Business and leadership skills from the iconic football manager
By Alex Ferguson
An inspirational book about leadership from the most successful British football manager of all time.
What does it take to lead a team to world-class success over a sustained period of time?
Sir Alex Ferguson is one of the few leaders who truly knows. In his 38 years in management, Sir Alex won an astonishing 49 trophies and helped grow Manchester United into one of the biggest commercial brands in the world.
In this inspirational and straight-talking book, Sir Alex reveals the secrets behind his record-breaking career.
LEADING is structured around the key skills that Sir Alex values most highly. It includes subjects we immediately associate with his managerial style: Discipline, Control, Teamwork and Motivation. But it also addresses subjects that are less obvious but no less important when seeking success: Delegation, Data Analysis and Dealing with Failure.
Written with the investor Sir Michael Moritz, a longstanding friend of Sir Alex, LEADING is packed with insight, wisdom, humour and honesty. The individual stories inevitably concern themselves with football, and the phenomenal success that came along the way, but the lessons can be applied by anyone. Whether you run a business, teach in a classroom, or work in a small team, LEADING will help you become a better leader.
Sir Alex Ferguson was born in 1941 in Govan, Scotland. A goal-scoring centre-forward, he was later transferred to Rangers for a Scottish record transfer fee. In 1974, he entered management with East Stirlingshire and St Mirren before joining Aberdeen, where consistent domestic success, followed by victory in the 1983 Cup Winners' Cup over Real Madrid, brought him wider attention.
Arriving at Manchester United in 1986, he went on to accumulate 38 trophies, including five FA Cups, 13 Premier Leagues and two Champions Leagues. He was knighted in 1999, following Manchester United's remarkable Treble campaign, and his overall haul of 49 trophies makes him the most successful British manager of all time.
Sir Alex announced his retirement in 2013, but he continues to serve United as a director and is a Fellow to the Executive Education Program at Harvard Business School.
Sir Michael Moritz was born in Cardiff, studied at Oxford and became a journalist at Time magazine in the US in the late 1970s. It was during this period that he met the young Steve Jobs and wrote the first book about Apple, The Little Kingdom: The Private Story of Apple Computer. Moritz co-authored a second business book, Going for Broke: The Chrysler Story, and in 1986 joined Sequoia Capital, in Silicon Valley, California.
Sequoia Capital's close alliances with young founders have been transformed into companies now worth nearly $1.5 trillion - the most of any private investment firm in the world. These include the first investments in companies such as Apple and Cisco and, more recently, YouTube, Airbnb, Dropbox and WhatsApp. Michael Moritz has been a member of the Board of Directors of Google, Yahoo!, PayPal and LinkedIn.
In 2012 he became chairman of Sequoia Capital and was knighted in 2013. His family's philanthropic work includes Europe's largest scholarship programme for low income university students. The son of refugees from Nazi Germany, he lives in San Francisco with his wife, Harriet Heyman.
- Other details
- Publication date:
22 Sep 2015
- Page count:
Hodder & Stoughton
LEADING is about leadership, management and the pursuit of success. It's a fantastic book, one of the best of its kind. The defining quality of Ferguson and Moritz's book is its clarity. The pair discuss leadership from a purely practical perspective, their raw material being Ferguson's vast experience. If there's one word, though, that characterises his philosophy of management it's discipline... And yet what comes through very strongly is humility, even vulnerability.
Every success of his, you realise, has been hard-won. Failure has been a constant threat. Nagging anxiety he just accepted 'as part of my job'. And he wouldn't have had it any other way.
— Marcus Berkmann, Daily Mail
For those interested in the subject of leadership, be it managing people effectively and getting the best out of them or learning which qualities and traits separate those who manage and those who inspire, Leading is a worthwhile read.
Football fans might complain that the book is over too quickly, even though Ferguson provides 343 pages of entertaining stories and observations. Structuring his sermons in an easily read format is the latest managerial masterstroke from a man who made a career out of regularly producing them.
— Daily Express
The foundation for its (Man Utd's) success was built by Ferguson, whose near-pathological obsession with football - and with winning - is a case study in leadership. — Lionel Barber, Financial Times
Ferguson is one of the most successful men in his field - not just in football, but any sport in any era. He defied the norms and the scale of his accomplishments will only become more apparent with the passing of time. History will see that Ferguson grows, not diminishes. — Matt Dickinson, The Times
This is as good as Ferguson's last book. Both are about being a particular kind of person... — Independent