Leading – Alex Ferguson

I know this is not the standard way of starting a book reading list, but bear with me. I promise it is worth it!

The first book, I’m going to present is called “Leading” and despite the looks of the cover, it is not the typical autobiography. In fact, it’s not an autobiography at all. It’s a very witty, nice and light read and it contains a ton of anecdotes and techniques drawn from experience.

One of the greatest team managers of all time, Sir Alex Ferguson, shares his ideas of what makes great teams great and what it takes to be a leader. The book is edited by a business person (Michael Moritz) and he skilfully draws the parallels between the great game and the business world today. You don’t need any deep knowledge of football, though you may find more moments in the book amusing and interesting if you have an idea of who Manchester United famous stars were.

And before you decide against reading this book, because it’s some “football nonsense”, just think about the similarities between famous football players and fellows in your own software team. They are all well-paid, they want freedom to express and prove themselves on the pitch, they bear a huge amount of responsibility about the outcome and the end result and sometimes they need to endure some huge amounts of pressure. They have their ups and downs, they achieve success and then they mess up and vice-versa, and you, as their manager, are there to help them and make sure they do their best.

Now, think about your role as a team manager. Building the authority, coaching and developing the team to show their best on the pitch. Then, on the big game day, letting go and carefully observing the game from the sidelines, thinking of ways to optimize interactions, develop skills further and regroup to achieve a common GOAL!

To avoid spoilers, I’d only say that this book is a great experience and there’s a lot to gain from reading it.

Happy reading!