"THE CHRONICLE OF M.U: THE HAIRDRYER, THE FLYING SHOES AND A WINNING TEAM."
Sir Alex Ferguson is a famous football manager who has been leading the English football team Manchester United for more than 25 years. In case of doing the assessment about leadership style and working effectively in a team, in my opinion, Sir Alex is capable of giving high value lessons in communication, team building, making tough/wise decisions and playing to win. Football and Business are to different concepts, however the management and leadership remain the same, therefore CEOs and business managers can have a lot to learn from Fergie.
Time and again, the management style of Sir Alex Ferguson begins with the memorable term `hairdryer'. It encapsulates his intimidating `in your face' behavior directed at an individual player who has attracted his anger. Players who become pundits eventually describe it with a touch of masochistic pleasure.
1. Maintaining discipline
Sir Ferguson wants to ensure that there is no lack of focus or commitment within the team. When players fail to live up to his stringent standards, Fergie is apt to unleash his infamous `hairdryer' upon them. This management method involves screaming in the unfortunate recipient's face from close range with such force that it actually dries their hair.
Imagine MT and your HR department would both eschew such an aggressive management style, leaving your employees in no doubt of what's expected of them can be a real productivity booster.
To Sir Alex, any under-performing of team members will be punished in an aggressive way with no mercy. Take an example of the goalkeeper Massimo Taibi, who was signed for 4.5m in 1999 and was offloaded after just 4 appearances follow an embarrassing 5-0 defeat to Chelsea.
2. Communication/ Mind Games
Another popular simplification is to elevate his every action to the deliberate working of a leadership figure of genius. Comments about other managers were for a while attributed to his deep psychological insights revealed in his successful deployment of mind games.
If you were an English Premier League fan, you will really enjoy watching every post match press conference which Man.United is involved. Sir Alex ingeniously left his impact after every post match press. And guess who will take all the impact? The audience - the customers, indeed. And when customers are affected, who will take the damage? His opponent.
As with the hair drier symbolism, an incident has become part of the story. This involved a radio broadcast when his then rival manager Kevin Keegan became almost incoherent at the thought of Newcastle United beating Ferguson's Manchester...