The Leadership Secrets of Manchester United Legend Sir Alex Ferguson

The host of BBC ”CEO Guru” Steve Tappin has been studying the leadership secrets of the most successful football manager in the history.

He published a list of Sir Alex´s leadership secrets. Here is a list of his seven leadership secrets, which I summarized to a sentence or two. It’s good to know that Sir Alex has some credibility concerning leadership. When he became manager of Manchester United in 1986, the club was simply miserable. When Sir Alex retired in 2013, he had won 13 Premier League titles, 5 FA Cup titles and 2 Champions League titles.

1. Face tough reality and sort problems out head-on
Don’t let problems fester but face them right away and directly.

2. Only accept winning
Accept the mindset that there are only winners and losers. Make sure you take care of even the smallest details and do absolutely everything to win.

3. No-one is bigger than the team
Deal firmly with your great performers who have a negative effect on your team spirit and corporate culture. The team is always bigger than great individuals.

The team is always bigger than great individuals.

4. Command loyalty as a true father figure
Always defend your team and players in public. Whatever you may have said in private exchanges, there’s nothing better than hearing ”Well done”.

5. Work hard & stay fresh
You need to work hard but you also need to rest and be physically fit. Only when you rest enough and are physically fit, can you perform at your best level.

6. Build an enduring institution of which people want to be a part
”The idea is that the younger players are developing and meeting the standards that the older ones have set before”, says Sir Alex. There are real standards when you have a ”club” not just a ”team”.

7. Leave on a high
Leave at a time of your choosing, not when you’re forced to do so.

And lastly, a truly great leader can inspire people to do the impossible. Sir Alex did just that.

You can read Steve Tappin’s article here »


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