Manchester United: Purpose, Passion, Profit


The promotional video begins with a time-lapse footage of Harvard Business School, an institution that has educated the billionaire class for more than a century. Then we see him sitting across from a professor of business administration in a large, bright room.

It was released last year and is a high quality multi camera shoot what you would expect from a place that charges £ 60,000 for a six week executive education course.

However, Sir Alex Ferguson does not pay. No, it’s one of the reasons the fees are so high.

Access to his wisdom is what the next generation of CEOs, economists, and financiers are striving for – not bad for a guy who admitted in his first autobiography that he was ashamed of failing his 11-plus exam (the one in regulates access to grammar schools for some). Parts of Great Britain) for the first time and was then politely advised by his schoolmaster at 16 to learn a trade.

The Harvard video continues with Ferguson answering a soft question about “key takeaways” from his career. We see a clip in which he speaks to students in front of words that he has written, framed and underlined on a huge blackboard. A thought says “Purpose, Passion, Profit“.

“Now you’re a business mogul – you’re a business influencer,” asks the professor. “Has it really struck you that business leaders around the world are listening to what they have to say about leading and managing teams?”

The answer encapsulates the man.

“In the 26 years I’ve been with Manchester United, what we’ve achieved is really exceptional,” said Ferguson. “When I came to United they were worth £ 10m. You are now worth £ 2 billion.

“This is incredible progress, and it’s not just Alex Ferguson.


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