My son is a huge Manchester United Fan and he’s not going to take the news of Alex Ferguson well even this morning he was telling me that they are only rumours nothing more. For him Alex Ferguson is a legend even in his short life he has seen Alex Ferguson win a number of titles including to his joy the championship in style this year.
I would agree with my son that Alex Ferguson is a legend as would his father who as an Aberdeen Fan still fondly recalls their European win under Alex Ferguson’s leadership when he was a little boy. But is clinging on to this right? Or is he better to leave when he is at the top of his game?
I would argue that Alex Ferguson has left at exactly the right time for both himself and his family but also for Manchester United. He is leaving when fans, players and all concerned with Manchester United view him as a living legend. In a few years who knows people in sport and other aspects of life have short memories and although his fantastic record would still stand it could be diminished by a few years of poor results. Better to go when you are at the top of your game.
For me hearing this news today is why Alex Ferguson is a legend. He is choosing his time to go and I suspect he wants it to be when he’s at the top of his game. This is a lesson for so many sports people who seem to cling on to their sport long after their talent has waned so much so that people forget the genius they were at the beginning.
I also think it’s a life lesson. For two reasons. Firstly it is easy to cling on to the familiar what we have always done in life. It gives us security and even when you really know deep down that you are no longer giving it the same 100% you used to – you cling on to it as what would you do otherwise? But often when the choice is thrust upon you and you face redundancy and you think you are looking into the abyss. When you start to look at other careers you find that there are other options and a few years down the line you find that it is the best thing that has ever happened to you.
Secondly and linked to the above I strongly believe that we should never stop learning in life. I came out of University after years and years of study and thought that’s it job done. I then found that although I found marketing came naturally to me I had no professional qualifications so it was back to University and three years of night classes. For me at the end of that with two small children that was it. But it wasn’t what was relevant in marketing when I took my course is in the main still relevant but? The web was in its infancy and social media would have blown us all away. To be still relevant in marketing I need to continue to learn each year and make sure that I keep up with developments. Just now Social Media is key but what will it be tomorrow? In addition as the kids have grown I have gained time to develop personal interests again. Book club challenges what I read and I have recently taken up a creative writing course! As well as learning how to look after pigs and sheep a skill I never imagined I would need.
My point? I believe that as the bible says there is a time for everything and you need to know when the time is to stop a period of your life and start a new one however hard that might be at the time. In addition I strongly believe that to keep yourself on your toes you need to keep learning not just when you are young but through out your life.
For me Alex Ferguson the wee boy from Govan is a legend. Although I am saddened by his departure and it is the end of an era. I do applaud him for doing this when he is at the top of his game. Alex Ferguson won’t stop he will develop his skills and interests in other areas and will as legends do grow in stature. All the best Alex we have loved watching your management skills over the years, your handling of the media and your wry Scottish style. Now to break the news to my son. And tell him it was time.