This past week I was reminded about how so many movies and TV shows demonstrate excellent lessons in leadership. Most of us view movies and TV for entertainment. They are frequently a great escape from the stresses of work or challenging relationships outside of the workplace.

However, if we think about the shows and films that we have viewed – both recently and years ago – we can identify movies and television series that imparted wonderful leadership lessons. Movies that come to mind for me include:

-Coach Carter
-Mr. Holland’s Opus
-Saving Private Ryan
-Hidden Figures

Recent television shows that I believe show excellent leadership are:

-The Bear
-Star Trek: The Next Generation
-Cobra Kai
-The Diplomat

You may agree or disagree with these sample lists, but my point is that we can learn so much about leadership from movies and television shows if we pay attention to character development, attitudes and behavior.

This thought rose to the forefront for me because of a question posed in one of my favorite blogs. As I have stated here previously, I read numerous blogs and newsletters about leadership, some daily, some weekly and some monthly. One of my favorites is “SmartBrief on Leadership.” Its staff pulls together what they consider the best articles on leadership from across the internet and offers summaries and the full pieces on a free daily basis. I highly recommend it, regardless of where you sit on your own leadership journey.

This past week, Candace Chellew, the terrific new editor for “SmartBrief on Leadership,” asked her subscribers about their favorite leadership lessons from the popular Apple TV+ show “Ted Lasso,” now in its third and final season. I responded with my first leadership take-away from the show.

The next day Candace published my comments in the blog. I figured that if my comments could make their way into “SmartBrief on Leadership,” they were worth sharing with you, the readers of this newsletter.

I wrote this in response to Candace’s query:

“Whenever anything happens – on the pitch or in the locker room, involving game strategy or the personal lives of his players, Ted always asks “What do you think?” He asks it of his assistant coaches, his players, his boss and even his son.”

“The best leaders listen first and talk second. Even when Ted may disagree with one of his players or coaches, he will always allow hem to speak first. Only after they finish does Ted offer his own opinion. This empowers his colleagues and team to feel heard and respected.

When people feel heard, it is amazing what can happen in the workplace. People do not crave being agreed with. They crave being heard. As I have written here previously, when people feel heard, they are much more likely to go along with the final decision, even though it may be a decision with which they disagree.”

So as you continue down your own leadership path, I encourage you to be like Ted. Listen first and speak second. It will help you be a good leader.

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