HR Florida


Florida State Council Affiliate of SHRM

Ted Lasso and the 4 Things to Make Your Company Work

By Todd Whisenant, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Recently, I completed binge watching Ted Lasso on Apple TV. Something I’m not used to doing. I highly recommend watching the show from an entertainment and professional perspective.

If you have not seen it, the story is about an American football coach hired to be the manager (coach) of a professional English fútbol (soccer) team. While there are leadership, business, moral, and societal issues touched upon, there is a set of leadership points that are focused upon in the last episodes worth reviewing as they are pertinent to any leader and to any business.

In the last episodes, Ted creates a new philosophy on how the team should play. He called it “Total-Fútbol.” But as you listen to each point, one can quickly realize that these points do not just pertain to an athletic team, they also work in any organization. They are simple, but deep in their meaning.

So, without further ado, here are Ted Lasso’s 4 Things to Make Total-Fútbol (name of your company) Work.

1. Conditioning

Getting faster, stronger, and smarter at what we do makes us the best. In sports, this is called practice/training. It is the scheduled time to do this in preparation for the game.

In business, it is also called training. Hopefully, training with the opportunity to practice the skills and methods learned during training. Training is fundamental to any organization, regardless if it is a sport or if you are selling widgets.

2. Versatility

In the show, Ted promotes the philosophy of team members supporting each other on (and off) the field. On the field, this support requires each of them to trust each other in managing those roles, changing positions when needed, and doing the right thing.

Training opportunities in business provide opportunities to cross-train and know multiple skill sets/positions. Multiple skills permit both an individual and an organization to be more fluid and able to change quickly depending on circumstances.


To be versatile, each player on the team must be aware of what the other players on the team are doing and know how they can support each player. This is through understanding the game, the game plan, what each player’s strengths and weaknesses are, and how best to support. Sometimes this is simply maintaining the position they are currently in; at other times it means adapting/moving to another position on the field to support their team member directly/indirectly.

The same is true in any business. Employees must understand the business, what the goals are, how to achieve success, what other departments/employees’ roles are, and how their position supports all the aforementioned. This permits employees to assist other employees as needed directly/indirectly as well as customers.

4. Believe

As Ted states during one episode, Belief doesn’t happen because of any sign hanging on a wall, it comes from inside you. He goes on to state the following:

Ted concludes his remarks with “To believe in oneself and in one another is fundamental to being alive. If you believe in that, ain’t nobody going to rip that apart (referring to the “Believe” sign).”

Every employee wants to believe. They want to know that they matter, that someone else cares, that they can and will get better. They want to be believed in, and they want to believe in others and in the organization.

These 4 points are all the responsibility of leaders to create, nourish, and encourage as much as possible. Just like a fútbol manager named Ted Lasso.

Todd Whisenant is the Director of Human Resources and Team Member Engagement at Mountain Lake Corporation. He has nearly three decades of HR experience working in a wide range of public and private sector organizations and successfully operated his own consulting firm for several years. Todd has both a Senior Professional of Human Resources (SPHR) certification and a Senior Certified Professional certification (SHRM-SCP). He is a believer in having fun in the workplace and investing in people, who in turn will take care of customers/clients/guests, who in turn take of the organization. Todd can be reached at [email protected].