Helen Green

An Extraordinary Leader

When a sports person steps outside the world of sport to influence others in a totally different sphere then you know that that person is extraordinary indeed.  Such a person was Sir Alex Ferguson, a football manager who was recognised by the Harvard Business School for his expertise in leading footballers to achieve extraordinary things.

Before he retired Sir Alex was invited to lecture at Harvard, sharing his expertise and insights with the business world.  Now the Harvard Business Review has published a follow-up, reporting on a collaborative analysis of Sir Alex’s methods.  The author, Professor Anita Elberse, worked with Sir Alex to identify eight leadership lessons which capture critical elements of his approach and which can educate and inform leaders in the wider world.

The study was published in the October issue of the Harvard Business Review and makes recommended reading for all those who aspire to step up to the leadership challenge.  From the starting point of defining the difference between building a team and building a club onwards into other aspects of management, the review is thought provoking.  Whether understanding how to manage brilliant individuals within a team situation or making the most of current technology to enhance results, the way in which Sir Alex was not afraid to build and then to adapt his team and methodology to stay ahead of the game is a lesson for all.