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After an astonishing career-first in Scotland, and then over 27 years with Manchester United Football Club- Sir Alex Ferguson delivers Leading, in which the greatest soccer coach of all time will analyze the pivotal leadership decisions of his 38 years as a manager and, with his friend and collaborator Sir Michael Moritz, draw out lessons anyone can use in business and lif After an astonishing career-first in Scotland, and then over 27 years with Manchester United Football Club- Sir Alex Ferguson delivers Leading, in which the greatest soccer coach of all time will analyze the pivotal leadership decisions of his 38 years as a manager and, with his friend and collaborator Sir Michael Moritz, draw out lessons anyone can use in business and life to generate long-term transformational success. From hiring practices to firing decisions, from dealing with transition to teamwork, from mastering the boardroom to responding to failure and adversity, Leading is as inspiring as it is practical, and a go-to reference for any leader in business, sports, and life.


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After an astonishing career-first in Scotland, and then over 27 years with Manchester United Football Club- Sir Alex Ferguson delivers Leading, in which the greatest soccer coach of all time will analyze the pivotal leadership decisions of his 38 years as a manager and, with his friend and collaborator Sir Michael Moritz, draw out lessons anyone can use in business and lif After an astonishing career-first in Scotland, and then over 27 years with Manchester United Football Club- Sir Alex Ferguson delivers Leading, in which the greatest soccer coach of all time will analyze the pivotal leadership decisions of his 38 years as a manager and, with his friend and collaborator Sir Michael Moritz, draw out lessons anyone can use in business and life to generate long-term transformational success. From hiring practices to firing decisions, from dealing with transition to teamwork, from mastering the boardroom to responding to failure and adversity, Leading is as inspiring as it is practical, and a go-to reference for any leader in business, sports, and life.

30 review for Leading: Learning from Life and My Years at Manchester United

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mayank

    Written as a collection of anecdotes, this book tries to condense Sir Alex's philosophy into a set of principles by which to live. In my opinion, this is not so much a book about management or leadership as it is about work ethic. Sir Alex Ferguson typifies the stolid Scottish Work ethic, and more than anything else, this book succeeds in crystallizing that work ethic and shaping it into a coherent whole. Do not expect any mind bending management philosophy here. Sir Alex does not magically reveal Written as a collection of anecdotes, this book tries to condense Sir Alex's philosophy into a set of principles by which to live. In my opinion, this is not so much a book about management or leadership as it is about work ethic. Sir Alex Ferguson typifies the stolid Scottish Work ethic, and more than anything else, this book succeeds in crystallizing that work ethic and shaping it into a coherent whole. Do not expect any mind bending management philosophy here. Sir Alex does not magically reveal a trick or two that enabled him build the mammoth organization that Manchester United is today. Instead, what is offered up are pithy, timeless pieces of advice. 'Reach work early', 'Be disciplined and focus', 'Build rather than buy', these are the building blocks that populate the framework of Si Alex's thinking. For me this book works because it goes back to the basics, and in this world of productivity apps and GTD philosophies (which are fantastic tools in their own right), this is a refreshing book that extols some timeless principles of success.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Eduard Kutscher

    Do you want to know some hot news about David Beckham? About Wayne Rooney or about Cristiano Ronaldo? Yes? Then do not read this book, because you won't find here any. In this book you will find very interesting comparison of the work of football managers and of CEOs, sales managers etc. They have quite a lot in common. I have never read such a long epilogue as the one in this book. The epilogue is really long but you will find there interesting comparison of ManU and Sillicon Valley companies. Do you want to know some hot news about David Beckham? About Wayne Rooney or about Cristiano Ronaldo? Yes? Then do not read this book, because you won't find here any. In this book you will find very interesting comparison of the work of football managers and of CEOs, sales managers etc. They have quite a lot in common. I have never read such a long epilogue as the one in this book. The epilogue is really long but you will find there interesting comparison of ManU and Sillicon Valley companies. Well written, contains lot of great information. For someone who likes football and works as a manager I would say that this is a must-read book.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Soheil

