The Alex Ferguson Way

Ferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson has just come out with a book called “Leading” which he co-authored with Sir Michael Moritz, chairman of Sequoia Capital. I was lucky enough to see them interviewed  by the Financial Times editor, Lionel Barber, at the Southbank centre in London. The talk was fascinating, and the book is well worth reading.

Indeed, even as a Liverpool fan , I have to admire Alex Ferguson’s track record as manager of Manchester United: he won 17 league titles, 14 domestic cups and 2 Champions leagues. Admittedly, he didn’t reach Liverpool manager Bob Paisley’s 3 Champions leagues, but no-one is perfect. To get some sense of what made him tick is intriguing. Continue reading “The Alex Ferguson Way”

Three Quick Tests To Know Yourself

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Knowing ourselves appears to the foundation to success – that includes our darker side as well the lighter side. . At the same time, being able to read and understand others is key to work well in groups. So here’s three free online tests that I have used and found useful to better understand myself: Continue reading “Three Quick Tests To Know Yourself”

Confucius On Management

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It’s easy to get caught up with the latest management fads, but hard to know which ones will endure. Indeed, Nassim Taleb writes about how time is the ultimate test for the fragility of ideas. So with China in the news, what better ideas to look at than Confucius’, who lived over 2,500 years ago. His sayings are in the “Analects”, which are said to have been recorded by his disciples. What I’ve found is that Confucius was very good at understanding how to get the best out of hierarchical structures, which today would equate just as easily to corporations as governments. So I’ve picked out the best bits for business and modified the language to sound more contemporary: Continue reading “Confucius On Management”

Revolutionise Corporate Performance

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I recently stumbled across a fascinating talk by the excellent Margaret Heffernan called “Why it’s time to forget the pecking order at work”. She cited a study that showed that top-performing teams were those where each person spoke for an equal amount of time and were good at reading each other’s social cues. What did not matter was the individual intelligence of each team member. It was the quality of interactions, not the quality of the individuals that mattered. This turns the focus of companies on hiring and retaining stars on its head.  Continue reading “Revolutionise Corporate Performance”

Double Your Effectiveness At Work (Part 2)

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In my last post, I summarised half of Peter Drucker’s amazing “The Effective Executive“. The post introduced the context, and discussed two of five essential practises of effectiveness: knowing where your time goes and focusing on outward contribution. In this post, I complete the summary with the remaining practises. Here goes: Continue reading “Double Your Effectiveness At Work (Part 2)”

Double Your Effectiveness At Work (Part 1)

Drucker

Written in 1967, Peter Drucker’s “The Effective Executive” has to be the best management book ever written. All other ones are simply a footnote to his book. His recognition that firms which employ knowledge-workers require fundamentally different management techniques to those that employ manual workers was far ahead of his time. His recommendations on how to be an effective executive is still as relevant to any organisation today as it was then. Best to read the book, but here’s my summary (part 1 below, part 2 later): Continue reading “Double Your Effectiveness At Work (Part 1)”