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Leading By Sir Alex Ferguson with Sir Michael Moritz

Release date: 30th September, 2015
Publisher: Hodder & Staughton

List Price: 20.00
Our Price: 12.00
You Save: 8 (40%)
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“Leadership is accepting responsibility for being a leader,” says Sir Alex Ferguson about his new book, Leading, co-authored by a man who knows a thing or two about business success, Sir Michael Moritz.

Bursting with anecdotes which serve to illustrate the multiple management- and leadership-related points Sir Alex raises in this mammoth, 400-odd page tome, it’s a fascinating read, not least because, rather controversially, the Scot maintains he only ever managed four truly world-class footballers: Cristiano Ronaldo, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Eric Cantona.

Some observers would argue that Cantona, who certainly injected belief and arrogance into the Old Trafford set-up, is nonetheless lucky to be part of that quartet, especially when there’s no place for Schmeichel or Rooney, but who can argue with a man who brought unprecedented success to a club that had gone a quarter century without winning the league title?

Sir Alex defines his leadership style as “having control without dissent,” not an approach which is universally accepted at business schools or in the corridors of commercial power, but there’s no doubt it worked for him. As soon as anyone stepped out of line, they found themselves on the transfer list, shovelled onto the equivalent of football’s downward spiral. In many respects, this is a management style more suited to politics than business where, because organisations are so enormous, the chief executive will often cede some form control in order to benefit the business, although it’s a weak leader who fails to remind everyone of who is in charge.

Sir Alex is a born leader; yes, he was blessed with a generation of marvellous talent nurtured in-house and yes, he made costly mistakes (Sebastian Veron anyone?), but no British football manager has successfully applied his own leadership theories to one organisation over such a prolonged period as he did at Manchester United.

Perhaps the most important point to arise from Leading is that Sir Alex’s theories were never fixed; he adapted, changed, modified and fine-tuned personnel and his style for more than twenty-five years. In short, this book is required reading for anyone who has designs on becoming a football manager – or a successful business leader.


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