    The book is a second go at Sir Alex's biography, this time focusing solely on his leadership skills. A very enjoyable read indeed. But then again I found the following to be a bit annoying at times: 1. 99% of the book is dedicated at how Sir Alex has done everything right. Even sometimes criticizing his own critics and trying to defend his decisions. Perhaps a bit of modesty or sharing more anecdotes regarding the things that went wrong would have helped the tone of the book to shift sometimes. 2. The book is a second go at Sir Alex's biography, this time focusing solely on his leadership skills. A very enjoyable read indeed. But then again I found the following to be a bit annoying at times: 1. 99% of the book is dedicated at how Sir Alex has done everything right. Even sometimes criticizing his own critics and trying to defend his decisions. Perhaps a bit of modesty or sharing more anecdotes regarding the things that went wrong would have helped the tone of the book to shift sometimes. 2. The co-author knows not much about leadership. For instance he writes in the last chapter of the book (which is unnecessarily lengthy), that introverts don't make good leaders. I have read many books on leadership and can tell you that it is an absolute bull! Every contemporary MBA knows that the notion is wrong. I enjoyed the book as I am a Manchester United fan. The mono tone of the book made it a bit tedious towards the end but I learnt a few points from it.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Corey

    Summary: Leadership lessons aside, this book is just downright interesting. The lives of professional soccer players, their coaches and managers are just fascinating. There are quite a few nuggets of management and leadership gold layered throughout a frank assessment of Alex Ferguson's career as the manager of Manchester United. These lessons aren't on the nose at all because they're hidden among a myriad of very interesting stories about the industry. This is a great read! I would recommend this Summary: Leadership lessons aside, this book is just downright interesting. The lives of professional soccer players, their coaches and managers are just fascinating. There are quite a few nuggets of management and leadership gold layered throughout a frank assessment of Alex Ferguson's career as the manager of Manchester United. These lessons aren't on the nose at all because they're hidden among a myriad of very interesting stories about the industry. This is a great read! I would recommend this book to anyone interested in soccer, leading and/or management. The main message I took from this book is that soccer is huge and the lives of world class athletes, coaches and managers have a lot they can teach us! Some notable points: - As you get older, you temper your enthusiasm with experience. - We are accidental victims of our parent's DNA, we are shaped by the luck of the draw, through the circumstances into which we are born and by our experiences. - If you can connect talent and work, you can achieve so much. - Part of the pursuit of excellence involves eliminating as many surprises as possible. -Part of the way you develop excellence within in an organisation is in the way that you define success. - Much of leadership is extracting that extra 5% off excellence that people don't know they have. - As a leader, you don't need to be loved. Although it is useful on occasion to be feared. You do need to be respected though. - Last minute instructions can shake confidence. - Graveyards are full of indispensable men. - It is good to let the employees around you know that you care about the little details, but it's their job to attend to them. - The best leaders tend to be missionaries rather than mercenaries. - To build a winning organisation, you need to be building every day. - Successful people in business often trip upon their obsession before the rest of the world wakes up to its potential. - No organisation ever achieved greatness by constantly reacting. You do not lead by following. - Great leaders are competing, not with others, but with the idea of perfection itself.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jarvo

    More or less what you'd expect if you invite a monstrously competitive person to spend 400 pages telling you why they were so successful. But it has lots of insight and you come away thinking that you'd want to be on the same team as him. There is a postscript by someone involved in finance in Silicon Valley which is preposterous, pondering the similarities with the world Sir Alex inhabited with the world of elite IT. Doesn't understand that whilst we might like to be as rich as the founder of G More or less what you'd expect if you invite a monstrously competitive person to spend 400 pages telling you why they were so successful. But it has lots of insight and you come away thinking that you'd want to be on the same team as him. There is a postscript by someone involved in finance in Silicon Valley which is preposterous, pondering the similarities with the world Sir Alex inhabited with the world of elite IT. Doesn't understand that whilst we might like to be as rich as the founder of Google or Intel, what we dream about doing is winning titles and cups.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Soham Chakraborty

