Wondering what to get your MD for Christmas? Internal communicators everywhere now have the perfect gift – Sir Alex Ferguson’s new book on the art of management.
One of the world’s greatest football managers, Sir Alex has built on his new role as lecturer at the Harvard Business School by publishing a book called, simply, Leading.
Co-written with venture capitalist Michael Moritz, it aims to be “an inspirational guide to great leadership” as well as – surprisingly, given Sir Alex’s many successes as manager of Manchester United – offering ways of “dealing with failure”.
Sir Alex says: “My job was to make everyone understand that the impossible was possible. That’s the difference between leadership and management.
“This book contains the lessons and observations about how I pursued excellence on and off the football pitch.”
Ferguson is unapologetic about his autocratic approach: "I was always very careful that my control was not usurped. That explains why I sold players who tried to undermine my control… everyone is disposable."
The book, which is published today, also reveals that a 'normal' day for Sir Alex started at the training ground at 7am and did not end until 9pm. Despite a five-week annual holiday allowance, he was over 50 before he began taking just three weeks off a year. Another fascinating personal quirk is that Sir Alex energetically rubbed his face just before going in front of the media "so that I appeared bright and cheery and did not display a hint of tension”.
Leading is published by Hodder & Stoughton and costs £25.
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