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Legacy: What the All Blacks Can Teach Us About the Business of Life

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Champions do extra. They sweep the sheds. They follow the spearhead. They keep a blue head. In Legacy, best-selling author James Kerr goes deep into the heart of the world’s most successful sporting team, the legendary All Blacks of New Zealand, to reveal 15 powerful and practical lessons for leadership and business. Legacy is a unique, inspiring handbook for leaders in all fi Champions do extra. They sweep the sheds. They follow the spearhead. They keep a blue head. In Legacy, best-selling author James Kerr goes deep into the heart of the world’s most successful sporting team, the legendary All Blacks of New Zealand, to reveal 15 powerful and practical lessons for leadership and business. Legacy is a unique, inspiring handbook for leaders in all fields, and asks: What are the secrets of success – sustained success? How do you achieve world-class standards, day after day, week after week, year after year? How do you handle pressure? How do you train to win at the highest level? What do you leave behind you after you’re gone? What will be your legacy?


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Champions do extra. They sweep the sheds. They follow the spearhead. They keep a blue head. In Legacy, best-selling author James Kerr goes deep into the heart of the world’s most successful sporting team, the legendary All Blacks of New Zealand, to reveal 15 powerful and practical lessons for leadership and business. Legacy is a unique, inspiring handbook for leaders in all fi Champions do extra. They sweep the sheds. They follow the spearhead. They keep a blue head. In Legacy, best-selling author James Kerr goes deep into the heart of the world’s most successful sporting team, the legendary All Blacks of New Zealand, to reveal 15 powerful and practical lessons for leadership and business. Legacy is a unique, inspiring handbook for leaders in all fields, and asks: What are the secrets of success – sustained success? How do you achieve world-class standards, day after day, week after week, year after year? How do you handle pressure? How do you train to win at the highest level? What do you leave behind you after you’re gone? What will be your legacy?

30 review for Legacy: What the All Blacks Can Teach Us About the Business of Life

  1. 5 out of 5

    Rachel C.

    Work book club selection. My overall impression: a sloppy mishmash of Maori folk wisdom and sound bites from other (better) books. For a book about a sports team, Kerr fails to provide any real history for the All Blacks (including how they got that name), or any context about the game of rugby, a sport I know next to nothing about. This might have been fine in a book for rugby fans but this book is targeted at people in the business world. All that aside, here's the main problem with books like t Work book club selection. My overall impression: a sloppy mishmash of Maori folk wisdom and sound bites from other (better) books. For a book about a sports team, Kerr fails to provide any real history for the All Blacks (including how they got that name), or any context about the game of rugby, a sport I know next to nothing about. This might have been fine in a book for rugby fans but this book is targeted at people in the business world. All that aside, here's the main problem with books like these: you can't generalize about success by looking at an extreme outlier and trying to reverse engineer what they did. To a certain extent, the secret of mega-success is unknowable. And even if you *did* know, that's not to say that you could necessarily replicate it. If it were that easy, every sports team would be amazing and every business would be profitable.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Notes to self (because I read this for an interview): If our values and beliefs are aligned with the values and beliefs of the organization, then we will work harder towards its success. Martin Luther King 'gave the "I have a dream" speech, not the "I have a plan" speech... If you hire people who believe what you believe, they'll work for you with blood, sweat and tears.' Seek the treasure you value most dearly; if you bow your head, let it be to a lofty mountain. The first stage of learning is sile Notes to self (because I read this for an interview): If our values and beliefs are aligned with the values and beliefs of the organization, then we will work harder towards its success. Martin Luther King 'gave the "I have a dream" speech, not the "I have a plan" speech... If you hire people who believe what you believe, they'll work for you with blood, sweat and tears.' Seek the treasure you value most dearly; if you bow your head, let it be to a lofty mountain. The first stage of learning is silence, the second stage is listening. In recognizing our deepest values, we can understand what kind of leader we are and what kind of life we wish to lead. Authenticity-the mark of a true leader-begins with honesty and integrity. Honesty allows us to access to our truest vision of ourselves and, when setbacks occur, gives us strong foundations. Integrity gets the job done. If our values, thoughts, words, and actions are aligned, then our word is our world. With accuracy of action, less slippage occurs between thought and deed. In knowing ourselves, we live with our vision. By being our word, we make it happen. Find something you would die for and give your life to it. 'Life is no brief candle to me,' wrote George Bernard Shaw, 'It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got a hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.' Character is forged by the way we respond to the challenges of life and business, by the way we lead our life and teams. If we value life, life values us. If we devalue it, we dishonour ourselves and our one chance at living.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Mike O

