Book Review: Lead it Like Lasso [Stockman & Coniglio]

The hit-series, Ted Lasso, has captured the hearts and minds of many since it premiered in 2020. Since then, many scholars, enthusiasts and fans of the characters and of the show have created their own take. I am guilty as well, when in 2023, I partnered with Jason Rogers, Head of School at Rundle College in Calgary. We started a podcast dedicated to extracting the leadership lessons: every podast is about 20mins long and tackles each episode in order. We are up to episode 28 at the time of this writing.


Check out our podcast on Apple or Spotify,
and follow us on Instagram and Twitter too!




So, it is was natural for me to explore this book, with the subtitle “A Leadership book for life.Your life”, when it was gifted to me by my podcast cohost, Jason. This is a great read, and the voice / tone of the book is not your typical leadership book. They lean into the voice and playfulness of the characters, and the authors do a good job keeping excellent leadership lessons accessible and attainable.

You’d be interested in the book if you…
(1) Were looking to level up your knowledge on leadership and what it takes to sustain good leadership practices
(2) Wanted to be reminded of excellent mindsets and approaches to lead, regardless of your position in your organization
(3) Like charts graphs and humour in your non-fiction books to help visualize learning and leadership
(4) Really liked Ted Lasso ~ I’d go so far as to say that having watched the show is a must

Leaders Look Inward:

This book begins with “The Rules” and “The Players” and these first two sections emphasize the importance of knowing your organization, yourself as a leader, and the context and culture of where you want to lead.

The Rules: these capture the mindsets and approaches of leadership that are embodied by Ted Lasso’s character. Some are intuitive, such as Leadership is earned, not given and Face your Fears Others can remind us of what it means to be in a position, or be given the opportunity to lead, such as Defeat the Blank Page and Make Business Fun. These rules reflect what Ted Lasso brings to leadership most, but not all, of the time. And these set the foundation for the reader to reflect on who they are through the different characters.

The Players: I’ve already said that this book is fun, and playful, and this really comes alive in this section, where there is a fun, player-aligned, self-assessment, and then a deep dive into each player as a leadership archetype. This is brilliant in its simplicity, and sometimes leaders can overthink things, so I appreciated this book for their approach. For example, Rebecca Welton is “The Visionary Transformer”, and is captured by this chart:

Known for her ability to challenge the status quo, Rebecca’s leadership style is described through references to the show expertly. Then they recommend books that would make her leadership archetype even better by acknowledging her areas of growth.

This is repeated with each of the main characters, do by the end of this section you have a really great reading list! Oh, and these graphs too!

The Training:

In this section, the authors highlight the 6 areas that leaders need to train, sustain and maintain:

Core values and culture
Vision and purpose
Communication and Influence
Adaptability and Resiliency
Network and Community
Legacy and leveling up

For each of these areas, they do a deep dive with a creative structure. They use the arc of the show Ted Lasso, to help draw upon specific examples of change and continuity in each of these areas. They also provide quick tips and ‘slogans’ to remind the reader and provide sticky phrases to use. For example, when addressing communication and influence, they focus on Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and provide some great quips from the show: “Communication is a lot like wrestling a marshmallow. It’s hard to wrap your arms around the details, and things can get sticky” ~ so just remember “marshmallow” when developing communications. When it comes to EQ they emphasize and then reinforce with examples, that EQ can be trained: ‘self awareness practices’, ‘self-regulation’ and ‘social skills’ are just three of the areas that the authors provide tips and practices to improve.

At the end of each of these training sessions, the authors provide a reading list again.

The Game:

This final section is about bringing the skills to the real world. The book has an excellent companion site, where these training session take on a real-world opportunity for you – the reader. I won’t go into too much detail here, but this is an excellent self-study opportunity for those looking to level up.

Next steps:

If I were to recommend this to anyone, I would start with, watch the series, all three seasons, of Ted Lasso. Then read this book from start to finish and use the online resources. This would be, and is for me, an excellent opportunity to level up my leadership. Oh, and I might suggest the podcast “Lassoing Leadership” 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *