Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World


Written by: on September 11, 2023


Believe. What is it like to have someone believe in you? What does it feel like? How does it impact you? How does it change you? I did not grow up knowing what it felt like to have someone believe in me, but I married a man who continually lifts me up and encourages me to soar. He would be the first to tell you he is a sap and loves a great inspirational story. Given his parallel love of sports, I am not surprised at how he gravitated towards the television series Ted Lasso. I think he has watched the entire series at least four times. Maybe more. Probably more. Definitely more. I finally agreed to watch with him and I get the hype.

“Me? I love coaching. Now, I’m gonna say this again just so you didn’t think it was a mistake the first time I said it. For me, success is not about the wins and losses. It’s about helping these young fellas be the best versions of themselves on and off the field. And it ain’t always easy, Trent, but neither is growing up without someone believing in you.”[1]


Leadership Styles

What can we learn from Ted Lasso? Ted Lasso embodies the type of leader who inspires people to become better than they are. He draws out the best qualities in people. In his book Leading with Nothing to Lose, Simon P. Walker discusses different styles of leadership. He defines 8 different types of leaders based on three different characteristics: presented / reserved, strong/weak, and consolidating/expanding.

  1. Commanding (Presented, Strong, Consolidating or PSC)
  2. Pacesetting (Presented, Strong, Expanding or PSX)
  3. Foundational (Reserved, Strong, Consolidating or RSC)
  4. Visionary (Reserved, Strong, Expanding or RSX)
  5. Consensual (Presented, Weak, Consolidating or PWC)
  6. Self-Emptying (Reserved, Weak, Consolidating or RWC)
  7. Serving (Reserved, Weak, Expanding or RWX)
  8. Affiliative (Presented, Weak, Expanding or PWX)[2]

The Visionary Leader (RSX)

Walker describes the Visionary Leader: “Sees behind or beyond the present situation. Redraws horizons and inspires belief in others. Dissatisfied with the status quo and accepted norms and practices. Idealistic and passionate. May be remote and unrealistic.”[3]

Walker defines four elements to the Visionary strategy:

  1. Highlight the current problems without providing premature solutions
  2. Provide opportunities to dream dreams and explore possibilities
  3. Provide vocabulary that will redefine people’s current horizons
  4. Provide opportunities to build a sense of community – vision (RSX) is often closely related to belonging (PWC)[4]

He uses Martin Luther King, Jr. as a modern example of a Visionary Leader. I would like to suggest that Ted Lasso represents fictional example this type of leader.

Ted Lasso: Visionary Leader

If you have not watched Ted Lasso, I highly recommend it (though fair warning, there is quite a bit of language). Walker writes, “The Visionary strategy offers people another way, an alternative to the one they have hitherto taken as read.”[5] Before moving to England to become a football (soccer) coach, Ted was an American football coach. Many wonder how that even makes sense and question his qualifications for the job. He reiterates that his view of success does not lie in wins or Promotion, but in helping the men he coaches to be their best selves.

Walker further describes the Visionary strategy by saying, “It begins by questioning the assumption that things cannot be different, and it asks: ‘What would the world look like if we rewrote the script, if we tore up the rule book and started again?’”[6] Ted believes in his strategy. He believes in the people around him. Such as encouraging a player by saying, “You know what the happiest animal on Earth is? It’s a goldfish. It has a 10-second memory. Be a goldfish.”[7] He gifts another player with the book A Wrinkle in Time as an encouragement to this man to bear the burden of leadership on the team.[8]

His unique and refreshing approach to coaching and life inspires even one of his greatest critics. Trent Crimm, a sportswriter who follows him for a day, writes of Ted:

“His coaching style is subtle, it never hits you over the head, slowly growing until you can no longer ignore its presence. Whether that means allowing followers to become leaders, or in a show of respect, eating food so spicy it’s sure to wreck massive havoc on his intestinal system. And though I believe this Ted Lasso will fail here and Richmond will suffer the embarrassment of relegation, I won’t gloat when it happens, because I can’t help but root for him.”[9]

[1] Ted Lasso, Season 1, Episode 3, “Quotes,” directed by Tom Marshall, aired on August 21, 2020.

[2] Simon P. Walker, Leading with Nothing to Lose: Training in the Exercise of Power, Book 2: THE UNDEFENDED LEADER Trilogy. (Carlisle, CA: Piquant Editions: 2007), 33.

[3] Walker, 33.

[4] Walker, 101-102.

[5] Walker, 97.

[6] Walker, 97.

[7] Ted Lasso, Season 1, Episode 2, “Biscuits,” directed by Zach Braff, aired on August 14, 2020.

[8] Ted Lasso, Season 1, Episode 3, “Quotes,” directed by Tom Marshall, aired on August 21, 2020.

[9] Ted Lasso, Season 1, Episode 3, “Quotes,” directed by Tom Marshall, aired on August 21, 2020.

About the Author


Becca Hald

Becca is an ordained Foursquare minister, serving as the Online Community Pastor at Shepherd's House Church. She has over twenty-five years of leadership experience both inside and outside the church. Becca has served her community in many capacities ranging from Administrative Assistant and Children’s Ministry Director to Secretary and President of multiple school organizations. She and her husband, Andrew have been married for over 25 years. They have two adult children, Drew and Evelyn. Her great passion is to equip others, to raise awareness about mental health, and to help reduce the negative stigma surrounding mental health issues. In her free time, she loves going to Disneyland, reading, sewing, and making cards.

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