    Outstanding book on leadership. It's more o a guide of how to be a better selfless person and leaving the world a better place than you found it. Highly recommend to read.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Kane-Berman

    “Sweep the Sheds” is a phrase that is said throughout Legacy, and is the main philosophy of this book. The inspirational book Legacy by James Kerr is a powerful message that comes in the shape of a rectangle. With motivation and life lessons on every page, you are set up for success with this book. You are able to become a person you never thought you could be and help others discover who they can be as well. James Kerr wrote an International Best Seller as his first piece of work. Legacy has t “Sweep the Sheds” is a phrase that is said throughout Legacy, and is the main philosophy of this book. The inspirational book Legacy by James Kerr is a powerful message that comes in the shape of a rectangle. With motivation and life lessons on every page, you are set up for success with this book. You are able to become a person you never thought you could be and help others discover who they can be as well. James Kerr wrote an International Best Seller as his first piece of work. Legacy has topped the charts for inspiration books, and continues to change lives. Before writing, Kerr was a Keynote presenter that would meet with businesses or groups to help them reach their full potential. His main philosophy was to help people put in good things to get the best output in their specific field. Kerr was invited to spend time to advise the US and UK special forces on how to be the best they can be. His leadership strategies and team building were the main principles taught in his first piece of work. Legacy is an inspirational book, that is based off a certain sport team that is the most winning sports team in the world, The New Zealand All Blacks. The book starts with the All Blacks not doing well and seeking a change. How they changed and what they did to change are the basis for this book. In each different chapter we learn a lesson that the All Blacks used to be successful. Chapter Two talked about how they must adapt to each situation they are put in, where as in Chapter Eight the All Blacks learn how to properly prepare for each match. Kerr then helps readers understand how they can use this in their everyday life. A section could be how each player on the All Blacks must earn their jersey, or how you have to be just a good person to be a good athlete. Kerr spoke his in Māori culture that each tribal member would have to earn their ranks, and their tribal symbols that they would wear. How do you earn your jersey in your business? The jersey could be seen as respect from your employees, and you have to earn it if you wish to lead them to success. This book has so many valuable life lessons that you never knew could all be in one spot. Kerr inspires readers through this book by speaking in first person throughout, but also having a lot of others speak in it as well. He spends a lot of time researching the All Blacks and interviewing people that are a part of the organization, he also used stories from the past to help convey his leadership principles. Kerr mentions the story of how John Wooden spent hours just teaching his National Championship Team how to put on their socks and tie their shoes. This was to teach his players to do the little things right in order for the big things to go right. The All Blacks used this to help players understand that it much more than just playing good; it is the desire to want perfection in every aspect of life. With each new chapter comes a new lesson that helped lead the team to success, but will also help readers succeed. Chapter One has all the knowledge about how each player had to have the best character if the team wanted to succeed. One bad ingredient would spoil the entire mixture. When the All Blacks lose, they don’t spiral into more loses. They look at what they did wrong and find ways to improve for the next match. Like Nelson Mandela said, “We don’t lose, we either win or learn.” Kerr then helps readers understand how loses in their life, whether in a business deal or a setback, don’t have to affect you forever. Kerr includes a lot of quotes from many people. This helped me because it was nit like it was just one person talking about their experiences. It had some of the most influential people commenting and being quoted on throughout. “All I was doing was trying to make it a better team to pass on to the next generation- Sean Fitzpatrick.” In the audio book, Kerr actually changes his voice to sound like the people he is quoting. I like how it is presented in the form that it is because it’s like an outsider looking in and explaining what he learned on the way. I truly feel that you have to get this as an audio book. Not saying the hard copy is so different or bad, Kerr uses so many different voices, and includes phrases from New Zealand’s native language: Māori. “Haere taka mua, taka muri; kaua e whai, Be a leader, not a follower.” It is hard to read that language in a book, but being able to hear it and understand what it means helped me enjoy the book a lot more. That honestly is one of the biggest reasons I loved this book. The whole All Black culture was founded on the Māori beliefs, and the fact he includes it in the book makes it come full circle. Kerr was aiming for an older crowd to read this book. Even more specifically, he was focusing on the business community. He often refers to the lessons and principles of the All Blacks to give advice to businessmen. I remember he talks about how the All Blacks keep a “Blue Head” not a “Red Head.” This refers to the way you carry yourself throughout the day. The blue represents being calm, and red being angry or stressed. He relates that to how you act when you’re working in your job, and how you deal with costumers. This book is written for anyone that needs a little inspiration. I use the blue and red head to relate to my play on the football field. By staying in the blue, I am able to play a lot better. That is just one of the many life-changing lessons I learned while reading this. I believe the purpose of this book was to teach people how to conduct themselves and how to achieve their dreams through their daily actions. Kerr is able to do this because he was experienced first hand when people chase their dreams and reach them one day. He basically is putting out a blueprint from his encounters into a place where the whole world can learn. I am not just saying this to say it, but I truly believe this is the greatest book I have ever read. My dad told me I had to read this book if I wanted to be successful on and off the football field. I decided to try it out. After the first few minutes, I was blown away with how much I learned. You don’t have to be just an athlete to read this book. Yes, it is based on a sports team, but the sports team is just used to draw ties to every day life. Remember how I said “Sweep the Sheds” in the beginning of this. Well, that phrase means that you are never too big to do the small things. Instead of a senior making a freshman clean the locker room, the senior should clean it to set an example for the young guy. Don’t be afraid to do the little things; will you “Sweep the Sheds?”

