Sir Alex Ferguson – one of the greatest managers in the history of sports – spent 26 years with Manchester United and won 38 trophies, including 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups, and two UEFA Champions League titles. To put it into context, he alone won more Premier League/Division 1 titles in 26 years with Manchester United than any other club has won since the league was established in 1888, bar Liverpool Football Club.
When he took over this team in 1986 it had not won the league title in almost 20 years and was languishing in mid-table. He developed four different teams in four different eras, all of which won the English Premier League. He was constantly evolving and building a new team and was not afraid to made unpopular decisions.
What’s the secret to his longevity? What did he do that others didn’t or couldn’t. What can we learn from him about leading teams, managing people and getting the best out of them? Below are five lessons from the career of Alex Ferguson.
1. Discipline & Work Ethic
Alex Ferguson had incredible discipline & work ethic. Even after he had become the most decorated manager in the world he was the first to the training ground, arriving at 7am every single day. He admitted to skipping work for the first time ever a week before retiring from football at the age of 71. That too was the day after Manchester United's parade for winning his 13th & final English league title.