Leading: Learning from Life and My Years at Manchester United, by Sir Alex Ferguson, 2015

The Gist

The title is self-explanatory. It is an honest insight into the mind and manners of a football leader. With some simple and hard-hitting lines, Sir Alex explains his philosophy of communication, motivation and leadership. If you’re not into football you can learn a lot; if you are into football you can learn a lot and enjoy the stories! I’m one of a few who have seen him play! I met him once and told him. He was impressed I remembered the Dunfermline AFC line up with Ferguson at Centre Forward.

What’s Good

38 years of management distilled. He’s a smart guy, was an ok footballer though he’d tell you different, and a brilliant manager. He has a phenomenal memory which I think is one of his most valuable assets – he recalls names, places, games, moments in games, things which were said. His recall of detail with a strong work ethic derived from his parents allows him to connect with staff, players and their families.


His affection for unsung heroes. He names managers and players who have impressed him without ever becoming household names. A strong work ethic with relentless perseverance being qualities he relates to. For that reason – he gives and gets loyalty to players, parents, families, staff, support and office staff, cleaners, caretakers and those who are in the circle.

Something to Try

Remembering names! Partners names, children’s names, anyone who remembers your names makes you feel significant.