    This is a superb, profoundly interesting account of the man who has reigned at the top of a sprawling footballing conglomerate for 26 years. There is something for everyone to take away from this book, even if you are not a football fan. It spans the entire spectrum, covering Sir Alex Ferguson's childhood in Govan, a town in Glasgow, Scotland, his playing career and his managerial stints in three Scottish clubs before he landed at the club where quarter of a century later, he will have a bronze This is a superb, profoundly interesting account of the man who has reigned at the top of a sprawling footballing conglomerate for 26 years. There is something for everyone to take away from this book, even if you are not a football fan. It spans the entire spectrum, covering Sir Alex Ferguson's childhood in Govan, a town in Glasgow, Scotland, his playing career and his managerial stints in three Scottish clubs before he landed at the club where quarter of a century later, he will have a bronze statue and a stand bearing his name in the famous red of Manchester United. This is a tale of a very successful man, who made winning a habit and inculcated that habit into this organization. Most importantly he maintained the habit till he left the club, so much so that Manchester United is synonymous with Sir Alex Ferguson. Sir Alex writes thoughtfully and candidly. The best part that I liked about this book is that Sir Alex didn't hold back anything, he named names and is surprisingly open. Some very interesting aspects of his tenure are discussed in vivid detail and often it felt like reading the man's mind. His iron grip on the dressing room, coupled with relentless hunger of being - and staying - the best, remain unmatched in footballing world. Football is littered with examples of how great, wildly successful managers lose the dressing room. Jose Mourinho in Chelsea and Manchester United, Carlo Ancelloti in Bayern Munich, Antonio Conte in Chelsea are very recent examples of magnificent managers losing the dressing room and succumbing to player power. And this is where the title of the book is apt; it's called 'Leading', not 'Managing'. Very few football managers become leaders. Perhaps Diego Simone in Atletico Madrid can be called a leader, but he has not spent a decade at the helm of his club yet. The fact that Sir Alex was the supreme authority among his players, coaching staff and others in the football club, for more than two decades, is a testament of how he practiced control and discipline. Being able to retain that control with so many players coming from all corners of the world and translating that control into success by playing well on the pitch, is unmatched in footballing history. Although I am not a Manchester United supporter, that doesn't stop me from appreciating how charismatic and brilliant Sir Alex was in his tenure at the club. Nobody knows whether football will have such a leader again. However I do feel that a little bit of humility, along with anecdote and explanation of why things went wrong when they did, would have made this a more 'human' read. But again, it maybe wrong to expect that in a book written by such a competitive person.

  7. 5 out of 5

    AV

    For a Football fan like me, this was a great read. Much has been said about how Sir Alex Ferguson transformed Manchester United and it was great to know about what went behind the curtains for that transformation to take place. My book was extremely detailed in all the aspects that it covered and I think Sir Alex was fairly transparent with every aspect of his management style. I, however, also think that Sir Alex gets very biased towards Manchester United, whenever talks around the functioning o For a Football fan like me, this was a great read. Much has been said about how Sir Alex Ferguson transformed Manchester United and it was great to know about what went behind the curtains for that transformation to take place. My book was extremely detailed in all the aspects that it covered and I think Sir Alex was fairly transparent with every aspect of his management style. I, however, also think that Sir Alex gets very biased towards Manchester United, whenever talks around the functioning of other clubs, sacking of managers or buying players came to the fore. And this is regardless of the facts that, after Sir Alex, David Moyes wasn't even given a full year to practice his ideologies on the team. Yes, I greatly admire what United have achieved during Sir Alex's time. But I felt he has been overly critical of the functionalities of the other clubs, especially Manchester City & Chelsea. Now, this might be coming from the fact that I'm a life-long Chelsea fan but then, I think, the tone is starkly clear for anyone to identify. One of my Quora answers also revolves around this aspect of transfers of Manchester United - https://www.quora.com/Why-is-Chelsea-... Lastly, I felt the Epilogue was not only very lengthy but was quite unnecessary as well. I think it was a not-so-good attempt to liken Sir Alex's tenure and workings with that of Silicon Valley's companies. While for a startups aficionado like me, it wasn't all bad, a better way of inclusion would have been in between the chapters at the relevant places. In the current format, it often turned out to be quite uninteresting. I read books on startups, management and CEOs and I really don't think there are much tangible stuff in here. But don't get me wrong! For any football fan, if they just want to read about football, this could be a really great read. Even if you're not a United fan.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nitya