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kyle

    A must read for any coach, this book identifies 15 lessons on leadership learned from the All Blacks New Zealand rugby team. Really good stuff!! “Sweep the Sheds - Never be too big to do the small things that need to be done.”

  6. 4 out of 5

    Robert Postill

    After reading some great books on leadership I was really looking forward to this. Unfortunately this book does not fall in the same category of both inspiring and practical. The first thing to note is that book summarises other books and approaches. A lot. Viewed with a cynical eye the book is a reading list of the titles of the books you might want to read instead. This also has the effect of making the book feel flimsy. Second, the character sketches feel somehow incomplete, unable to transfer After reading some great books on leadership I was really looking forward to this. Unfortunately this book does not fall in the same category of both inspiring and practical. The first thing to note is that book summarises other books and approaches. A lot. Viewed with a cynical eye the book is a reading list of the titles of the books you might want to read instead. This also has the effect of making the book feel flimsy. Second, the character sketches feel somehow incomplete, unable to transfer the essence of the individuals and what drove them. Third the book does not detail how the changes were implemented. Nor does it relate or reflect any particular pitfalls of the implementation of those changes. So there's no sense of the order, time or effort required to implement the plan. Fourth the book assumes a level of rugby union knowledge I simply don't have. Which undercuts both the people and the feat of the team. Given that, two things lift it up as a work. The first is that the book is pithy. There's no dithering about given points. The book also has a quintessential kiwi air about it. It doesn't mess about. Given the critique about the way it summarises other works you have to give it credit for not re-inventing the wheel. Secondly the book is clearly lifted by the way it respectfully deals with the maori culture that underpins a lot of the team culture. Overall, if you have rugby-union loving friend they might find this diverting. But otherwise treat it as a collection of sayings on leadership. You're unlikely to find it the core of your leadership library.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jurgen Rose

    Mashup of a lot of big ideas. A good rollup but not much originality. The big ideas I liked: Importance of mission command concept and harnessing initiative and innovation of the team. Few organizations really interrogate the connection between strategy and structure, between an overall vision and the actions that take place over a working week...its all about learning and improving. Saying YES to high performance means first saying NO...people think focus means saying yes to the thing you have got Mashup of a lot of big ideas. A good rollup but not much originality. The big ideas I liked: Importance of mission command concept and harnessing initiative and innovation of the team. Few organizations really interrogate the connection between strategy and structure, between an overall vision and the actions that take place over a working week...its all about learning and improving. Saying YES to high performance means first saying NO...people think focus means saying yes to the thing you have got to focus on...but it really means saying no to the hundred other good ideas distracting you. Choose carefully. Most orgs don’t focus on a program of training for mental toughness...they tend to go for the one off hits, which is unrealistic...a training seminar, an inspiring speech...but nothing continuous or progressive...few focus on a continuous program of improvement. RED head is tight, tense, aggressive, over compensating, desperate...BLUE head is loose, expressive, improvisational, in the moment, flow, calm, accurate, on task. Get in the blue and stay there. Importance of mantras and the rule of threes...three words that work together in a stepwise process to bring about change. It is the way humans tell stories...beginning, middle, end. Importance of ritual...’tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, INVOLVE me and I will understand.” Importance of purpose to proper motivation...’A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they will never see.’

