6 Product Management Lessons from Ted Lasso

Shreyansh Kotak
Product Designer
Read Time
5 min read
Published On
March 17, 2023

Ted Lasso's unconventional and uplifting coaching style has captured the hearts of audiences with his unique leadership style, charming wit, and infectious positivity. As the third season unfolds, we continue to uncover valuable lessons from Coach Lasso's philosophy that can be applied beyond the football field. In this article, we explore six powerful product management lessons that can be drawn from Ted Lasso.

Strengthening Team Ties.

Ted Lasso's unique management style involves treating his team like family and investing time in building relationships with players. This approach enables him to comprehend their motivations, strengths, and weaknesses, thus allowing him to tailor his management style to the team's needs. The strong bonds he cultivates foster trust, collaboration, and a sense of belonging among the team members.

As product managers, it is imperative to establish relationships with our teams. By understanding what motivates the team, what are their strengths and weaknesses, and what they require to be successful, we can create a more collaborative and supportive work environment, resulting in better product outcomes.Make conscious efforts to connect with your team members. Schedule regular one-on-one meetings, engage in team-building activities, and create opportunities for open communication. Encourage the sharing of ideas, feedback, and concerns, and be responsive to your team's needs.

Embracing Change.

Throughout the series, Ted Lasso demonstrates his ability to adapt to new situations and learn from his experiences. Despite not fully understanding the sport of football, Ted's enthusiasm for a new challenge and his positive attitude drives him to embrace the opportunity and eventually excel at it. Despite initial resistance from his team and the media, he remains optimistic and steadfast in his mission.

Product managers may not always have deep expertise in every aspect of the product they're managing. However, being adaptable, open to change, and willing to take on new challenges with a positive mindset is crucial. Your enthusiasm and optimism will not only help you learn the ropes quickly but also keep the team morale high.

Embrace feedback from your team, customers, and stakeholders to refine your approach and make data-driven decisions. It's essential to keep learning and be receptive to new ideas and perspectives, as this will enable you to be more effective in managing your product and leading your team.

Focus on the Big Picture.

Ted Lasso is known for having a clear vision for his team and prioritizing this over getting bogged down in the details. He understands that focusing on the big picture is essential for achieving long-term success and keeping the team aligned with their overarching goals.

As product managers, having a clear vision for our product and understanding how it fits into the broader market is crucial. Focusing on the big picture will aid in making strategic decisions and prioritizing features that will have a significant impact on our customers.

Communicate the product's vision with your team. Discuss how each product feature aligns with this vision and contributes to the product's long-term success. Encourage your team to keep the big picture in mind when making decisions and evaluating their work. This will help them prioritize tasks effectively and work towards the most impactful outcomes.

Maintain Positivity.

Ted Lasso is widely recognized for his relentlessly positive attitude, regardless of the challenges he encounters. He consistently looks for the silver lining in every situation and inspires his team to adopt the same mindset. This optimistic approach serves as a source of motivation and fosters a resilient spirit within the team.

A prime example of this is when the club faces relegation. Despite the setback, Ted Lasso keeps the morale high by focusing on the team's strengths and encouraging them to learn from the experience. He views the relegation as an opportunity for growth, and his unwavering positivity inspires the team to bounce back and work towards a successful comeback.

As product managers, maintaining a positive attitude is vital. Product development can be stressful and challenging, but staying positive can keep the team motivated and inspired. Embracing a positive outlook can lead to creative problem-solving and a more united team, even in the face of adversity.

To cultivate a positive work environment, celebrate small wins and acknowledge the progress your team makes. Encourage open communication, and provide constructive feedback to help your team grow and improve. By focusing on the positives and learning from setbacks, you'll create a more productive and enjoyable work environment that inspires everyone to give their best.

Believe in Yourself and Your Team.

Ted Lasso's unwavering faith in himself and his team is a cornerstone of his leadership style. No matter the obstacles they face, he believes in their abilities and knows they can achieve great things together. This steadfast belief serves as a powerful motivator, driving the team to overcome challenges and strive for success.

As product managers, it is crucial to believe in ourselves and our teams. Product development can be a trying process, and there will undoubtedly be times when we face obstacles and setbacks. By maintaining a steadfast belief in ourselves and our teams, we can inspire everyone to stay focused and committed to the end goal.

To cultivate this mindset, acknowledge and celebrate the unique strengths and talents of your team members. Foster an environment where they feel supported and encouraged to take risks and push their boundaries. Confidence in our team's abilities and encouraging them to believe in themselves is necessary for success.

Manage Expectations and be Accountable.

Ted Lasso exhibits a commendable leadership style, characterized by his ability to effectively manage expectations and take responsibility for his team's performance. As he navigates the complexities of AFC Richmond's stakeholders, including the club's owner, fans, and the media, Ted maintains open communication and transparency about his plans and goals. When the team underperforms or faces setbacks, Ted steps up and shoulders the blame, providing a protective shield for his players and coaching staff from external criticism.

As a product manager, managing stakeholder expectations is a crucial aspect of your role. Keep stakeholders informed about the progress of your projects, potential roadblocks, and any necessary adjustments. Transparent communication helps build trust and ensures everyone is on the same page.

Moreover, being accountable for your team's performance demonstrates strong leadership. When things don't go as planned, resist the urge to point fingers or make excuses. Instead, be the person who takes responsibility and learns from the experience. This will not only protect your team members but also encourage a culture of learning and continuous improvement.

Ted Lasso may be a fictional character, but his approach to management offers valuable lessons for product managers. Let's take a cue from Ted Lasso and apply these lessons to our product management approach. Remember to "Believe" in yourself and your team, just as Ted Lasso does, and you'll be better equipped to lead your team toward success and create products that truly make a difference.

At Perpetual, we understand the importance of effective product management, and we strive to apply these lessons in our work. By building strong relationships with our clients, empowering our team, emphasizing teamwork, and focusing on the big picture, we can create better products and help you drive business success.