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Ted Lasso’s Positivity Playbook

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Ted Lasso’s Positivity Playbook

After moving away from his young son and wife, Ted Lasso, an American coach, is asked to manage a small-town football team – AFC Richmond. Along with his side kick Coach Beard he was hired to fail.

While Ted’s coaching tactics initially raised a few eyebrows, he ultimately proves that true leadership transcends conventional norms.

During the three series of the hit show we unearth some real gems that we, as comms leaders, can learn from our ever-positive Ted …

  1. The Goldfish

Ted is a refreshingly unconventional leader, initially viewed as a ‘fish out of water’ his warmth, empathy, and unwavering optimism on the ‘soccer’ field means he sees the potential in people and lets them shine. His strength was in surrounding himself with the skills he didn’t have. 

In one of the earliest episodes, Ted advises his team to have short memories and not dwell on past mistakes. He tells them,

“You know what the happiest animal on Earth is? It’s a goldfish. You know why? Got a ten-second memory. Be a goldfish.”

Ted’s honesty, sincerity, and genuine care for his team members fostered open communication, collaboration, and a sense of belonging.

  1. The ‘Diamond’ Dogs

His bond with his management team – the diamond dogs – was legendary in the show and what started as cringey locker-room chats became a central theme in the show as they chatted through issues.

Ted’s honesty, sincerity, and genuine care for his team members fostered open communication, collaboration, and a sense of belonging. Even the most indifferent of characters ended up wanting to air their problems in the group. A sure sign that consistency and authenticity breed trust.


  1. The Walrus’s

One of Ted’s metaphors was the Beard and the Moustache’ describing the dynamic between strategy and tactics in football and relates to himself and his loyal sidekick Coach Beard both physically and professionally.

He explains that strategy is like the beard, the big-picture plan that guides the team’s overall direction, while tactics are like the moustache, the specific actions taken to execute the strategy on the field.


  1. The GOAT Unwavering optimism, and leading with heart he lifts his team, instilling confidence, resilience, and a sense of camaraderie.

In the face of adversity and setbacks Ted’s positivity was unwavering and inspired greatness at AFC Richmond. The example being Nath the wonder kid and his move up from lowly kit boy to assistant coach and beyond. (if you’ve not seen the series you must watch it!)

Ted approaches every challenge with a can-do attitude, turning obstacles into opportunities for growth and learning. With unwavering optimism, and leading with heart he lifts his team, instilling confidence, resilience, and a sense of camaraderie.

As leaders, cultivating a positive mindset can empower our teams to overcome obstacles, stay motivated, and strive for excellence even in the most challenging circumstances.


  1. Be a Beaver Focused behaviour and a shared purpose brings strength.

Ted has a clear sense of purpose. He is not driven solely by the desire to win trophies or accolades but by a genuine passion for the game and a commitment to making a positive impact on the lives of his players, his sporting family. Ted’s unwavering dedication to his mission inspires his team to strive for excellence and to play with heart, integrity, and sportsmanship.

During a poignant moment Ted uses the metaphor that he is the “Dart, not the board” emphasising that his purpose is not to hit the bullseye but to provide direction and guidance for his team.

As leaders, articulating a compelling vision and rallying our teams around a shared purpose can ignite passion and propel us toward success. Like Beavers, focused behaviour and a shared purpose brings strength.

It was never about Ted! A great leader knows it’s never about them.  

Ted Lasso’s leadership journey serves as a powerful reminder that true leadership is not defined by titles, accolades or self, but by the ability to inspire, empower, and uplift others. By leading with authenticity, empathy, positivity, humility, and purpose, we can cultivate a culture of excellence, resilience, transform lives, and make a difference by leaving a legacy of positivity and inspiration.

By Ally Taylor for Alive!

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