the one that counts.
If you still want to deal with your mistakes, you should do so in productive formats. Sharing so-called “fuck-up stories” can lead to better error culture and teamwork.
“There’s two buttons I never like to hit: that’s panic and snooze.” Panic and snooze, Coach Lasso says he doesn’t like to press these two buttons at all. This attitude is extremely helpful in everyday work. Don’t freak out, but don’t procrastinate forever either. It’s just a pity that the circling thoughts often set in in the evening, prevent us from falling asleep and make us put off the alarm clock again and again the next morning. Here’s how to prevent revenge bedtime procastination.
Even absolute “high performers” depend on a functioning team. Or as Lasso puts it: “If you just figure out some way to turn that ‘me’ into ‘us’… the sky’s the limit for you.” (German about: “If you can figure out how to turn ‘I’ into ‘we’, then there’s no limit.”)
A 2022 study found that most people encounter narcissism in the workplace, and that top managers are particularly likely to exhibit this trait. This type of manager therefore often blocks the flow of information and cooperation in the company.
“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.” (German: “For me, success is not about winning or losing. It’s about helping these young guys to be the best versions of themselves, on and off the pitch.”) This sentence should be of particular interest to managers: they cannot completely free themselves from their KPIs in everyday work. However, they should definitely see it as their task to help all team members to be able to fully exploit their potential – keyword “enabling”. A team works particularly well when managers set the example.
“Be curious, not judgmental” (German: “Be curious, not biased”), is one of the most important statements in the first season “Ted Lasso”. Coach’s Lesson: When people underestimate you, it’s because they’ve stopped being curious. Those who maintain their curiosity will discover facets in their fellow human beings and colleagues that remain hidden when you jump straight into evaluating them.
Of course, this challenge exists in the office, where, against our better judgment, we may be guided by external appearances, but also in the home office, where the pitfalls of digital communication can cause misunderstandings. It is all the more important to strengthen the team spirit when working from home and to raise awareness of the fact that people use digital communication in different ways.
“Speed is important. But being able to stop and change directions quickly? […] It don’t get nearly enough credit.” (German: “Speed is important. But the ability to stop and quickly change direction? […] It’s not appreciated enough.”) The world of work is turning faster and faster, flexibility and adaptability are among the most important skills for employees and companies today. With all the focus on speed, this also includes the ability to pause, reflect on and realign one’s own actions.
Our next Ted Lasso wisdom takes a similar line: “I think that’s what it’s all about. embracing change”. (German: “I think that’s what it’s about. to embrace change.”) This is perhaps one of the most valuable mindsets for the modern job market in the face of the AI revolution and co. Nothing stays the same forever.
“I want you to know, I value each of your opinions, even when you’re wrong.” (German: “I want you to know that I value every opinion, even if you’re wrong.”) A healthy discussion and argument culture is important in the job. This is the only way teams can achieve productive results. It is important to listen carefully to the arguments of the other side and to accept well-founded opinions, even if you do not agree with them. By the way, it sounds like a well-known conflict resolution strategy in the job, the leaf method.
“I suppose the best brand is being yourself.” (German: “I think the best brand is to be yourself.”) Having to constantly pretend to be on the job sooner or later becomes a burden. The same also applies to the professional development of a personal brand that you do not support in terms of content. Personal branding is important in order to sharpen your own career goals and should therefore be practiced carefully and authentically.
Let’s end the list with a funny quote that still has a lot of truth: When Ted is asked if he believes in ghosts, the coach replies: “The most important thing is that you believe in yourself.” Appropriately, a recent study found that leaders with low self-esteem often create toxic stress in their organizations. Even the series coach finds it damn difficult to listen to people who don’t believe in themselves. “believe” is not only one of Ted Lasso’s favorite words, but also good advice in everyday work.