    My introduction to the world of Premier Leagues has been very very recent(or lets say "nascent"). However, reading this book gives immense perspective towards situations and most importantly circumstances that changed during the period Alex Fergusson managed the team . His style of writing and refreshingly lucid and is not preachy at any point. It is one of those rare books that focusses on circumstances, decisions and mistakes taken in that position. It is honest and raw. I happened to make the My introduction to the world of Premier Leagues has been very very recent(or lets say "nascent"). However, reading this book gives immense perspective towards situations and most importantly circumstances that changed during the period Alex Fergusson managed the team . His style of writing and refreshingly lucid and is not preachy at any point. It is one of those rare books that focusses on circumstances, decisions and mistakes taken in that position. It is honest and raw. I happened to make the mistake of reading reviews before picking up this book, and my advice to anyone reading this review would be to pay immense amount of attention to approach and circumstance. Do not look at it as a bible for management , but to view management decisions that Alex Fergusson took based on situation. I definitely picked up a thing or two. The mantle the manager of a football team carries is very akin to the decision of a business owner.5 stars from me.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Gary Allen

    Ferguson is a proven entity in leadership. Possessing an ability to see what others often overlook. Ferguson consistently demonstrates the importance of harnessing this skill achieving that which few dare to dream. Read every book by one of life's great thinkers and even greater listeners. Ferguson is a proven entity in leadership. Possessing an ability to see what others often overlook. Ferguson consistently demonstrates the importance of harnessing this skill achieving that which few dare to dream. Read every book by one of life's great thinkers and even greater listeners.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Leif Halverson

    Been absolutely bored out of my nut reading this one. One incredibly bland book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Zablon

    Excellent insight into the history of the best football club and wonderful principles about life.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nripesh Pradhan

    It's nigh impossible to have a managerial reign like that of SAF in this modern era of the premier league that is all about short term success and quick results. But the interesting question isn't just how could SAF could win so many trophies as he did, it isn't just how he could conjure winning teams one after the other. The most difficult task Ferguson had was to eliminate any signs of complacency, which so frequently accompanies success. This book gives a glimpse of the discipline that served It's nigh impossible to have a managerial reign like that of SAF in this modern era of the premier league that is all about short term success and quick results. But the interesting question isn't just how could SAF could win so many trophies as he did, it isn't just how he could conjure winning teams one after the other. The most difficult task Ferguson had was to eliminate any signs of complacency, which so frequently accompanies success. This book gives a glimpse of the discipline that served as the foundation of the glory the fans were accustomed to. It's the inner fortitude to relentlessly follow routine, the mental clarity to be unperturbed by the media and the glamour and the unshakable confidence to believe in one's own philosophy, especially in the hard times, that made SAF's reign legendary. This book is a great lesson in the all conquering power of focus and discipline, the need to be ruthless with oneself to conquer the weakness that tempts us to take the easy way route. It's not hard, you just have to do it everyday.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Paula Savioli

    He was definitely one of the best in his job, but too conservative a person for my liking. Both are 2 sides of the same coin. I found the beginning of the book more interesting, but other parts were more boring and took me more time to read.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Happy Msale

    A wonderful book on leadership.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ye Lin Aung

    If you love football and Man Utd, this is such an invaluable book. Besides all the great leadership tips written in candid style, based on his immensely successful career as a player and a coach, Sir Alex also shed some of thoughts purely for football. The players he regretted not buying/he ended up buying and turn out to be great, the games he made the decisions right and wrong, the important games. It also makes me think so much more about how hard it is to run, manage a club, to prepare, play If you love football and Man Utd, this is such an invaluable book. Besides all the great leadership tips written in candid style, based on his immensely successful career as a player and a coach, Sir Alex also shed some of thoughts purely for football. The players he regretted not buying/he ended up buying and turn out to be great, the games he made the decisions right and wrong, the important games. It also makes me think so much more about how hard it is to run, manage a club, to prepare, play a match. Also the epilog by Michael Moritz is fantastic.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Venky