  8. 5 out of 5

    Dawid Steenkamp

    Legacy is a cliche-ridden guide to success that has more catchy one-liners than a silicon valley startup guide. With so many forced rugby analogies it feels like it was written by my high school rugby coach. I am sure there will be people who find this type of book inspirational. If that is your cup of tea then great. I was interested in the structure of a team like the All Blacks and what made them so successful. If I wanted a guide to success in business and life I’d read something more appropri Legacy is a cliche-ridden guide to success that has more catchy one-liners than a silicon valley startup guide. With so many forced rugby analogies it feels like it was written by my high school rugby coach. I am sure there will be people who find this type of book inspirational. If that is your cup of tea then great. I was interested in the structure of a team like the All Blacks and what made them so successful. If I wanted a guide to success in business and life I’d read something more appropriate, it’s this fact, where it tries to be so much more, that waters it down so much. The author touches on the all blacks team mentality and history for 10% of the book while the rest of the time it tries to force rugby quotes to corporate scenarios. I would not recommend it.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Glyn Blaize

    Fantastic Book - and the author is just as fantastic in person. What is excellent is that James manages to extrapolate from the success of the All Blacks the key strands of their DNA in a way which can be applied to business, relationships and life in general, to the point that when phrases like ‘sweeping the shed’ are used you just get it. This is a great read for managers, coaches and observers alike. I have now read it twice.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Pete Wung

    This book came highly recommended by a number of coaches whose opinion I respect, even though it is yet another business book which touts their own brand of motivation/leadership credentials. This book is unique because it tries to document the keys to success of one of the most mythical teams in world sports: the All Blacks of New Zealand. Indeed, their story has a magnetic attraction for those coaches who are believers in the simplicity and honesty of the All Black approach to working playing, This book came highly recommended by a number of coaches whose opinion I respect, even though it is yet another business book which touts their own brand of motivation/leadership credentials. This book is unique because it tries to document the keys to success of one of the most mythical teams in world sports: the All Blacks of New Zealand. Indeed, their story has a magnetic attraction for those coaches who are believers in the simplicity and honesty of the All Black approach to working playing, and conducting their work. Since the book is already a best seller by the time I got to it, I fully expected a slick, by the book business tome, structured to present a lesson each chapter and the ubiquitous anecdotes which support the central point that the author wished to make. Most business books seem to come off as insincere as they tried to make their points. Mr. Kerr, however, has an unadorned style. He takes his own advice in regard to the power of telling a story and tells the story of the All Blacks sincerely and adroitly. Some comments on the structure and style of the book. Mr. Kerr jumps in both feet right away, there are fifteen numbered chapters which are neatly summarized in the sixteenth, and the first unnumbered, chapter. Each chapter ends with a final summary page which succinctly encapsulates the lesson with an aboriginal saying and a short catch phrase. This structure allows the reader to easily reach back into the chapters and get the idea behind each chapter, as well as use the summary to create their own environment from these ideas. The chapters though are the gold of the book. Each chapter contains a good number of anecdotes and descriptions of what the All Blacks coaches did to create their unique culture and belief system. It is refreshing to read this book because the anecdotes are relayed without overly dramatizing the stories. In other words, Mr. Kerr does not rely on being overly dramatic to sell books. I recommend this book to anyone who are inspired by the mythology of the All Blacks, want to know the philosophy and a bit on the implementation of the ideas in real life but want to be spared the usual business/leadership book treatment.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Library at Oxley

