Looking back on 2020, it seemed like all news was bad news. We moved from impeachment to the coronavirus to the killing of George Floyd to the presidential election to multiple church leadership scandals and back to the coronavirus again.
But sometimes it’s the little things that bring some hope and optimism when we’re feeling down. On that note, 2020 was the perfect year for the new show on AppleTV, Ted Lasso.
The comedy catalogs the journey of a warm-hearted American football coach, Ted Lasso (played by Jason Sudeikis) who is hired to coach a soccer team in the English Premier League—despite having never played (or apparently watched) the game. The show is filled with plenty of hilarious moments highlighting the differences between football and soccer, as well as British and American culture.
But the show is so much more than a comedy. Hidden beneath the hilarious moments (fair warning: there’s no shortage of bad language and sexual innuendo so viewer discretion is advised), you will find a show that celebrates optimism, hope, and (dare I say it) goodness.
As Brett McCracken recently observed over at TGC, “Ted Lasso is probably the most feel-good thing I saw on television this year.”
Perhaps it’s no surprise that I connected with Ted Lasso. I grew up playing competitive soccer, lived in the UK for a number of years (in both Scotland and England), and am a huge fan of the English Premier League (I’ve been cheering for Liverpool since the 1980’s).
But that’s not the whole story. The show connected with me for another, and more profound, reason. It reminded me of what good leadership looks like, something we desperately needed more of in 2020.
Despite being a non-Christian show, and despite the fact that Ted Lasso has his own slate of faults and shortcomings, there are fundamental leadership lessons here that we can learn from him. While the church may not have a shortage of leaders, it’s increasingly apparent that we have a shortage of the right kind of leaders.
So here are five leadership lessons we can learn from Ted Lasso: [Read more…]