    If you harbour extraordinary anticipation and are effusively enthusiastic about buying this book, then be forewarned! This is a dampener. Distilling tried and tested wine, Sir Alex has tried, albeit in utter vain to package it in a new designer bottle. But unlike his pedigree in choosing wines, or for that matter football clubs to manage, this attempt at conveying (or trying to convey) his experience in the facet of leadership falls flat just as did the move in appointing poor David Moyes as a r If you harbour extraordinary anticipation and are effusively enthusiastic about buying this book, then be forewarned! This is a dampener. Distilling tried and tested wine, Sir Alex has tried, albeit in utter vain to package it in a new designer bottle. But unlike his pedigree in choosing wines, or for that matter football clubs to manage, this attempt at conveying (or trying to convey) his experience in the facet of leadership falls flat just as did the move in appointing poor David Moyes as a reluctant leader at Old Trafford! At times the book reads as though it is an undisguised paean to the exploits of Christiano Ronaldo, the second best footballer on the Planet currently (although some would argue that he is the numero uno). Whether Sir Alex means it as a subtle overture to his former footballing hero for a homecoming or whether it is a genuine delight at enjoying the dazzling skills of the Portuguese wonder, is anybody's guess. Consider this startling passage for instance: "That's why Beckham became a master of taking free kicks from between 25 and 30 yards from goal; and Giggs from between 18 and 23 yards.....As for Ronaldo, he'd be able to score from free kicks if he took them from behind the moon". Orbital and dizzying praise indeed! But to be fair, the book has got its merits as well, although too few and far between. Insights on listening, experience and management provide a few glints of value and practical markers for any aspiring professional. The book, by the way is co-authored by Michael Moritz of Sequoia Capital and he also is responsible for providing its most ingratiating chapter. An extended epilogue which has Sir Alex being viewed from the 'lens' of Moritz is nothing but an unabashed exercise in pandering and pleasing. Sir Alex is compared to some of the leading icons in Silicon Valley and Manchester United, to the companies led by those stalwarts. By the time one trudges through till the end of the epilogue, the feeling is one of extreme relief! Despite being a die hard fan of the Red Devils and an unashamed admirer of Sir Alex Ferguson, I have to admit that this book is a serious let down. There is a marked absence of sequence, flow and connect. It is more a collection of random interviews sans the inverted commas than a concerted and dedicated effort to disseminate some useful facets of leadership and management. "Leading from My Life..." - Unfortunately leading nowhere!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Anoochan

    This book is such a pleasant surprise! What it's not - Another glorified account of Manchester United, an insight into the scandals from Sir Alex's time, a pure football book... It is an honest insight into the mind and manners of a football genius and a leader. With some simple and hard hitting lines, Sir Alex explains his philosophy of communication, motivation and leadership. He reflects repeatedly on the virtues of a difficult upbringing and how the ethos of hard work and dedication helped hi This book is such a pleasant surprise! What it's not - Another glorified account of Manchester United, an insight into the scandals from Sir Alex's time, a pure football book... It is an honest insight into the mind and manners of a football genius and a leader. With some simple and hard hitting lines, Sir Alex explains his philosophy of communication, motivation and leadership. He reflects repeatedly on the virtues of a difficult upbringing and how the ethos of hard work and dedication helped him through out his life. The book is rich with anecdotes and Sir Alex is candid in his opinion about people, both successful and not so successful. For anyone who wants to understand the recipe for becoming successful and the efforts needed to keep yourself invigorated to stay on top for long; must read this book.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Martin Smrz

    If interested in management wisdom and football/soccer this is the book to read it. Sir Alex Ferguson amazing track record in Manchester United performance is a good reason why to start reading the book. Looking behind the scenes and have a chance to relate to many of the good players, clubs or managers is the second reason to read it. And finally his common sense and uncomplicated approach to look at all parts of leadership at the football club, which is transferable to 80% of the leadership si If interested in management wisdom and football/soccer this is the book to read it. Sir Alex Ferguson amazing track record in Manchester United performance is a good reason why to start reading the book. Looking behind the scenes and have a chance to relate to many of the good players, clubs or managers is the second reason to read it. And finally his common sense and uncomplicated approach to look at all parts of leadership at the football club, which is transferable to 80% of the leadership situations in business makes this book a great and entertaining read.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Harry Lee

    There were times (when SAF was the manager) that I wished we had another manager, especially when MU went through a poor period. It is clear that I am an idiot. In the years post-SAF, we see the full measure of SAF's impact to MU. They have spent millions but yet have not been able to get back to the same level. Some things money can't buy. So in his second book, we get his story but this time with a focus on how he led, how he thought through. Success and longevity. There were times (when SAF was the manager) that I wished we had another manager, especially when MU went through a poor period. It is clear that I am an idiot. In the years post-SAF, we see the full measure of SAF's impact to MU. They have spent millions but yet have not been able to get back to the same level. Some things money can't buy. So in his second book, we get his story but this time with a focus on how he led, how he thought through. Success and longevity.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Luke Taylor

