- Name: Sir Alex Ferguson
- Date of Birth: 31 December 1941
- Profession: Football Manager
Sir Alex Ferguson has made himself one of the most successful and decorated football managers in history. He was originally a Striker who achieved moderate success and minor honours as a player in Scotland. Incredibly, he scored a high 171 goals in 317 competitive appearances. Towards the beginning of his management career, he made incredible achievements remaining in his homeland. Here he won Leagues, Domestic cups and European cups with Aberdeen Football Club. We could already seen the Alex Ferguson Mindset in action.
Following his successes, he was courted by Manchester United in England. Ferguson suffered some very difficult initial years with the club. He assessed and refreshed the squad which was known at the time to have an unprofessional attitude. Many players were aging (only one player was under the age of 24) and involved in a “drinking culture”. Ferguson did not shy away from the challenge. The next couple of years, he refreshed the team with carefully scouted young players alongside expensive marquee signings. The young players of the time are now known as the “Class of ‘92”. From the moment that he arrived, he wanted to rebuild the club properly, from the bottom up.
Approach and Mindset:
Ferguson believed in the creation of a fluency and supply of youth players. He knew these would be ready to support the first team when called upon. This approach allowed many players to enter the first team who had all grown up together as friends. This produced a special bond and team spirit. Sir Alex understood that this approach would fit in well with the history of the football club and his success in previous positions taught him that it was possible to win titles with squads of this nature. In addition, he understood that giving these younger players a chance would create loyalty and trust from them in his abilities. Once they were of this mindset, they would battle and give everything for him.
Ferguson’s reign at Manchester United lasted from 1986 – 2013 (when he retired). During this period he won 38 trophies both domestically and against clubs from around the world. One of his greatest abilities during this time was the skill to picture his teams in cycles. He understood how many years a player could give him at the top level. After that, he needed to decide on their future away from the club. Although this may be considered ruthless, he did what was best for the football club itself.
He removed his own sentimentality with the players when needed. Ferguson’s career could be summarised by the word “control” which is what he always looked to keep. Regardless of whether in front of the players, fans or directors. In conclusion, the Alex Ferguson Mindset was to understand that not everything could be controlled and accepted it. If he could have an influence, he would try to, using hard work, clarity of thought and determination.
Alex Ferguson Mindset – Quotes:
“I’ve never played for a draw in my life.”
“I tell the players that the bus is moving. This club has to progress. And the bus wouldn’t wait for them. I tell them to get on board.”
“If my parents were still alive, they would be very proud. They gave me a good start in life, the values that have driven me, and the confidence to believe in myself.”
“One of the things I always thought about as a young coach was finding solutions to things that happened, but the most important thing I always referred to was never giving in.”
“The work of a team should always embrace a great player, but the great player must always work!”
“So I delegated training. It was the best thing I ever did. It didn’t take away my control. My presence and ability to supervise were always there and what you can pick up by watching is incredibly valuable. Seeing a change in a player’s habits or a sudden dip in his enthusiasm allowed me to go further with him.”
Keys to Success:
- Control – Try to keep a control and composure over the most important things in your life. This doesn’t mean to control others and their behaviours. Instead control the things that will work toward the outcome that you desire. If something cannot be controlled, it is not worth worrying about as there is not anything you can do. Focus on what you can do to positively affect yourself and your situation.
- Delegate – It can be tempting to try and run all areas of your life at the same time by yourself. Understand when it may be better to ask somebody to perform a duty for you. By mastering the art of delegation, you can take control of the most important issues affecting you. Somebody else you trust can look after the smaller details. This will help you to achieve your end goal quicker and with less effort.
- Embrace Change – Change is inevitable, so we can either resist it or adapt to it. Resisting change is very rarely a good idea as you can become stuck “behind the times”. This can put yourself at a disadvantage. Try to think ahead of the curve and anticipate the changes that will be coming. You can place yourself in a position of advantage and as such, reap the rewards.
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