Britain's Most Successful Soccer Coach (03:30)
Tony Blair and others discuss Sir Alex Ferguson's leadership qualities. Harvard Business School Professor Anita Elberse introduces Ferguson to London Business School students. Hear a summary of Manchester United's titles.
Universal Leadership Skills (01:57)
Former Manchester United CEO David Gill and former Tottenham FC Chairman Lord Sugar discuss Ferguson's management. Billionaire Sir Michael Moritz explains why he invested in the team.
Ferguson Family Model (04:07)
Ferguson says the players, staff, and fans are at the core of his enterprise. His philosophy was to build a football club in his image; he acknowledged all employees and knew everyone's name.
Disciplinarian Style (03:11)
Ferguson infused Manchester United with values of hard work and commitment from his Glasgow upbringing. His father also played football and taught Ferguson how to gain respect as a leader. His first challenge as manager was to stop players from drinking.
Turning Around a Failing Team (04:14)
Tony Blair discusses reorganizing the Labor Party to get it reelected. Ferguson imposed order and discipline, from punctuality and training hard to requiring players to wear uniforms in public. He criticizes white suits worn by Liverpool players in 1996.
"Hairdryer" Myth (03:47)
Manchester United players tell stories of Ferguson losing his temper at them; many found his outbursts motivated them to play better. He says he always visualized winning and could not tolerate his team lowering their expectations.
Cantona Incident (03:00)
Ferguson explains why he stood by Eric Cantona, despite the player's unprofessional behavior and violence toward Crystal Palace fans. Moritz discusses his leadership talent.
Culling the Team (02:48)
Ferguson talks about making long term decisions— including dismissing star players past their prime. Captain Roy Keane was fired for an interview showing Manchester United in a negative light. Blair compares the action to firing Gordon Brown.
Developing Talent (04:08)
Ferguson explains his strategy for creating a player pipeline. Character building and trust are important components; Ryan Giggs recalls his debut game in 1991. Cristiano Ronaldo says Ferguson granted him leave during the Champion's League for a family illness.
Maintaining Control (02:20)
Rio Ferdinand recalls Ferguson keeping track of his drinking during an injury. Ferguson oversaw all aspects of Manchester United. Elberse cautions that the absolute power model may not work in other business settings.
Motivation and Teamwork (02:52)
Ferguson never let star players become bigger than Manchester United. He used images of Rockefeller Center builders and migrating geese to illustrate to apprentices the importance of team sacrifice.
Consultant Coach (04:10)
Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley asked Ferguson to give a motivational talk to his players. He used a migrating geese metaphor for teamwork, and included the caddies. Giggs recalls Manchester United participating in a hostage exercise with British Special Forces.
Long Term Success (02:53)
The 1999 European Champions League final against Bayern Munich embodies the "Ferguson formula." Building and rebuilding teams contributed to victories over 26 years. Ferguson discusses his ongoing desire to win.
Fear vs. Love (02:47)
Ronaldo and Giggs say they were motivated by both respect and admiration for Ferguson. Ferguson believes Manchester United did not have fear when they played. He also won the respect of rival coaches.
End of a Manchester United Era (04:23)
After winning 13 Premier League titles, Ferguson retired in 2013; Gill retired at the same time. Ferguson defends appointing his friend David Moyes, who lasted one year.
Final Thoughts on Leadership (00:41)
Ferguson says consistency in players and performance is responsible for Manchester United's long term success.
Credits: Sir Alex Ferguson: Secrets of Success (00:33)
Credits: Sir Alex Ferguson: Secrets of Success
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