    Despite my allegiance to Chelsea FC, this book is not only a fascinating look at Sir Alex' reign of dominance at Man U, but a prime example of the many virtues of leadership, and I much relate to the pragmatic fabric of his Glasgow-born soul. Clever anecdotes included, this book is more an exhortation of determination and an exposition of accumulated wisdom than a tome of footballing triumph. Despite my allegiance to Chelsea FC, this book is not only a fascinating look at Sir Alex' reign of dominance at Man U, but a prime example of the many virtues of leadership, and I much relate to the pragmatic fabric of his Glasgow-born soul. Clever anecdotes included, this book is more an exhortation of determination and an exposition of accumulated wisdom than a tome of footballing triumph.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Charlie Serocold

    A fairly quick read. Enjoyable - although primarily because it contained some interesting insights into the personalities of some of the players, the managers and the owners. There are some good examples of how to get the best out of players and how to handle difficult personalities and, ultimately, there's no doubt that Sir AF's winning record is simply outstanding. A fairly quick read. Enjoyable - although primarily because it contained some interesting insights into the personalities of some of the players, the managers and the owners. There are some good examples of how to get the best out of players and how to handle difficult personalities and, ultimately, there's no doubt that Sir AF's winning record is simply outstanding.

  22. 5 out of 5

    William Amerman

    A little rambling. Pretty straight-forward stuff as far as the "learn to be a good leader by doing what I did" theme. Work hard. Have an attention for detail. Genuinely care about your people. Listen and observe. Nice to read some of the behind the scenes details but just okay as a book. A little rambling. Pretty straight-forward stuff as far as the "learn to be a good leader by doing what I did" theme. Work hard. Have an attention for detail. Genuinely care about your people. Listen and observe. Nice to read some of the behind the scenes details but just okay as a book.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Simon Fisher

    This book is a must read for anyone in leadership or management. Ferguson's success speaks for itself and the book captures a lot of how he achieved that success through building and rebuilding successful teams and offers tips that can be applied to any field. This book is a must read for anyone in leadership or management. Ferguson's success speaks for itself and the book captures a lot of how he achieved that success through building and rebuilding successful teams and offers tips that can be applied to any field.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Anil Prabhu

    Has a nice collection of anecdotes from Ferguson's playing & managerial days but that's all there is to it. Was expecting more out of this book but it turned out to be his autobiography part 2. Has a nice collection of anecdotes from Ferguson's playing & managerial days but that's all there is to it. Was expecting more out of this book but it turned out to be his autobiography part 2.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mika

    Sir Alex Ferguson was, is and will always be one of my heroes. By reading this book I have learned a lot, not just about his life and thoughts but also about football and managing and leading.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ayush Saran

    I was first introduced to the sport of football early on in my childhood at the tender age of just 6 and although I don't exactly recall my very first United game seen live, I do recall instantly falling in love with football and Manchester United, and much of that love had to do with the team assembled in the 00's and Sir Alex Ferguson, a true revolutionary of his time. Not many coaches can boast of a long managerial career and achieving top status in all formats of the game over more than a 3 I was first introduced to the sport of football early on in my childhood at the tender age of just 6 and although I don't exactly recall my very first United game seen live, I do recall instantly falling in love with football and Manchester United, and much of that love had to do with the team assembled in the 00's and Sir Alex Ferguson, a true revolutionary of his time. Not many coaches can boast of a long managerial career and achieving top status in all formats of the game over more than a 3 year span. Sir Alex has precisely done that in his spell at Manchester United, bringing the city from North-West London ultimate glory in the sport. In an entertainment sport, run by players, fans, club management & board and the league, the managerial role is one which holds important significance when the club is glorified with success and bashed with defeat. An illustrious career spanning 26 whole years (Around 5 times the average span of a manager in today's time), winning all domestic and European cups on the table, Sir Alex Ferguson's clinical footballing mind and tactics were only part of the reason for him to enjoy this level of success. It goes without saying that Sir Alex's knack for being a natural leader and understanding of the organization he's been appointed to lead had much to do with this unprecedented magnitude of success. This book, written by him, is a wholly management based book, with a splash of football. Unlike a traditional sport book, this book focuses on the fundamentals of management in general which govern a strong organization. SAF takes anecdotes and experiences from his own personal life to elucidate important subjects. Regarded highly for his man management, the reader gets a first hand understanding of the relationship between player and manager and how to work together to get the best results for the club. The story behind Cantona's recruitment, Beckham's worldie against Wimbeldon form half-line, unleashing the would-be best player Cristiano Ronaldo to his fullest and seeing through player transfers are just some of my personal favourites. It really gets you thinking, because the way the situations are described in the book, you often find yourselves in similar positions, not necessarily in just football. There's excerpts on Listening, Discipline, Networking, Job Hunting, Work Rate, Conviction, Complacency, Teamwork, Captains, Team Management etc. A simple glance at the contents would make anyone think that this book had nothing to do with football. As a football fan, the best part of the book is the various references from the past which he uses to solidify his point, often referring to historic moments and matches that we've all witnessed and the entire reading experience comes full circle. Some really fundamental lifestyle choices such as discipline, hardwork and conviction, portrayed through examples of Ronaldo mastering the freekick, or Beckham putting an extra 1 hour of practice to perfect his art, or Evra understanding his importance as the gel that holds the dressing room together, or even cultivating new talent, in the guise of the class of '92 and how that became a secret recipe for success, which many tried to remake, but failed to do so. This book is the perfect pick for anyone interested in management and football, although even anyone not familiar with football will find it interesting. To quote one of my friends, "I knew it's going to be a good book, when the first chapter is all about "Listening" ".