    A rugby match is a short, intense lifetime lived across two 40 minute halves, from the hopeful birth of the game to the crushing or triumphant end. Each game involves the sort of challenges many of us encounter over much greater lengths of time, often many years; self-doubt, arrogance, unrealistic expectations, opposition, injury, high stakes outcomes, trust, ego, intimidation and responsibility for others. A rugby team is a group of warriors facing a battle that is more than just physical, it i A rugby match is a short, intense lifetime lived across two 40 minute halves, from the hopeful birth of the game to the crushing or triumphant end. Each game involves the sort of challenges many of us encounter over much greater lengths of time, often many years; self-doubt, arrogance, unrealistic expectations, opposition, injury, high stakes outcomes, trust, ego, intimidation and responsibility for others. A rugby team is a group of warriors facing a battle that is more than just physical, it is also a challenge of character. Knowing this, James Kerr, a specialist in leadership and high performance spent 5 weeks with the most successful rugby union team in history, the All Blacks, in order to discover their strategies for success. There are fifteen chapters each with a focus on one key lesson in leadership. Kerr describes these lessons as ‘The First XV’ and illustrates each one with historic examples and anecdotes. The beauty of James Kerr’s writing is that it paints a vivid picture of pivotal moments and their importance to the success of the whole team. Readers share these strategic insights as if they were peering over the shoulders of the team in real time. He rangi ta Matashaiti, he rangi ta Matawhanui The person with a narrow vision sees a narrow horizon the person with a wide vision sees a wide horizon. PLAY WITH PURPOSE Ask ‘Why?’ We have a copy of Legacy in the library for every member of the Oxley College rugby first XV to read as they prepare for the next rugby season however the book has value beyond sport. There are insights here for all of us who seek to meet the challenges of life as a warrior.

  12. 5 out of 5

    James Wain

    Listened to this on audiobook and thoroughly enjoyed the first 3-4 chapters, but then felt it faded slightly towards the end. Some excellent tips and anecdotes for life, work and the general self however; well worth a quick read. Quite a lot of the statements are quotes / sound bites from other books, and although making it very well researched with some nice quotes, it does lack a degree of original thinking. Instead seems to have looked at the All Blacks success, then subsequently researched l Listened to this on audiobook and thoroughly enjoyed the first 3-4 chapters, but then felt it faded slightly towards the end. Some excellent tips and anecdotes for life, work and the general self however; well worth a quick read. Quite a lot of the statements are quotes / sound bites from other books, and although making it very well researched with some nice quotes, it does lack a degree of original thinking. Instead seems to have looked at the All Blacks success, then subsequently researched leadership, military and success theories, and backed these into the All Blacks. “Sweeping the Sheds” will stay with me however; never be too big to do the small things or the basics.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ian Constable

    The All Black way of life. Drawing from the experience of other top tier organizations like the United States Marine Corps to Apple, the science of performance psychology and coaching, and the ancient wisdom of the Maori people, the All Blacks have built their organization into one of the most successful of all time. This book details their leadership and team-building practices which are universally applicable.

  14. 4 out of 5

    José

    What's your legacy? Are you ready to prepare the next leader of your team? Do you want to learn how to the all blacks prepare their leaders? This is an inspiring story on how emblematic teams are build. What are their core values. And how those values are promoted and passed through time. In my opinion a must read for any leader.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ellis Nickson

    Inspiring One of the best leadership/sport related books I've read for a long time. Have learnt so much that I will be looking to implement into my own profession. Great work James Kerr

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jay Dwight

    Not a huge reader of management books, but enjoyed this one. Plenty of learnings from the All Blacks culture and systems that can be applied to business, and to life. Written in an easy to digest format.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jack Adams

    Pretty good overview on the leadership culture within the All Blacks and how that helps them be successful and maintain an image. Lots of useful parts and draws from a range of different sources. Great book

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kent Winward

    Hey, business (I own a couple) and rugby (I still play) combined into a book means I have to give this five stars, even if it only probably merits four, but for my particular brand of me, it worked. I enjoyed looking at my business through the eyes of playing rugby and team dynamics.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Bernie

    Applicable to leaders everywhere. Invaluable mentoring for coaches wanting to explore the mental development of their teams.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Nicky Billou

    Incredible book. Blew me away! I learned, I was inspired, I was energized. What more can you ask from a book?

  21. 4 out of 5

    Fred Leland

    What is your legacy? This is one of the best books I have read all year. It's not just a book on leadership, it is a book on decision making and self mastery. With ideas pulled from ancient and modern strategists and thought leaders this book I could not put down. Read it to inspire and united your team or organization. Educate and train your police officers because better people make better police departments. This fantastic book is really about continuous learning and improvement. I highly rec What is your legacy? This is one of the best books I have read all year. It's not just a book on leadership, it is a book on decision making and self mastery. With ideas pulled from ancient and modern strategists and thought leaders this book I could not put down. Read it to inspire and united your team or organization. Educate and train your police officers because better people make better police departments. This fantastic book is really about continuous learning and improvement. I highly recommend you read this book! I should also mention i use to think negatively on the word legacy. I felt tit was a selfishly motivated word. After reading this book I have had a change of heart. If your legacy is focused on leading and inspiring people and doing so with selfless service to others, then legacy is well worth your focus of effort!

