After almost 30 years at the helm of English Football’s Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson is regarded by many to be the most successful, admired and respected manager in the history of the
game. After his retirement in 2013, Anita Alberse, along with Ferguson himself, set out to outline and detail the primary management principles which contributed to Ferguson’s long standing success within the game. Not surprisingly, these principals transition quite naturally over to a business application, two different yet similar worlds, where ultimate success hinges on the creation of a strong and dedicated work team. I’ve listed the principals below, however, the true insight lies in Alberse and Ferguson’s detailed descriptions of the implications and value of each one.
I highly encourage this read, especially for anyone who feels strongly about the parallels between sport and business leadership.
1. Start with the Foundation
2. Dare to Rebuild Your Team
3. Set High Standards – and Hold Everyone to Them
4. Never, Ever Cede Control
5. Match the Message to the Moment
6. Prepare to Win
7. Rely on the Power of Observation
8. Never Stop Adapting
This week, I am proposing 5 challenges facing modern leaders, and the respective competencies needed to face each challenge. If you like a specific post, please ‘like/favourite/share’ it. The post with the most amount of engagements will earn a follow up post outlining HOW TO DEVELOP COMPETENCIES RELATED TO THAT POST.
The fourth challenge I present for modern leaders is to create winning conditions — create an environment where people thrive and can ‘win.’ As I’ve spoken about before, culture is of absolute importance to organizational success. Leaders must create an environment where people feel like they can speak up, like they can challenge the status quo, like they can creatively problem solve.
To create winning conditions, two competencies are imperative.
TQ – talent intelligence. The ability to spot talent, focusing more on potential than on performance, and judge fit within a company’s culture.
COQ- collaborative intelligence. The ability to foster outstanding collaboration. A type of collaboration where people help grow each other’s ideas — delicately balancing constructive criticism with positive energy. The ability to know when to be a devils vs angels advocate during idea creation.
Interested in how to develop TQ and COQ? Like this post on Facebook or Twitter to warrant a detailed follow up post!
Leading an organization is never easy, let alone in times of uncertainty and chaos. The only way to help ease the mental pressure and the emotional stress of the ambiguity is to accelerate and ensure each stage of the journey adds layers of additional coherence to the situation. In order to provide coherence and confidence, the leader must dramatically turn down the noise level, eliminate unnecessary distractions and banish the fear of uncertainty. This is best accomplished by committing to a narrow, sharp set of aligned strategic imperatives, rather than making things overwhelmingly complex. Things will be complex enough without adding more to the mix. In other words, the leader must jettison all of the extraneous activities, pet projects and non-essential activities that might exist, in order to help focus the organization on a singular set of interrelated objectives.
As a leader your job is to get your organization properly coordinated. You will need to hone the focus such that no matter how far into the future you look, the picture is still clear and unclouded by the frivolous or the unimportant. It is amazing the lack of clear-headedness you can find in some leaders. It is shocking how often organizations allow themselves to become trapped by adding unnecessary layers of complexity on top of far too many priorities, and then mixing them together with countless trivial diversions. It’s a sure recipe for underachievement.