5 Leadership lessons from Ted Lasso

Running a brokerage is hard, but you're not alone. Be open to new ideas from unlikely sources.

Have you seen the AppleTV show Ted Lasso? If you haven’t, you must watch the first season. It’s about a U.S. football coach who ends up across the pond coaching a U.K. soccer team. It’s a must-see, even if you’re not into sports. Why? Because the show is jam packed with valuable leadership lessons! Not only that, but it’s a positive, bright spot in a sea of divisiveness seen today.

Running a real estate brokerage or team is hard. You’re pulled in a million different directions that can leave you feeling burned out and frustrated. You’re not alone. I rounded up some of the leadership lessons from the show Ted Lasso that were reinforced recently at a few of my brokerage meetings.

Be curious, not judgmental

One lesson that is particularly relevant today revolves around a quote by Walt Whitman, “Be curious, not judgmental.” In the show, Ted shows over and over how important it is to keep an open mind and be willing to listen to all points of view. In the show, the billionaire ex-husband of the football club’s owner is full of hubris and arrogance. He challenges Ted to a high-stakes game of darts fully confident that he will win. What he doesn’t know is that Ted is a ringer. When Ted wins, he reminds the billionaire that if he was curious rather than judgmental, he would have learned that Ted was really good at darts.

Taking this concept to real estate, be open to new ideas and services that can ultimately help you serve your agents and customers. Keep an open mind when agents come to you for advice and be a servant leader.

Be a goldfish

In the show, Coach Ted is talking to a player who had a rough practice. He told the player that a goldfish is the happiest animal in the world. Why? Because it has a 10-second memory. You aren’t always going to have wins. You aren’t always going to make the right decision, but you should never dwell on it. Forget it, adjust and move on.

Acknowledge your staff and leadership team

This leadership concept is super important. It’s that everyone is worthy of your attention, from your receptionist to your admin to your marketing team. One of Ted Lasso’s leadership lessons is that he recognizes the value of everyone to the success of the team, even the kit (equipment manager.) Learn their names, take time to say hi when passing by their offices. Set up a call schedule to do a monthly check-in. Too often, brokers, team leaders and managers focus on the agents, which, of course, is hyper-important. But, don’t forget about your staff. They are vital to your success.

Find a confidante

In addition, find a confidante outside of your real estate brokerage. Every leader needs someone to bounce ideas off of, hold them accountable, and be a mentor. Find that person for you. While Ted Lasso doesn’t have this outside of the company, he does have it internally. I do know of several business leaders who do and that outside voice is vital.

Ideas are everywhere

Finally, know your priorities and vision, but be open to learning and adjusting. In the show, Ted doesn’t think he has it all figured out. He’s willing to take advice from everyone on the team, even from the equipment manager. With a clear vision, communicated well, your mind can be open to feedback from everyone at your brokerage. One broker recently reminded me that we learn more from our failures than from our successes. 

Sometimes, we can find leadership lessons in the most unlikely places. That, in itself, is a leadership lesson. Open your mind and your ears, and you’ll find that every day offers a chance to learn something new.

Photo courtesy of Apple