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Leading: Learning from Life and My Years at Manchester United
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Leading: Learning from Life and My Years at Manchester United

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  4,117 ratings  ·  321 reviews
After an astonishing career-first in Scotland, and then over 27 years with Manchester United Football Club- Sir Alex Ferguson delivers Leading, in which the greatest soccer coach of all time will analyze the pivotal leadership decisions of his 38 years as a manager and, with his friend and collaborator Sir Michael Moritz, draw out lessons anyone can use in business and lif ...more
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published October 6th 2015 by Hachette Books (first published September 22nd 2015)
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Dec 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Written as a collection of anecdotes, this book tries to condense Sir Alex's philosophy into a set of principles by which to live. In my opinion, this is not so much a book about management or leadership as it is about work ethic.

Sir Alex Ferguson typifies the stolid Scottish Work ethic, and more than anything else, this book succeeds in crystallizing that work ethic and shaping it into a coherent whole.

Do not expect any mind bending management philosophy here. Sir Alex does not magically reveal
Eduard Kutscher
Sep 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Do you want to know some hot news about David Beckham? About Wayne Rooney or about Cristiano Ronaldo? Yes? Then do not read this book, because you won't find here any. In this book you will find very interesting comparison of the work of football managers and of CEOs, sales managers etc. They have quite a lot in common.
I have never read such a long epilogue as the one in this book. The epilogue is really long but you will find there interesting comparison of ManU and Sillicon Valley companies.
Sep 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book is a second go at Sir Alex's biography, this time focusing solely on his leadership skills. A very enjoyable read indeed. But then again I found the following to be a bit annoying at times:
1. 99% of the book is dedicated at how Sir Alex has done everything right. Even sometimes criticizing his own critics and trying to defend his decisions. Perhaps a bit of modesty or sharing more anecdotes regarding the things that went wrong would have helped the tone of the book to shift sometimes.
Dec 31, 2015 rated it liked it
More or less what you'd expect if you invite a monstrously competitive person to spend 400 pages telling you why they were so successful. But it has lots of insight and you come away thinking that you'd want to be on the same team as him. There is a postscript by someone involved in finance in Silicon Valley which is preposterous, pondering the similarities with the world Sir Alex inhabited with the world of elite IT. Doesn't understand that whilst we might like to be as rich as the founder of G ...more
Soham Chakraborty
This is a superb, profoundly interesting account of the man who has reigned at the top of a sprawling footballing conglomerate for 26 years. There is something for everyone to take away from this book, even if you are not a football fan.

It spans the entire spectrum, covering Sir Alex Ferguson's childhood in Govan, a town in Glasgow, Scotland, his playing career and his managerial stints in three Scottish clubs before he landed at the club where quarter of a century later, he will have a bronze
Anand Vatsya
Jan 25, 2020 rated it liked it
For a Football fan like me, this was a great read. Much has been said about how Sir Alex Ferguson transformed Manchester United and it was great to know about what went behind the curtains for that transformation to take place. My book was extremely detailed in all the aspects that it covered and I think Sir Alex was fairly transparent with every aspect of his management style.

I, however, also think that Sir Alex gets very biased towards Manchester United, whenever talks around the functioning o
Feb 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sir Alex Ferguson was, is and will always be one of my heroes. By reading this book I have learned a lot, not just about his life and thoughts but also about football and managing and leading.
Oct 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My introduction to the world of Premier Leagues has been very very recent(or lets say "nascent"). However, reading this book gives immense perspective towards situations and most importantly circumstances that changed during the period Alex Fergusson managed the team . His style of writing and refreshingly lucid and is not preachy at any point. It is one of those rare books that focusses on circumstances, decisions and mistakes taken in that position. It is honest and raw. I happened to make the ...more
Gary Allen
Nov 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ferguson is a proven entity in leadership. Possessing an ability to see what others often overlook. Ferguson consistently demonstrates the importance of harnessing this skill achieving that which few dare to dream. Read every book by one of life's great thinkers and even greater listeners.
Leif Halverson
Sep 30, 2015 rated it did not like it
Been absolutely bored out of my nut reading this one. One incredibly bland book.
Feb 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Excellent insight into the history of the best football club and wonderful principles about life.
Nripesh Pradhan
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
It's nigh impossible to have a managerial reign like that of SAF in this modern era of the premier league that is all about short term success and quick results. But the interesting question isn't just how could SAF could win so many trophies as he did, it isn't just how he could conjure winning teams one after the other. The most difficult task Ferguson had was to eliminate any signs of complacency, which so frequently accompanies success. This book gives a glimpse of the discipline that served ...more
Paula Savioli
He was definitely one of the best in his job, but too conservative a person for my liking. Both are 2 sides of the same coin. I found the beginning of the book more interesting, but other parts were more boring and took me more time to read.
Happy Msale
Jul 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
A wonderful book on leadership.
Ye Lin Aung
Jan 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2017
If you love football and Man Utd, this is such an invaluable book.
Besides all the great leadership tips written in candid style, based on his immensely successful career as a player and a coach, Sir Alex also shed some of thoughts purely for football. The players he regretted not buying/he ended up buying and turn out to be great, the games he made the decisions right and wrong, the important games.
It also makes me think so much more about how hard it is to run, manage a club, to prepare, play
May 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Leadership lessons aside, this book is just downright interesting. The lives of professional soccer players, their coaches and managers are just fascinating. There are quite a few nuggets of management and leadership gold layered throughout a frank assessment of Alex Ferguson's career as the manager of Manchester United. These lessons aren't on the nose at all because they're hidden among a myriad of very interesting stories about the industry. This is a great read!

