Lead like Sir Alex

Sir Alex Ferguson recently celebrated 25 years as manager of Manchester United. And even if, like me, you're not a fan of the club, or soccer in general, you have to admire his incredible results: 27 trophies, including 12 league titles, 5 FA cups and 2 Champion League.

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So, what are some of the secrets of his incredible success?

1. Persistence pays off

When Sir Alex took over 1986, the club had not won the English league for 19 years. And it was his main mission to fix this. However, it took him seven long years to win his first title. In 1990 he was on the verge of being dumped according to some reports, and was saved by winning the less prestigious the FA Cup.

2. The power of passion

Sir Alex's passion for the game and for winning is legendary. And it still burns bright after 25 years in charge, as one former player explained recently: "No doubt about it, he's still got the passion – that's what keeps him going in his job. This man's desire is to win more European Cups and I'm sure that's the reason why he's staying on in his job."

Another observer puts talks of the passion brought to every game, big or small: "There is a certain sense of aura and passion with him during every game. It doesn't make a difference to him whether it is against Bradford in FA Cup first round or it is Barcelona in the Champions League final."

3. Relentless renovation

This is a quality Sir Alex shares with many other great leaders: constantly renovating your brand to keep it fresh and competitive. In the case of Manchester United, renovation is about the team, as one report explains:

"Ferguson has the uncanny knack of rebuilding teams when he feels that the stars are past their best. He had the vision to bring about fresh faces who had even more desire than the previous generation.

It started with the era of Steve Bruce, Brian Robson and Cantona; then came the great youth team quartet of Beckham, Scholes, Neville and Giggs; then the Cristiano Ronaldo era."

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In conclusion, Sir Alex Ferguson is a real inspiration, who shows that leadership is about passion, will to win and constant renovation over the long run.