  22. 4 out of 5

    C. Patrick

    This is a book I would have liked to write... if I knew anything about rugby. I am grateful to Ryan Pierce for bringing it to my attention. As an aside, I regard Ryan "The Most Interesting Person in the United States Navy", and we are lucky to have someone with his entrepreneurial spirit who likely could write his own ticket in the field of his choosing. Now, when I had asked Ryan what his takeaway from "Legacy" was, he said "sweeping the sheds." That was the first chapter, which left me wonderi This is a book I would have liked to write... if I knew anything about rugby. I am grateful to Ryan Pierce for bringing it to my attention. As an aside, I regard Ryan "The Most Interesting Person in the United States Navy", and we are lucky to have someone with his entrepreneurial spirit who likely could write his own ticket in the field of his choosing. Now, when I had asked Ryan what his takeaway from "Legacy" was, he said "sweeping the sheds." That was the first chapter, which left me wondering if that was as far as he got, and in some George Costanza fashion, had assumed a mentorship role over me Ted with reading this spritely book in an effort to mentor this Patrick kid to the top. I consider this review my report back to him. The All Blacks are treated the world's most successful sports team, a New Zealand rugby organization the author studied to extract 15 leadership principles for application in other fields of endeavor. The author probably should have condensed down to ten, as the first 100 pages or so were engrossing, while the last 60 plus pages less so as the author explored more abstract territory and got a bit repetitive. He weaved into his narrative to expand his point related vignettes from other sporting gods (Wooden, Lombardi, Knight, Phil Jackson, ...), the military (Gen Dempsey's Mission Command conception, among others), and corporate. The author thoughtfully leaves a full bibliography of books, articles, and websites he drew into his study. From a professional Navy officer standpoint, plenty for application at the unit level, and certainly food for thought at the corporate level to get after the critical matter of an organizational culture that breeds excellent outcomes.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jelmer Smits

    This book made the impression on me of that of a student's master thesis. The author has picked an incredibly interesting and complex subject, but studies it in a manner way too broad. He never really comes into specifics and hence fails to deliver true quality on the subject. A real structure is missing, random references are plentiful, indeed the tempo is off. It's like a thesis that has plenty potential, but should've received a lot more guidance from professors and co-readers in order to nar This book made the impression on me of that of a student's master thesis. The author has picked an incredibly interesting and complex subject, but studies it in a manner way too broad. He never really comes into specifics and hence fails to deliver true quality on the subject. A real structure is missing, random references are plentiful, indeed the tempo is off. It's like a thesis that has plenty potential, but should've received a lot more guidance from professors and co-readers in order to narrow it down and thus create more structure in the plentiful information the author has put in his book. Furthermore, the author is trying too hard to be inspirational in literally every chapter. As a result, he fails to really be so. The pace is constantly at high pitch, feeling as if every chapter is serving the conclusion of the story. This links to the missing structure. Oftentimes, this book feels as a random compilation of quotes, Maori sayings and random references to businesses or people. When using so many supposedly inspirational quotes, they tend to lose their power to provide meaning and inspiration.  Coming back to the complex subject, top sport is not a perfect analogy for business. Lessons from sport are often not necessarily directly applicable to business. The author seems to underestimate this difficulty. Lastly, it is pretty ironic that the author puts a lot of emphasis on personal integrity and team spirit, and then repeatedly uses Steve Jobs as an example (personal integrity wasn't one of his strengths..).  To conclude: interesting subject, but not a recommended read.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jared