I would recommend this
This book is such a pleasant surprise!

What it's not - Another glorified account of Manchester United, an insight into the scandals from Sir Alex's time, a pure football book...

It is an honest insight into the mind and manners of a football genius and a leader. With some simple and hard hitting lines, Sir Alex explains his philosophy of communication, motivation and leadership. He reflects repeatedly on the virtues of a difficult upbringing and how the ethos of hard work and dedication helped hi
Martin Smrz
Jan 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If interested in management wisdom and football/soccer this is the book to read it.

Sir Alex Ferguson amazing track record in Manchester United performance is a good reason why to start reading the book. Looking behind the scenes and have a chance to relate to many of the good players, clubs or managers is the second reason to read it. And finally his common sense and uncomplicated approach to look at all parts of leadership at the football club, which is transferable to 80% of the leadership si
Harry Lee
Aug 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
There were times (when SAF was the manager) that I wished we had another manager, especially when MU went through a poor period. It is clear that I am an idiot.

In the years post-SAF, we see the full measure of SAF's impact to MU. They have spent millions but yet have not been able to get back to the same level. Some things money can't buy.

So in his second book, we get his story but this time with a focus on how he led, how he thought through.

Success and longevity.
Luke Taylor
Dec 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Despite my allegiance to Chelsea FC, this book is not only a fascinating look at Sir Alex' reign of dominance at Man U, but a prime example of the many virtues of leadership, and I much relate to the pragmatic fabric of his Glasgow-born soul. Clever anecdotes included, this book is more an exhortation of determination and an exposition of accumulated wisdom than a tome of footballing triumph.
Charlie Serocold
Jan 09, 2017 rated it liked it
A fairly quick read. Enjoyable - although primarily because it contained some interesting insights into the personalities of some of the players, the managers and the owners.

There are some good examples of how to get the best out of players and how to handle difficult personalities and, ultimately, there's no doubt that Sir AF's winning record is simply outstanding.
William Amerman
A little rambling. Pretty straight-forward stuff as far as the "learn to be a good leader by doing what I did" theme. Work hard. Have an attention for detail. Genuinely care about your people. Listen and observe. Nice to read some of the behind the scenes details but just okay as a book.
Simon Fisher
Oct 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is a must read for anyone in leadership or management. Ferguson's success speaks for itself and the book captures a lot of how he achieved that success through building and rebuilding successful teams and offers tips that can be applied to any field.
Anil Prabhu
Dec 03, 2015 rated it liked it
Has a nice collection of anecdotes from Ferguson's playing & managerial days but that's all there is to it. Was expecting more out of this book but it turned out to be his autobiography part 2. ...more
Karan Rawat
Mar 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ashley Brown
May 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Well, well, well...

...let me start this one with a confession.

While he was an active premier league manager, I didn't like Alex Ferguson at all. I'm an Arsenal fan, so I guess it's to be expected - for those not in the know (where have you been?) he managed Manchester United, and did a very good job.

Anyway, I'm older now and so is Alex he's retired, so he's not as active on my TV set to annoy me.

I'm a big fan of business books, and when I saw that there was one based on his leade
Ivan Sanchez
Nov 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Sir Alex Ferguson once said, “The two most powerful words in the English language are, 'Well done'”. The book Leading written by Sir Alex Ferguson has a high emphasis on the sport of football (soccer), but also on the value of a team with discipline as he expresses that through his teachings of being a leader. A Once world-renowned football manager for Manchester United, Ferguson talks about his successes in leading his team to 38 trophies including 13 Premier League titles, two Champions League ...more
Barry Clark
Oct 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Here are a few of the things make this book so special:

1. Alex Ferguson is the best football manager of all time with an astonishing level of success, worked to it from the bottom-up, and he's from a working class background.
2. He got there by building his team and culture around long-term thinking and decision making, which is rare in modern football. He describes how this long-term mindset applies to hiring, scouting, decision making, culture, etc.
3. His focus on hiring and youth development i
Michael Lewis
Aug 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sir Alex is known worldwide for his work at Manchester United, where he was a very successful manager for 26 years, he is less well known for being a supporter of the Labour Party. This book is an insight into his role as a football manager, and his first attempt at contributing to corporate management thinking.

Through this book Sir Alex introduces his style of management, and reiterates at the beginning of the book how important it is for managers to watch, listen and read, without using these
Peter Kobryn
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
An interesting book in parts but it also felt somewhat forced in its concept.

To me the parts of the book where Sir Alex went into some detail about his time as manager at Manchester United were the most interesting, insights as to how a football club is managed and the challenges that it brings were fascinating.

A few too many of these felt a little cleansed though, or cut abruptly short just as the line of thought was coming to a conclusion - one prime example being Ferguson explaining that he w
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a former Scottish football manager and player who managed Manchester United from 1986 to 2013. His time at the club has led to Ferguson being regarded as one of the most successful, admired and respected managers in the history of the game.
Ferguson managed East Stirlingshire and St. Mirren before a highly successful period as manager of Aberdeen. After briefly managing Scotland following the death

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