  27. 4 out of 5

    Karan Rawat

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I initially picked this book up for some ulterior motive that I won't be discussing here cos someone somewhere is always watching (even though that ulterior motive didn't come to fruition), but unsurprisingly it was an enjoyable read full of insights into the mind and work of Sir Alex, arguably the best manager in Football (the real one, not the American ripoff). Being the manager of as big a club as Manchester United is no mean feat, even for an year (ask David Moyes), but Sir Alex was there at I initially picked this book up for some ulterior motive that I won't be discussing here cos someone somewhere is always watching (even though that ulterior motive didn't come to fruition), but unsurprisingly it was an enjoyable read full of insights into the mind and work of Sir Alex, arguably the best manager in Football (the real one, not the American ripoff). Being the manager of as big a club as Manchester United is no mean feat, even for an year (ask David Moyes), but Sir Alex was there at the helm for 27 years, bringing trophy after trophy and putting Manchester United on the summit of world football in the process. The book is an autobiographical account of Sir Alex's career told from the viewpoint of him as a Manager & a Leader, detailing about his methods, beliefs, work ethic, and drive for success. It is written in collaboration with Michael Moritz, a Venture capitalist in silicon valley responsible for the creation and sustenance of Sequoia Capital and contains a prologue from him where he talks about the idea for the book and the process of it thereafter. Sir Alex in keeping with his modest roots emphasizes on the need of a good work ethic above all even above natural talent and leads by example by recounting the phases in his career where he worked for almost 18 hours in a day every day. He goes on to talk about choosing the right career path, and the importance of choosing the right people around you, the people whom you can trust, people who have the same desire and vision as you. He goes through each point that he thinks would help a manager in their career, in separate chapters describing everything with the help of his own experiences and in the end we are left with a book that will in equal parts inspire you, motivate you, give you insight into the life and pressures of being a part of the footballing world, and in the end leave you with the feeling that with the right attitude and work ethic you too can knock off your targets from their f--ing perch.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Brown

