March 21, 2024

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Three reasons to revisit Ted Lasso in 2024 for career inspiration

Ted Lasso

The comedy series Ted Lasso is the most watched streaming original show ever, according to stats released recently. Since it premiered in August of 2020, the show has logged almost 25 billion viewing minutes, beating the second most popular streaming show by a wide margin.

This news caught my attention, because in 2020, I got so caught up in Ted mania that I became the co-host of a podcast dedicated to the show.

Now, with some distance, I’m ready to look back on the show and think about what made it so popular and – maybe more importantly – to reflect on whether it’s still relevant.

On the question of popularity, it helps that it had international appeal, focusing on the world’s favorite sport, soccer. On top of that, the show’s tone and themes were clearly massively appealing to many people. As one person put it on Reddit, “It is so incredibly warm, and each character has a great story arc.”

That brings me to the second question – is Ted Lasso still relevant? I am going to say yes. In fact, I’d like to suggest that 2024 is a great year to revisit the show as a support for your own personal growth. There are lessons for life, leadership, and learning baked into the stories and the character arcs that have enduring value for career inspiration.

Here are my top 3 reasons why you should revisit the show now. (No major spoilers, in case you haven’t watched it yet.)

1. To get inspiration for being “new”
Are you starting something new this year? Taking on a new role, joining a new organization, moving to a new team? If so, the show offers inspiration for navigating the ups and downs of starting from the outside and finding your feet. For example:

  • Ted joins a new organization, which starts the whole story in motion. He doesn’t know much about soccer but he brings a lot of interpersonal gifts. He learns along the way
  • Keely makes career moves that stretch her, eventually becoming a first-time founder and leader, with both wins and setbacks
  • Rebecca is new to running a soccer club, new to being divorced, and begins reluctantly at first to remake herself in a way she didn’t plan on.

As the characters make mistakes and try different things, the show establishes a world where nobody is perfect but most people are trying to learn and do better. Just the spirit that you need to face being “new” with resilience.

2. To energize you for building and enhancing relationships
Ted Lasso is a workplace comedy, focused on how people relate to each other in group settings in pursuit of mutual goals. Relationships across the 3 seasons are dynamic and changing. We see some relationships get worse, but we also see lots of bad relationships take a turn for the better.

If working on your relationships at work this year would help you enjoy your work better and lead to better performance, the show offers some interesting examples:

  • Ted and Rebecca get off to a rocky start but eventually find a better footing
  • Roy and Jamie move from hostility to mutual understanding, helped along by purposeful pushes from the other characters

Story arcs like this may give you the motivation you need to establish more trust, have difficult conversations, and air things out for the better with the people you work with.

3. To encourage you to change your story if it’s holding you back
We all have stories about ourselves, stories about what we value, what we are good at, and what we see as our contribution. Forming such stories is a big part of becoming more self-aware. But our stories can also hold us back if we hold them too tightly and aren’t open to changing them.

In Ted Lasso, we see characters wrestling with the power of the stories they hold:

  • Roy has to leave his old story behind to move on in his career
  • Ted wrestles with the darker parts of his life story and how they affect him

When characters in the show feel stuck, they often reach out to each other; we see that talking things through with others can be a push to rethink self-imposed limits. 2024 could be the year you change a story in a way that makes new things possible for you, maybe in dialogue with a friend, mentor, or coach.

If any of this sounds intriguing or valuable, I invite you to listen to the podcast “Lasso Lessons.” Each episode delves into themes that just might help you unlock your career potential.



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