Ensemble Lessons From Ted Lasso

Written by Amelia Terrapin

May 28, 2021

I always keep my eye out for inspiring examples of ensemble leadership out in the world. In my experience of coaching leaders, I’ve noticed that sometimes all you need is a little reminder to trust yourself… like an example of someone else courageously leading from the heart.

I’d like to introduce you to Ted.

Ted is a soccer coach and a quintessential ensemble leader.

Ted takes the long view… he’s not urgently focused on the outcome of tomorrow’s game; he’s tending to the soil of his team: the relationships, the morale, the spirit that powers their work.

Ted unleashes his team’s creativity and capacity for making bold moves by:

→ sharing power
→ inviting feedback
→ disrupting the status quo

Ted’s goal is not to extract more efficiency and performance out of his team in order to win, but to nourish them through acknowledgement, celebration and ritual.

By making the development of his individual team members his primary focus, Ted is building the foundation of an ensemble that can transcend their perceived limits and achieve their wildest dreams together.

If you are feeling a dissonance between dominant cultural ideas about how to lead and the leadership that lives in your heart… take courage from other ensemble leaders like Ted Lasso.

You can look outward to find the examples that validate your heart’s calling and grant yourself permission to make the changes you yearn to make.

If you haven’t already met Ted Lasso, I encourage you to check out this delightful and beloved series on Apple TV.

It’s natural to spend a lot of time focused on the seeds and fruits of your systems changework (the ideas, outcomes, or “wins”). What would it look like to focus on the soil: the humans, relationships, the spirit that powers your work?

What bold micro move could you make today to replenish the soil of your team?

A vulnerable check-in to start your next meeting? A playful celebration?

What do you sense your team needs?

I share this message as a loving nudge to trust your unique expression of ensemble leadership.

PS: We’re keeping an eye out for examples of ensemble leadership from the news, media, and personal stories so we can share them with you. Want to help? If you see any examples of ensemble leadership, email me at [email protected]!

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