Ted Lasso and inclusiveness: how to follow the example of Richmond coach?

Richmond is an English football club on the road to bankruptcy and, to re-emerge, the president Rebecca Welton hires an American football coach who knows nothing about football: Ted Lasso.
24 November 2022
Ted Lasso e la sua leadership

That’s right, charismatic and inclusive leadership can be effective even when a football coach tries his hand at a completely unfamiliar sport. Because Ted Lasso works on the team, on individual players, while the technical and strategic phase is entrusted to collaborators and assistant coaches Coach Beard and Nathan Shelley, demonstrating an ability to delegate that expresses trust and reliance on his staff.

Roy, Ted and Beard in a scene from the TV series

Behind every action of Ted, as in great literature, there are many meanings hidden so important as to always be an example not only for his team, but above all for the viewer who is watching this series in streaming on Apple TV+.

Richmond’s biggest problem: the split between teammates, fans and management

Ted Lasso enters the club on tiptoe, well aware of the distrust of fans and journalists, due to his ignorance of football, so much so that he never understood what an offside was, even after a couple of seasons. In fact, he replies to the press: “I still don’t know how to explain it, but when you see it you understand it!”.

From this example emerges his will to create alliances, rather than fractures, in his world.
Upon his entry, Ted Lasso notices differences between his teammates, resentments with the management who seem not to listen to the team’s needs and finally, no less terrible, the distrust of the fans who are now seeing their team relegated from the Premier League championship .

Ted gets to know the team by mostly listening to the needs of the players: nothing as hard to please as, for example, the water pressure in the showers. They are small gestures that make the team feel listened to, welcomed, understood… in their needs.

In this sense, Ted Lasso also works with the management and all the collaborators’ staff: every morning he visits the president Rebecca bringing her sweets prepared with her own hands.

A leader in the background: the value of all the staff

Ted performs the miracle of miracles, steps aside, remains in the background, and this shift allows Nathan, the team’s warehouseman and shy and disheartened boy, to emerge in the decisive match, demonstrating a strong and determined character who gives security to the whole team. squad. He becomes an invaluable resource, so much so that he becomes assistant coach with Beard.

Ted Lasso continues to glue the lost fragments of the team. Captain Roy Kent, now at the end of his career, can still dispense useful advice for the team’s tactical work. So, after gaining experience as a coach in a girls’ soccer team, Ted Lasso hires him as the new assistant coach: the team returns together, united we always win.

The whole is greater than the sum of the parts

The puzzle is finally complete. Despite the many difficulties, Coach Lasso integrated the entire Richmond football club as one compact and cohesive team. The entry of the psychologist Sharon Fieldstone is also essential, demonstrating the importance of a psychotherapeutic path for players who want to undertake it.

Ted also knows how to manage players who bully other teammates: he never descends to their level, he is patient, he rarely intervenes because he wants to transform the bullied boys’ shyness into redemption.

In one episode, Most Promising Player Jamie Tartt, first lady of the team, throws a tantrum towards Ted after replacing him in the second half of a game. Not wanting to train, she admits she suffered a bad injury. Coach Lasso, well aware of the lie, doesn’t get down to his game, and replies with an important truth: “We are in control of ourselves and the team only during training, but you feel bad. Today we want to become better than yesterday, but you are sick“. Then Ted leaves the room, and with a jump gives a high-five to a sign hanging on the locker room that says “Believe“.

Ted Lasso shows the “Believe” sign to Jamie Tartt

After his departure to more promising teams, Jamie Tartt returned to Richmond on tiptoe, more mature and immediately bonded with his teammates. However, this change leads him to bury the most rebellious, most instinctive part of him, also losing part of that spark that led him to be a promising soccer star. Ted Lasso, born Gestalt, is once again the background and this time he lets assistant coach Roy Kent perform the second miracle, trying not to divide the parts, but to integrate them:

– Jamie, you’re an asshole and you can’t repress this. Let’s do this, at my signal he becomes an asshole on the pitch.
– And what’s the signal?
– You will understand!

The signal

Failure and success: an incompletely defined boundary

Ted Lasso’s ability to aggregate allows you to simultaneously integrate failures and successes. On the contrary, his example shows us that within the numerous failures collected by the team, just as many successes can be revealed. We can observe the defeat for a game or the failure of a championship from another perspective: if we are aware that we face a negative experience in a compact way, all together, this can turn out to be a great success.

If we lose, we lose together.
If we win, so too.

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