    'Legacy' is a book that came highly recommended. It's a book that talks about the All Blacks rugby club and their formula for success. Even if you're not a fan of sport, there are plenty of enjoyable elements that you can learn from no matter what your vocation may be. Below are some of my favorite parts (in no particular order): Building a high performance culture: - ‘Lombardi Model’, which began with a simple statement: ——Only by knowing yourself can you become an effective leader. - ‘What is my 'Legacy' is a book that came highly recommended. It's a book that talks about the All Blacks rugby club and their formula for success. Even if you're not a fan of sport, there are plenty of enjoyable elements that you can learn from no matter what your vocation may be. Below are some of my favorite parts (in no particular order): Building a high performance culture: - ‘Lombardi Model’, which began with a simple statement: ——Only by knowing yourself can you become an effective leader. - ‘What is my job on the planet? What is it that needs doing, that I know something about, that probably won’t happen unless I take responsibility for it?’ - Performance = Capability + Behaviour - every organization thinks they have unique problems, many change issues are centred on one thing. The ability –or inability –to convert vision into action. - ‘What is the All Blacks’ competitive advantage?’, key is the ability to manage their culture and central narrative by attaching the players’ personal meaning to a higher purpose. It is the identity of the team that matters –not so much what the All Blacks do, but who they are, what they stand for, and why they exist. - Owen Eastwood says that if the first steps in developing a high performance culture are to: 1. select on character, 2. understand your strategy for change, 3. co-write a purpose, 4. devolve leadership and 5. encourage a learning environment. The sixth and arguably most important step is to begin to turn the standards into action. Character matters: - The word character comes from the Ancient Greek, kharakter, meaning the mark that is left on a coin during its manufacture. Character is also the mark left on you by life, and the mark we leave on life. It’s the impact you make when you’re here, the trace you leave once you’re gone. - A culture of asking and re-asking fundamental questions cuts away unhelpful beliefs in order to achieve clarity of execution. Humility allows us to ask a simple question: how can we do this better? - For leaders of all stripes, reconnecting with our values –with our truest, deepest instincts –is an essential building block of character, which is the essence of leadership. And it begins with humility. St Augustine said it best: ‘Lay first the foundation of humility . . . The higher your structure is to be, the deeper must be its foundation.’ - Level 5 Leadership: a ‘paradoxical blend of personal humility and professional will’...Level 5 leaders, Collins argues, ‘channel their ego needs away from themselves and into the larger goal of building a great company. Their ambition is first and foremost for the institution, not themselves.’ - The first stage of learning is silence, the second stage is listening. - Jansen et al. posit what they call the Ontological Law of Integrity: ——To the degree that integrity is diminished, the opportunity for performance is diminished. That is, the more slippage there is, the less gets done; and the less slippage, the more traction. - John Wooden said, ‘Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.’ Stay on top of your game: - When you’re on top of your game, change your game - The Sigmoid Curve means that when we’re at the top of the game, it’s time to change our game. The key is not losing momentum. - Organizational decline is inevitable unless leaders prepare for change –even when standing at the pinnacle of success. - ‘It is not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change.’ Charles Darwin Find something to live/die for: - As Nietzsche said: ‘He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.’ It’s at the core of the vision and value-based mindset. - It begins by asking ‘Why? Why are we doing this? Why am I sacrificing myself for this project? What is the higher purpose?’ The answers to these questions have the ability to transform the fortunes of a group or enterprise –activating individuals, providing a cultural glue, guiding behaviours and creating an overall sense of purpose and personal connection. It is the beginning of the being of team. - In Drive, Daniel Pink lists the three factors that he believes creates motivation in a human being: mastery, autonomy and purpose. - Whatever we give our life to –whether a business or a project, a family or a sport, a cause or an art or a belief –we are always making sacrifices. Whether we are giving up an hour, or a day, or a lifetime, we are spending our lives. We are giving our lives for it...Every day we go to work, every meeting that bores us, everything we do just for money or out of obligation, all the time we kill, we are giving our life for it. So it better be worthwhile...Pyschology professor Steven Pinker wrote, ‘Wisdom consists of appreciating the preciousness and finiteness of our own existence, and therefore not squandering it.’ Try just a little harder: - Marginal gains: 100 things done 1 per cent better to deliver cumulative competitive advantage. (See Al Pacino video link below) - ‘it didn’t matter what level of talent had been given to us, what size we were or how fast or slow we ran. It was what we did with that talent that we had that counted . . . no excuses and no exceptions. “The only thing I want you to be is the best that you can possibly be.”’ ***** Bonus: Sigmoid Curve (learning > growth > decline) http://youtu.be/SY9qxFgSffc Al Pacino 'Inches' speech in 'Any Given Sunday' (1999) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_b7bg... Tana Umaga leads first ever Kapa O Pango (new haka) in 2005: http://youtu.be/dGazxnFhPH4 and in 2017: https://youtu.be/81HhiwjSSaI Cpl Willie Apiata (NZSAS) Victoria Cross https://youtu.be/jseUUnjXc9E (part 1 of 2) https://youtu.be/21DXf-2ozCM (part 2 of 2) 1999 Adidas All Blacks 'Captains' commercial: https://youtu.be/5gAiOkMGx4g http://youtu.be/dGazxnFhPH4

