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Cultivating positive mental well-being as a leader and fostering mental health awareness: Ted Lasso’s and Brené Brown’s lessons on overcoming stigma and embracing vulnerability

A cream and stone coloured ceramic mug enlarged in foreground, showing the slogan ‘See the good’ being held by a white woman

Building and leading a company or even a team can be exhilarating, but it can also take a toll on your mental health. As a leader, it’s essential to prioritise self-care and establish strategies for mental health awareness, maintaining positive well-being.

In this blog post we’ll explore valuable tips and tricks for leaders, drawing inspiration from the TV show “Ted Lasso”; we’ll delve into the importance of addressing stigma, overcoming shame, and embracing vulnerability, with insights from renowned researcher Brené Brown and, being in FinTech, tackling that age old worry….money, and the payments and bills that are a part of everyday life.

1. Prioritise self-care

Being a leader often means juggling numerous responsibilities, which can lead to neglecting self-care. However, having high mental health awareness and maintaining positive wellbeing requires intention. Ted Lasso, the eponymous eternal optimist of an often-losing fictional football team exemplifies the importance of an intentional positive mindset.

From phrases like: “be a goldfish” meaning don’t dwell on your mistakes, instead, take the learnings, then be a goldfish and forget, allowing you to move on positively and successfully rather than continue to expend energy beating yourself up for slip ups; to ‘you tried something and it didn’t work, big whoop’ and walking on by after his assistant coaches spectacularly caused their team to implode.

He encourages, reflects, and finds the positive in everything, never failing to own up to his failings and sincerely and generously apologising when required. Channelling your inner Ted Lasso, leaders can foster resilience, enabling them to keep performing irrespective of whether activities are successful.

2. Foster a positive work culture

Creating a supportive and positive work culture is crucial for both personal and collective well-being. Ted Lasso’s unwavering positivity and belief in the power of teamwork resonate strongly. As a leader, you can foster a positive work environment by encouraging open communication, recognising and celebrating achievements, promoting collaboration, and providing support to your team.

A positive workplace is one that not only has good mental health awareness, but also one that enhances mental health and boosts employee satisfaction, and there’s no denying that enhanced employee satisfaction comes with increased productivity….ensuring your work culture has high levels of mental health awareness and helping to keep your staff on track is the right thing to do and good for them, but it’s also good for your business.

3. Challenge stigma and shame

Stigma surrounding mental health is still prevalent, often preventing individuals from seeking help and talking about their struggles openly. Ted Lasso’s character exemplifies how addressing sensitive issues head-on can lead to positive outcomes. Whilst many of his players benefitted from talking to a counsellor, he took a while to come round to facing the pain causing his panic attacks.

As a leader, you can play a pivotal role in breaking down these barriers by fostering an environment that encourages dialogue and support. By openly discussing mental health, sharing personal experiences, and offering resources, you can help eliminate the stigma and create a safe space for your team. Live by example has never been truer.

4. Embrace vulnerability and learn from failure

Brené Brown’s research emphasises the importance of embracing vulnerability and accepting failure as part of the growth process. Ted Lasso demonstrates this by daring greatly and wholeheartedly embracing every challenge, even when faced with failures.

It’s crucial to recognise that making mistakes, as a leader, is a natural part of the entrepreneurial journey. Embrace vulnerability by acknowledging your own imperfections, seeking feedback, and encouraging your team to learn from failures. By fostering a culture that views failure as an opportunity for growth, you create an environment that encourages innovation and resilience.

Since you’re still with us, we thought you might be interested in watching Brené Brown’s captivating TED Talk on “The Power of Vulnerability.”

5. Cultivate psychological safety

Psychological safety is the foundation for well-being in any workplace. By prioritising psychological safety, you create an environment where individuals feel comfortable expressing their thoughts, emotions, and concerns without fear of judgment or reprisal.

Ted Lasso’s character exhibits empathy, active listening, and non-judgmental support, his nurturing coaching style is tailored to every individual member of his team. You can follow suit by providing regular opportunities for open communication, implementing feedback mechanisms, and valuing diverse perspectives.

Remember that psychological safety allows for the development of strong relationships, teamwork, and innovation. And so where do payments and all our regular bills come into all of this? Well, during a cost of living crisis, of course many people are worried about their finances, and the first thing people want to do as a consequence of financial stress at their sky rocketing payments is take control of their money.

In an Ordo survey, we discovered that, in circumstances such as Covid, now being followed by the cost of living crisis, in order to take control of their payments, people started cancelling their direct debits.

As FinTechs, we are in a unique position to not only be able to foster mental health awareness in business, but also help those that use our services to have better mental health and wellbeing and feel more at peace with their payments.

With open banking enabling instant payments, individuals can now easily track their finances. Whenever they check their accounts, they will see an up-to-date balance, providing them with a clear picture of their financial situation. Knowing your exact balance, whether it exceeds or falls short of your expectations, empowers you to make informed decisions about your next steps.

And there’s a new way, never more needed in a cost of living crisis, to deal with repeated payments – it’s called VRP, or Variable Recurring Payments Variable Recurring Payments are like a smart direct debit. They’ll leave your account automatically after a one time consent mandate, but it all happens in real time with minimum fuss. Repeated payments become frictionless when you want them to be, and can be switched to ‘ask me every time’ if you want more control.

No more having to cancel a whole direct debit mandate because you need to delay it a day, or forgetting the direct debit will leave your account 3 days after the business told you; with Variable Recurring Payments (VRP), it’s all up to the minute dynamic, giving you control and flexibility over your payments, just like the rest of your life.


As a leader, your mental well-being plays a significant role in the success of your company. By taking inspiration from Ted Lasso‘s positive themes and embracing vulnerability as advocated by Brené Brown, you can build a supportive work culture, challenge stigma, and prioritise self-care. And once you’ve got good mental health awareness and positive wellbeing mastered for yourself, you can roll it out across your company, and even be there for your customers making payments throughout a cost of living crisis, doing your bit for them too.