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Sir Alex Ferguson's management tips

PS get well soon Sir!

Photo by Austin Osuide.

The FIFA World Cup 2018 started today so this had to be a football related blog. Who better to discuss than Sir Alex?

The results speak for themselves: 26 seasons at Manchester United, 13 Premier League titles, two European Cups, five FA Cups, four League Cups, one European Cup Winners' Cup, a statue a knighthood and a street. He must have done something right! What can we learn about management from the man with all these successes under his belt? Read on.

As I was looking for football inspired ideas for this week's blog I kept coming across articles about Sir Alex Ferguson (affectionately known as SAF). There's so much to learn from him that I decided to run a series of blogs for the duration of the FIFA World Cup 2018. In fact, his strategies are so well thought of that there's even a Harvard Business Review case study on them. It's this I've based my series on. So here we are, let's kick off at ground level (sorry, couldn't resist!). 

Grass roots

One of the unique things that SAF did at Manchester United was to focus on the youth program. Ensuring that they had the best training facilities for the younger generation created a bank of great players for the future. This was a great way to future proof the club. It also creates a bond between players early on. One that's very difficult to challenge on the pitch. 

David Beckham, Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and the two Nevilles (Phil and Gary) all came from the youth training program.  They created the winning FA Youth Cup side of 1992 that went on to become successful international players.

Winning a game is only a short term gain...Building a club brings stability and consistency - Sir Alex Ferguson

How can we relate this to business?

There are a number of ways we can relate this to running a business:

  1. Get your recruitment strategy right to make sure you are employing the right people.
  2. They will share your values but ensure you instil them as soon as they arrive. For more information on values read May the fourth be with you.
  3. Create an environment that encourages them to support each other.
  4. Train them well, give them the tools to succeed.
  5. Promote from within.  

The bond between employees will result in fantastic teamwork. And the queue of potential new employees outside your door will be there because your existing employees will be telling all their friends how great it is to work for you!

In the following weeks I'm going to cover SAF's take on the following:

  • Week two: Portfolio management and segmentation strategy
  • Week three: Values and control
  • Week four: Messaging, communication and attitude
  • Final week: Delegation, observation and agility

For more information on how to integrate Sir Alex's management styles into your business contact

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