Sir Alex Ferguson. Reflections on the skin of an unkilled bear

    sir_AlexLegendary Sir Alex Ferguson is a Scottish footballer and football coach.

    From 1986 to 2013 he was the head coach of the English club Manchester United. He is the most titled coach in the history of British football. Recognized as one of the greatest coaches in the history of world football.

    “If you want to succeed, you must know what success means in general.”

    Against the background of numerous statements and transfusions from empty to empty, regarding the setting of unrealistic and great goals, an interesting article by Sir Alex about the counterproductiveness of such a practice looks interesting. Given his merits, no one dares to accuse him of shortsightedness and lack of practice.

    In a recent essay, he cites an adapted version of part of his new inspiring book on leadership, Leading , co-authored by one of the most prominent venture capitalists, Sir Michael Moritz of Sequoia Capital.

    A very important part of achieving goals is caution in determining success. I have always been careful in setting specific long-term goals. I never said:“We look forward to winning the league and two more trophies this season .

    1. Firstly, such an installation does not convey the correct message, because it sounds self-confident and arrogant.
    2. Secondly, it exerts excessive pressure on others without any real benefit.
    3. Thirdly, it looks like a bet on everything, gravitating to disappointment.

    It was much easier to say, “Manchester United is counting on winning every game,” because it has been like this since 1993 and, importantly, it conveyed the true spirit of the club. The belief in a common understanding of our expectations of victory in each game established the necessary intentions and allowed me to regularly succeed.

    In any case, a clear balance of desires and real opportunities is needed. It is very easy to set unrealistic goals, and I learned about this at the dawn of my career as a coach. At one of the moments of the championship of my first season in St. Mirren, the team won eight games in a row and took its rightful place in the standings of the second division. I felt very cheerful and told the press that we would no longer lose a single game in the rest of the season.

    As a result, we won only one match and the club finished the season in sixth place.

    At press conferences at Manchester United, I was always asked at the beginning of the season what I hope to achieve. My conservative answer has always been the desire to win one trophy, without indicating its dignity. I was very careful not to create false expectations or put too much pressure on everyone. This is counterproductive. However, Manchester United has never been two seasons in a row without a major trophy in the period between 23 years of my first place as coach of Manchester United and the end of my career.

    I was also incredibly lucky that, with the exception of one case, the owner or director of the club did not demand me first place. The only time this happened was the season before I was fired from St. Mirren, when the director told me about his expected victory in the League team. This was the only time someone told me: "We need you to win . " Despite the fact that he was not able to admit that in order to achieve this goal we needed several new players whom the club refused to buy.

    Winning something always requires a number of steps.You cannot win the League with one giant leap. So I always wanted to be more careful to split the jackpot into “digestible” pieces. No one gathers a team to climb at the foot of Everest, pointing to the top and saying: “Okay guys, we go up there .

    At the beginning of the season, when communicating with the players, I tried to avoid designating a specific goal. My comments to the press about the desire to win the trophy were quite general, and in any case were expected by the team. I became more specific only in November, when our capabilities and those of our rivals became clearer. At that moment, I usually told the players: “If we are first, second or third, or no more than three points from the leader of the championship on the first day of the New Year, we have a fantastic chance”.

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