“The only constant in life is change.” – Heraclitus

“If you are comfortable while you are doing it, you are probably doing it wrong.” – Ted Lasso

The Necessity of Change

Change is inevitable, whether on the soccer pitch, in the office, or in our personal lives. As Ted Lasso navigates through AFC Richmond, he teaches us that embracing change isn’t just about adapting; it’s about transforming challenges into triumphs (or at least progress).

In Season 1, Episode 5, “Tan Lines,” we see multiple characters embracing significant changes:

  • Ted faces personal upheavals with his marriage ending
  • AFC Richmond is “broken” and Ted benches Jamie Tartt
  • Rebecca suggests that Keeley do some branding work for the other players.

These shifts are not just plot points. They are pivotal moments that redefine the characters’ arcs.

In our Lens of Leadership Episode 5 podcast, we talk about the power of embracing change. (You can check out the full episode here)

From the Pitch to the Boardroom

Embracing change is not just a leadership skill; it’s a growth strategy that can lead to significant development in one’s personal and professional life.

Let’s take a look at how the show modeled strategies for change. The brilliance of Ted Lasso is how transferable these strategies are from the locker room to the boardroom to a living room.

How change helps:

1.      Expands your Comfort zone

Let’s take a look at Keeley. Two things in particular happened to Keeley that pushed her outside her comfort zone.

First she broke up with Jamie Tart. While she typically questioned herself anytime she broke up with someone Jamie being Jamie helped her realize that she made the right decision. She was able to move past it.

Second was Rebecca suggesting that she consider doing branding work for the other players Sometimes it takes an outside influence or connection to help you see possibilities. This conversation with Rebecca helped push Keeley into new experiences and situations that she might not otherwise have considered. The encouragement from Rebecca led to increased confidence and resilience.

As the saying goes, “you can’t be brave if you aren’t a little scared”. And it takes bravery to step outside your comfort zone.

2.      Enhances Adaptability

Being open to change helps you develop a mindset that is more flexible and adaptable.

Think back to Roy Kent in the very first episode who acknowledged that he was just waiting for Ted to get fired. Four episodes later… Ted benched Jamie and Roy took a second look at what Ted had to say. He encouraged the team to listen to Ted. This episode seems to be a turning point for Roy to begin to anticipate change and attempt to adapt. (Spoiler alert: It will be fun to see how this plays out for Roy in the next few seasons 😉 )

3.      Continuous learning

Change forces you to learn new skills, and often forces you to think creatively. Think about how AFC Richmond had to respond and work together as a team once Jamie wasn’t on the pitch to score.

Change stimulates your problem solving abilities and often leads to innovations by addressing new challenges.

Dan Sullivan and Ben Hardy address this idea in their book 10x is Easier than 2x. In a 2x world (meaning how can you double your productivity – like scoring goals or making money), people typically think about working twice as hard. The notion of multiplying your current effort by a magnitude of 10 just isn’t feasible. So taking the time to think about what it would take to 10x your output forces you to think of new ideas and learn new skills. It is that continuous learning that makes change have such an impact.

4.      Improves decision making and building resilience

The Tan Lines episode might have been the first but it certainly isn’t the last time that Ted Lasso can bring tears to your eyes. His half-time speech to the team was not just about the change the team needed to make, but it was as much a talk to himself about how he needed to rethink his relationship with his wife.

Recognizing the need for change allows you to begin to get better at assessing situations, weighing options and making choices under uncertainty.  Typically this leads to more thoughtful, informed decisions in all areas of your life.

Ted realized this not just for the team. He, too, needed to Believe.

Part of Ted’s half-time speech was about building resilience. You learn that you can overcome challenges and emerge stronger. And that helps you face life’s ups and downs.

5.      Encourages new connections

Change often brings new people into your life. Without Jamie on the field, another player had the opportunity to step up. When Keeley started looking into helping other players grow their brand, she found new connections and opened new doors for the team.

Individuals can find change in a new city, new job or new hobby. And all of these things can expand your network both socially and professionally (and in this world, there is a lot of overlap there). New connections often lead to new opportunities and perspectives.

Upgrade your Mindset: Believe

“Most of the time change is a good thing and I think that’s what it’s all about–embracing change, being brave, doing whatever you have to so everyone in your life can move forward with theirs.” – Ted Lasso

AFC Richmond’s success in adapting to new strategies underlines the importance of cohesive team dynamics as it relates to change. When team members support one another and work towards a common goal, navigating change becomes much more feasible.

Why Change Drives Success

Change is a powerful driver of personal and professional growth. It challenges us, pushes us out of our comfort zones, and leads to new opportunities. As Ted Lasso shows us, embracing change with positivity and resilience can lead to unexpected and fulfilling pathways.

Don’t forget to celebrate small wins along the way. Not everyone can bench their start player at half-time and pull off a victory. Acknowledge small steps on the path to your best self.

Reflect on the changes you’ve faced: How did you handle them? What can you learn from Ted Lasso about embracing change with courage and optimism? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments or on our social media channels.

Recommendations for Further Exploration

  • “Who Moved My Cheese?” by Spencer Johnson
  • “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg
  • “Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard” by Chip and Dan Heath

Reflection Questions

  • How have I responded to change in the past, and what can I improve?
  • What are my biggest fears about change, and how can I address them?
  • How can I foster a more adaptable and resilient personal or professional environment?