Sir Matt Busby

"Manchester United Football Club is more important than any player or manager"

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Sir Matt Busby was the Head Coach (or ‘Manager’, as they say in soccer) of Manchester United from 1945 to 1969. 

Having won the FA cup as a player with Manchester City in 1934, Busby went on to win it another two times as a Manager. He won the League title on 5 separate occasions and, in 1968, he became the first Manager of an English team to win the European Cup.

Yet, as we discuss in this week’s podcast, it’s not just his titles and awards that make Busby a Great Coach. 

From the way he helped Manchester to rebuild after the Second World War to how he and his team responded to the tragic plane crash that saw 23 people killed (including 8 Manchester United players) and another 2 players sustain life-altering injuries while travelling home from a European Cup match in 1958, Sir Matt Busby is remembered just as much for his impact and decisions off the pitch as he is for his achievements on it. 

Matt Busby died in 1994, and for this week’s episode I have created a posthumous discussion with him based on his own words as read by a voice actor. In order to create the discussion I referred to 3 books, 2 of which he wrote. You can find all of the information about my sources in the episode’s show notes. 

This episode was challenging to create, but it was also fascinating given the present state of his beloved Manchester United during the 2024 season. 

I hope that you enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed creating it. 

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Leadership Insights

This week we’re revisiting our interview with American soccer coach Becky Burleigh, who shared how she manages to separate herself from her emotions during games in order to better provide the support her team requires. 

As a leader, it can be difficult to avoid bringing your emotions to the table, especially if you’re having a tough day at work or experiencing personal issues at home. 

One piece of advice that I once received was to imagine being a fly on the wall observing the way I interacted with my team; I had all but forgotten this tip until the interview with Becky reminded me of it. 

If you have a technique for detaching from your emotions in the moment, then I would love to hear about it. 

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Recommended Reading

Te Hāpaitanga (meaning ‘to lift’ or ‘to raise’) is a holistic coach development initiative that aims to enable more women to build and maintain successful high performance coaching careers in New Zealand. 

The second piece in a special series, this article from the New Zealand Herald looks at the impact that the initiative has had on the lives and careers of some of the women who have taken part in it.  

Organised and run by High Performance Sport NZ, Te Hāpaitanga is currently on its fourth cohort with an additional 12-month online programme being offered. 

This is a fantastic initiative helping to better equip new generations of female coaches, and I hope to see and hear about similar programs being run in other parts of the world in the future.

Elevate Your Leadership

We believe there is no algorithm for leadership, but there are ways to elevate your own leadership style. 

Elevated Leadership’s tried-and-tested methods are inquiry-led and will challenge you to promote introspection, heightened awareness, and lasting growth. 

Get in touch today at [email protected] if you would like to know more.


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