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Leadership Lessons From Season 1 of Ted Lasso - By Gary Schwartz,MD,MHA

Updated: Sep 19


Reza Sadeghian, MD

The second day of the 2023 AAPL Annual Leadership Conference was greatly enriched by a stirring presentation by Gary Schwartz, MD, MHA, titled 🎬#LeadershipLessons from Season 1 of #TedLasso."


A riveting blend of entertainment and astute leadership insights, Schwartz successfully traced the trajectory of Ted Lasso from an #NBC Premier League ad in 2013 to a multi-award-winning series by 2023.


Gary Schwartz, MD, MHA skillfully dissected the first season of the show, drawing out its key story arcs. He highlighted the journeys of Ted Lasso, Roy, Jamie, Nathan, Keeley, and Rebecca. All these characters, Schwartz noted, experience profound change and development, symbolizing critical aspects of leadership and team dynamics.


With a keen eye on Season 1's overarching themes such as leadership, aging, community, authenticity, and empathy, Schwartz elaborated on leadership lessons for teams, individuals, and leaders. Some powerful leadership lessons. Here are key takeaways:


🔵 Team:

For teams, Schwartz underscored the importance of being responsible for the culture, knowing when to intervene and when not to, ensuring that no individual is more important than the team, and the necessity of acknowledging both victories and losses.


1) As a leader, you're responsible for shaping the team culture.

2) Know when to step in and when to let the team find its way.

3) Prioritize the team over individual stardom.

4) Celebrate victories, but don't ignore the learning opportunities from losses.


🔵 Individuals:

Individuals were advised to call people by their names and understand the significance behind them, treat everyone as equals, and to continuously scout for and nurture talent, as depicted in Ted's interaction with Nate.


1) Addressing people by their names fosters respect and recognition.

2) Everyone deserves to be treated as a person, not a resource.

3) Spot hidden talents and nurture them - everyone has potential.


🔵 Leader:

For leaders, Schwartz emphasized the importance of being comfortable with not knowing everything and partnering with someone who complements you, as illustrated by the dynamic duo of Ted Lasso and Coach Beard. He also highlighted the significance of seeking input from others and maintaining a curiosity over judgment approach.


1) Embrace the unknown - you don't have to know everything.

2) Partner with someone who complements your skills - like Ted and Coach Beard, a perfect combo of ESFP & INTJ.

3) Be open to feedback and actively seek input.

4) Stay curious, not judgmental - a key tenet of inclusive leadership.


Gary Schwartz applied the Myers-Briggs typology to further understand the leading characters, Ted Lasso (ESFP) and Coach Beard (INTJ), illustrating how their contrasting personality types resulted in a well-balanced and successful leadership team.


In his closing remarks, Schwartz posed the question, "Was Ted Lasso a successful leader in his first year at AFC Richmond?" He concluded that being responsible for the culture, acknowledging the importance of names, treating people as equals, identifying and fostering talent, accepting the limits of one's knowledge, partnering with complementary individuals, and replacing judgment with curiosity were key leadership lessons drawn from Ted Lasso's first year.

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You can follow Reza Sadeghian, MD on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Youtube .

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