In the world of Ted Lasso, Roy Kent brings a unique perspective to the forefront of leadership, emphasizing the power of honesty, openness, and vulnerability. Let’s take a look at how these play out…

Honesty as the Foundation

Roy Kent is unapologetically honest, both with himself and those around him. From his touching story as a young footballer that he shares in his press conference to his “wanting to be better” and joining the Diamond Dogs, he wears his heart on his sleeve. As a leader, honesty forms the bedrock of effective communication. Transparent communication builds trust and fosters a culture where team members feel secure in expressing their thoughts and concerns. Following Roy’s lead, leaders can create an environment where authenticity prevails.

Roy Kent’s no-nonsense approach to communication encourages honest and direct dialogue. Leaders can adopt this strategy by creating spaces where team members feel empowered to voice their opinions without fear of judgment. Honest dialogue sparks creativity, resolves conflicts, and propels the team toward shared goals.

In a recent LinkedIn post, Simon Sinek, the well-known thought leader in the area of leadership and author of Start with Why, shared some of how he uses honesty in the interview process. He tells candidates that he doesn’t like surprises and asks them what is something that they might do that would surprise him. He says the candor and honest responses have led to great discussions and have allowed a pro-active approach which leads to a supportive environment and culture.

Openness to Feedback and Growth

Roy’s willingness to accept constructive feedback showcases the importance of being open in leadership. Openness fosters a culture of continuous improvement, where individuals feel comfortable sharing insights that contribute to personal and collective growth. Leaders who encourage open communication create a dynamic and adaptive team culture.

In Think Again, Adam Grant tells a story of Melinda Gates hoping to get honest feedback from her team. Because of Melinda Gates’ status and position in the company, it was not easy for her employees to disagree or challenge her ideas. Her team suggested an activity similar to “mean tweets” (where celebrities read mean tweets about themselves live and respond). In this case, people were asked to write anonymous feedback about what she could do to improve. She did the activity and as she read some of the comments, she admitted that she struggled with various situations or traits and that she would work on that. She also asked for help from her team to call her out when they saw her struggling. That vulnerability certainly led to a more effective open-door policy and better communication.

If you are a manager or team leader, you should develop a communication guide (grab the template at leaditlikelasso.com or read more in Lead It Like Lasso) for internal and external stakeholders of your company. In-person, fully remote, and hybrid organizations all have different communication challenges, but defining your rules around communication helps everyone get on the same page, pitch, or playground.

Vulnerability Breeds Connection

Roy Kent’s character demonstrates that vulnerability is not a sign of weakness but a strength that forges genuine connections. When leaders allow themselves to be vulnerable, it humanizes them in the eyes of their team. This authenticity deepens interpersonal connections, making the work environment more empathetic, supportive, and resilient in the face of challenges.

Roy Kent’s communication style sets the tone for the team culture at AFC Richmond. Leaders, too, play a pivotal role in shaping the culture of their organizations. By embodying honesty, openness, and vulnerability, they establish a cultural foundation that values authenticity and fosters collaboration.

Roy Kent’s Communication Legacy Roy Kent’s character in Ted Lasso leaves a lasting legacy in the realm of communication. His commitment to honesty, openness, and vulnerability serves as a beacon for leaders striving to create environments where genuine communication flourishes. Roy Kent’s character navigates personal and professional challenges with a remarkable level of transparency. Leaders facing adversity can draw inspiration from his approach, choosing to communicate openly about challenges and the steps being taken to address them. Transparent communication instills confidence and resilience within the team. By adopting these lessons, leaders can build trust, foster growth, and cultivate a resilient team culture that stands the test of time.