If you’re looking for examples of how leaders behave — or should behave — “Ted Lasso,” starring Jason Sudeikis as an American football coach in London, is fertile ground.

Here are five times Lasso and his cohorts reminded us of the way leaders should act … and if you like them, you can get more practical — and endearing — leadership lessons from the show, available on Apple TV+.

  1. Be curious, not judgmental. During a high-stakes game of darts, Lasso uses the famous Walt Whitman quote, “Be curious, not judgmental,” to explain why curiosity is more effective than close-minded judgment and hubris. Had billionaire Rupert Mannion simply asked a few questions such as, “Have you played a lot of darts?” he would have learned that Lasso was an ace. The coach then punctuates his point with a game-winning bullseye.
  2. Bench the bad actors. When team members become abusive and detrimental, even if they’re rock-star performers, it’s time for a change. Of course, such moves may not be without consequences. In the series, star striker Jamie Tartt drags on the team morale and is benched during an important game. The team learns that no one is irreplaceable.
  3. Admit when youre wrongand apologize. The entire premise of the show is based on deception. Team owner Rebecca Welton hired Lasso, who had no experience coaching professionally or understanding of the game of soccer, to fail. She wanted the club to implode to hurt her ex-husband. But Lasso’s wisdom, optimism and commitment change virtually everyone he meets, softening hearts and winning over many of his critics. Over the course of the season, Welton realizes how she, too, has been changed by being in Lasso’s universe. Under pressure from her new friend, Keeley Jones, she confesses to Lasso that she set him up to fail and apologizes. Lasso forgives her, forging a deeper friendship and commitment to make the team better.
  4. Believe. A single word emblazoned on a yellow sign hung with duct tape over the coach’s office — Believe — reminds everyone in the locker room of the power of belief: belief in oneself, belief in the team, belief in ideals and goals (in each definition of the word). Lasso hangs the well-worn yellow sign in the locker room in the pilot episode. Jones points out that it’s crooked and directs him as he tries to fix it. They agree that it’s “perfect,” but when the camera pans back, we see that it’s just as askew as it was at the start. The belief doesn’t have to be perfect — it just matters that it’s there.
  5. Kindness matters. If there’s one constant theme throughout the show, it’s that kindness is a powerful force. Good things happen when the characters are decent and respectful and when they do the right things. Gruff, tough soccer legend Roy Kent has a nurturing and caring side that endears him to Jones, niece Phoebe and a circle of wine-drinking yoga moms with whom he occasionally watches reality television. Devoted family man and team communications manager Lesley Higgins has a moment of redemption when he stands up for himself and ends up in a better place. And the mysterious Coach Beard, Lasso’s assistant coach, shows us the value of wise and steadfast friends.