    Well, well, well... ...let me start this one with a confession. While he was an active premier league manager, I didn't like Alex Ferguson at all. I'm an Arsenal fan, so I guess it's to be expected - for those not in the know (where have you been?) he managed Manchester United, and did a very good job. Anyway, I'm older now and so is Alex Ferguson...plus he's retired, so he's not as active on my TV set to annoy me. I'm a big fan of business books, and when I saw that there was one based on his leade Well, well, well... ...let me start this one with a confession. While he was an active premier league manager, I didn't like Alex Ferguson at all. I'm an Arsenal fan, so I guess it's to be expected - for those not in the know (where have you been?) he managed Manchester United, and did a very good job. Anyway, I'm older now and so is Alex Ferguson...plus he's retired, so he's not as active on my TV set to annoy me. I'm a big fan of business books, and when I saw that there was one based on his leadership I was intrigued. I just couldn't help myself. And, so I bought it. I'm glad I did. It's a fantastic read, full of fascinating insights. Even if you're not into football, there's so much to take away from this - and, even though Ferguson is very much a football man, he tries his hardest to relate things to the wider business world. It's split into several chapters, and they're filled with smaller sub-headings on topics such as 'discipline' - with all of the content being strictly anecdotal. Ferguson doesn't have an ego, or at least there's no sign of it here and I really liked that. After having so much success, it would hard to blame him for being a little bit up himself. I enjoyed the emphasis that he puts upon the way people are brought up. Whenever he went to buy a player he'd always find out about their upbringing, so he could get a better grip on their character and it's a school of thought that I really agree with. The only dry part is the last chapter, written by Ferguson's co-writer Michael Moritz. It compares the footballing world to Silicon Valley and, while it was interesting, it went on a little too long and left me thinking that it could have done with some editing. Although, Moritz has a net worth of 3 billion dollars...so I'm sure he'll be fine without my criticism. It's a fantastic read. Football fan or not.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ivan Sanchez

    Sir Alex Ferguson once said, “The two most powerful words in the English language are, 'Well done'”. The book Leading written by Sir Alex Ferguson has a high emphasis on the sport of football (soccer), but also on the value of a team with discipline as he expresses that through his teachings of being a leader. A Once world-renowned football manager for Manchester United, Ferguson talks about his successes in leading his team to 38 trophies including 13 Premier League titles, two Champions League Sir Alex Ferguson once said, “The two most powerful words in the English language are, 'Well done'”. The book Leading written by Sir Alex Ferguson has a high emphasis on the sport of football (soccer), but also on the value of a team with discipline as he expresses that through his teachings of being a leader. A Once world-renowned football manager for Manchester United, Ferguson talks about his successes in leading his team to 38 trophies including 13 Premier League titles, two Champions League wins, and five FA Cups in just the span of his 27 year period as manager. For someone who does not find an interest in European soccer, this might not mean much, but it’s worth noting that in the time he had managed Manchester United, he led them to victory at such an inconceivable rate that he had the world in bewilderment, fascinated by how he managed to do it. The book covers the knowledge acquired by Sir Alex throughout his time in leadership using topics such as excellence, decision making, teamwork, and preparation just to name a few. Although this writing may convey its message via soccer, being able to apprehend and learn something from it is achievable to anyone who is interested because of how easy it is to grasp the idea of leadership from it. Throughout my closing assessment of the book, I have found this book to be intended for those who seek to become great at what they do and guide people in the process by learning from the example Sir Alex Ferguson has left for us to follow and become leaders of our own. To conclude, my time reading this book was one that will have an everlasting effect on my character. If you want to lead, read!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Barry Clark

    Here are a few of the things make this book so special: 1. Alex Ferguson is the best football manager of all time with an astonishing level of success, worked to it from the bottom-up, and he's from a working class background. 2. He got there by building his team and culture around long-term thinking and decision making, which is rare in modern football. He describes how this long-term mindset applies to hiring, scouting, decision making, culture, etc. 3. His focus on hiring and youth development i Here are a few of the things make this book so special: 1. Alex Ferguson is the best football manager of all time with an astonishing level of success, worked to it from the bottom-up, and he's from a working class background. 2. He got there by building his team and culture around long-term thinking and decision making, which is rare in modern football. He describes how this long-term mindset applies to hiring, scouting, decision making, culture, etc. 3. His focus on hiring and youth development is incredible, with multiple chapters describing how he built one of the best teams in the world, and a lasting culture of dedication and excellence. 4. He isn't afraid to call people out directly, and describe their successes or failings. I don't feel like he held anything back in this book, putting it all out on the table, right down to how his family and marriage worked around his strenuous job. 5. At this point in his life (post-retirement), he has strong perspectives on business, finance, and politics and how those systems work. Some of these from his sons, who have also grown up and given him their perspectives on business and finance, and some from teaching leadership at Harvard. 6. This book is written with a slight slant towards usefulness for start-ups and businesses, occasionally making comparisons between football management and business management. He offers anecdotes from discussions with politicians such as the Prime Minister. Disclaimer: I'm am biased towards this book in a couple of ways: 1) I'm Scottish, 2) I admire Man U as a football team and culture.

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