As I recover from the crushing fact that Ted Lasso has come to an end, I’m comforted by 3 key lessons on leadership – and sales – that came out of this brilliant show. (If I sound a tad bit dramatic here, please humor me). These takeaways are truly a reflection of what I want most for the world of sales as we evolve and become not just better salespeople but better humans.
1. Cutthroat doesn’t work. Period. Rupert bellowing orders at his head coach in the final match did nothing to advance his team to victory. In fact, it was their ultimate demise.
Instead, Ted Lasso’s collaborative coaching style exemplified true leadership: helping his team realize they had the answers within themselves all along.
Collaboration is critical - not just between leadership and the sales team. It’s also critical between salesperson and buyer. The buyer is not someone to be “won” over. Instead, the buyer should be listened to, understood, and served with a collaborative approach.
2. We can’t go it alone. We need each other - especially in sales. On the surface, each AE has their own book of business, and they’re often siloed. But sales can be a team sport by adopting the mindset that a rising tide lifts all boats.
When Colin finally came out to the team, everyone’s initial reaction was one of tolerance (“It’s fine, we don’t care.”) But Ted Lasso reminded them not just to tolerate (i.e. leave Colin alone) but to support him and lift him up.
We live in a world where every bit of empathy, understanding, and collaboration is needed. Sales provides us with daily opportunities to practice empathy instead of just moving buyers through a funnel that checks the boxes we want.
3. Believe. There’s a reason this single word captures the essence of the entire show. Belief is the glue that held the team together and lifted them to victory.
Of course, you still have to put in the hard reps. Jamie had to get up at 4 AM and train his butt off with Roy Kent. But skill and training alone weren’t enough. Jamie had to stop searching for his father’s approval and start believing in himself.
Personally, I’ve realized that belief is a decision. It’s a decision that must be made again and again, every time self-doubt starts to creep in. Decide to believe in yourself, before you have the evidence of victory. Without belief, no amount of skill or talent or resources will suffice.
As leaders, as individual contributors, as humans: we have the opportunity to evolve. We do that best when we collaborate. We can drop the adversarial hustle, while still fostering healthy competition. Ultimately, what we believe is what determines how far we’ll go.
I was exhilarated by the new realization that I could change the character of my life by changing my beliefs. I was instantly energized because I realized that there was a science-based path that would take me from my job as a perennial “victim” to my new position as ‘"co-creator" of my destiny. – Bruce Lipton