I have taken the headings out of Sir Alex Ferguson’s book which I received as a present for Christmas. I must admit even though Sir Alex has been lecturing at Harvard it has not had the same impact on me as Sir Clive Woodward’s book” Winning” and I am a United supporter!

  • Listening – We have all heard the expression we have two ears and one mouth and we should use them accordingly. I have worked for some fantastic motivators and it has only been when they stop listening that they cease to motivate and lose their way.
  • Watching – When I was a Managing Director I wanted to be out on the shop floor hearing what is going on and seeing things for myself. A previous manager of mine lost his way when some stupid rabbit hutches were built instead of offices and we could hear all of his conversations and he could no longer see what we were up to.
  • Reading – As a coach I read a great deal to try and gain more knowledge. Many of the books I have read are great for the first 30 pages and then become repetitive whether it is on leadership or psychology.
  • Discipline – I am not somebody who could apply the same stringent disciplines which Sir Alex set but on the other hand I believe there has to be a measure of consistency and ground rules set.
  • Work rate – Coming from a sales background I don’t believe anything starts unless there is activity and therefor a work rate. I would always go for the right attitude over flair.
  • Drive –Sir Alex’s definition of drive is good – a combination of a willingness to work hard, emotional fortitude, enormous powers of concentration and a refusal to admit defeat.
  • Conviction – Any true leader has an inner belief which can appear to border on arrogance sometimes.
  • Organisation – I think this ties into strategy; having a plan for the long term whilst focusing on the key elements of tactics which is very much the short term.
  • Preparation – It seems that leading a football team is all about what happens on the training field. I am not sure whether this is replicated in business. Too many company leaders do what they have always done.
  • Pipeline – For companies use the words succession management where managers might hang around too long which is the opposite to the majority of football managers.
  • Teamwork – This is where the right combination of characters is so important. I use Prism Profiling www.prismbrainmapping.com to bring this out for my coachees. Each team needs a balance of evaluation, creativity and doers.
  • Captains – Managers in a business sense. A strong personality, trust, respect and employees will follow instructions.
  • Excellence- World class service is something each company should strive for similar to world class footballers but only a handful achieve these exacting standards.
  • Inspiring – Doesn’t have to be spontaneous speeches but supporting your team or individuals when they meet adversity. Praise in public, criticise in private.
  • Avoid complacency – complacency is a disease, especially for individuals and organisations that have enjoyed success. . It is good to celebrate success and then plan and work hard for the next achievement.

These headings complete the first half of Sir Alex’s book. If you are a football supporter or more specifically a United supporter, it is a good read. If you want to tackle (excuse the pun) and achieve your goals for 2016 (and another!) by planning with a coach contact me at neil@nvwsolutions.co.uk

Whether you make contact or not have a fantastic 2016.

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