For all those who do not follow football/soccer – Sir Alex Ferguson is the current manager of Manchester United and has been for an illustrious career spanning 22 years in which he has won everything that can be won and his hunger for winning is still alive. Moreover, in this time, he converted the club from a ‘has been’ to a footballing powerhouse winning the love of 330 million fans around the globe thanks to attacking yet result oriented football. This is just the first of many learnings from the great man’s book.
Probably, the greatest challenge that Sir Alex faced when he came to Man Utd in 1986 was that the club had a big drinking culture amongst its players. As the club had had a glorious history thanks to another great Scottish manager by name Sir Matt Busby, in whose time they had won league titles and the prestigious European Cup, the club, since his retirement had only declined.
SAF’s first move was to gradually weed out all the players who were part of this ‘drinking club’ as he said famously that he plans to run a football club and none other. Fans were intially outraged as a number of popular players were out before they knew it and gradually the results showed..
My learning from this is his innate belief that intrinsic control is the first step to success. SAF is reknowned for disciplining youngsters with strict hairstyles, diets and punctuality. And it shows.. as Man Utd are on the brink of their 2nd European Cup Final in his glorious tenure as manager..