Kuper identifies some of Sir Alex's management secrets:
- Identify yourself with your company's brand. Ferguson is the embodiment of the club's values - - the "keeper of the temple" - - the cause has become almost unthinkable without him.
- Hone your strongest character trait into a weapon. Known for his temper and famed "hairdryer" treatment - - he has learned to switch it on and off for maximum effect.
- Cultivate every interest group inside the company. Per Ferguson - - "Even if you hate your chairman, you have to find a way of getting on with it" - - board's, players, fans, and sponsors all have to be onside.
- Gather information everywhere. Ferguson knows everyone in the context of soccer - - he "hoovers" up information all the time. Cultivate contacts unto death (a performance metric is the number of funerals you attend!).
- Seek total control (but recognize when you cannot have it). Ferguson views leadership as requiring three main qualities - - control, managing change, and observation. Ferguson has a simple equation for control - - control = fear + information.
- Do not let other people cause you stress. Feel pressure? Ferguson had the following advice - - "You know what I do in those circumstances? You've got to literally imagine you are putting blinkers on. People want to get into your space. Only you decide who gets into your space."
- Remember that crises blow over. Tomorrow will be better than today - - Ferguson never adjusts his strategy because he knows crises pass.
- Always be unsatisfied. Satisfaction is fatal - - every trophy he wins is just a notch towards a target he never wants to meet.