  25. 5 out of 5

    Elan Hoffman

    Through away every other book on business management/leadership you have and study this one. It’s short, punchy and has enough wisdom for anyone in an authoritarian position to setup a great system for success.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kupono Fey

    Absolutely love this book! Great values and lessons top to bottom! It really ties in Maori culture and the legendary All Blacks organization altogether showing how even when you are on top of your game, you can still change your game. I still use it as a guide to go back to and continue working on my own leadership skills to help with my everyday life and my professional volleyball career

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mark Coleman

    Legacy is a book written about the All Blacks, who have a pretty stunning 75% win rate in Test match rugby. I am someone that enjoys sport, so found this an interesting and engaging read, I also liked the fact that the author referenced different authors and viewpoints to strengthen his observations. The book is broken up into 15 chapters, which is clearly no coincidence that there are 15 players on the field. I would definitely recommend this book to who that are interested in learning about lea Legacy is a book written about the All Blacks, who have a pretty stunning 75% win rate in Test match rugby. I am someone that enjoys sport, so found this an interesting and engaging read, I also liked the fact that the author referenced different authors and viewpoints to strengthen his observations. The book is broken up into 15 chapters, which is clearly no coincidence that there are 15 players on the field. I would definitely recommend this book to who that are interested in learning about leadership and how to develop and nurture highly effective teams. For me my key takeaways from the book were: LEADERS CREATE LEADERS Leaders create leaders by passing on responsibility, creating ownership, accountability and trust. Enlightened leaders deliberately hand over responsibility in order to create engaged team-players able to adapt their approach to suit the conditions. A good example of this was given in the book relating to battle. ‘The competitive advantage is nullified when you try to run decisions up and down the chain of command. All platoons and tank crews have real-time information on what is going on around them, the location of the enemy, and the nature and targeting of the enemy’s weapons system’. So you need to give those ‘on the field’ the responsibility to act in real-time. MARGINAL GAINS Success is ‘modest improvement, consistently done’. Or put another way successful teams are willing to do a hundred things just 1% better’ to get that competitive advantage. A lot of times in business we try (and fail) to focus on the big stuff, rather than looking at how we can eek out that incremental benefit, and focusing on the small stuff. ‘It’s not the mountains ahead that wear you out,’ said Muhammad Ali, ‘it’s the pebble in your shoe.’ CREATE A LEARNING ENVIRONMENT Highly facilitated learning environment in which no one has all the answers. Each individual is invited to contribute solutions to the challenges being posed. A winning organization is an environment of personal and professional development, in which each individual takes responsibility and shares ownership. When the environment is dedicated to learning, the score, as Bill Walsh says, takes care of itself. SET HIGH, NON-NEGOTIABLE STANDARDS. Successful teams agree upon a set of standards that are non-negotiable. How many times have we been in meetings where time has been wasted because there is no agenda or objectives set for the meeting, how many times are people late turning up, being late with deadlines, not returning calls etc etc. All of these tasks do not require talent, but they do require commitment. As it mentions in the book ‘the more slippage there is, the less gets done; and the less slippage, the more traction there is’. So implementing a set of standards will increase productivity and make teams more effective. CONNECT AS A TEAM The key to strong peer-to-peer interaction is a high level of trust. This is trust in the sense of safe vulnerability. The leaders need to create an environment where individuals get to know each other as people and gather insight into their personal story and working style. This needs to be supported by the leader’s role-modelling behaviour around admission of mistakes and weaknesses and fears ‘The challenge of every team is to build a feeling of oneness, of dependence on one another,’ said Vince Lombardi. ‘Because the question is usually not how well each person performs, but how well they work together.’ High-performing teams promote a culture of honesty, authenticity and safe conflict. BE A GOOD ANCESTOR: PLANT TREES YOU'LL NEVER SEE. We only have one life, so make the best of it. Our social footprint is the impact our life has on others for futures to come Every day we go to work, every meeting that bores us, everything we do just for money or out of obligation, all the time we kill, we are giving our life for it. So it better be worthwhile. WORDS START REVOLUTIONS. Shrewd leaders invent a unique vocabulary as shorthand for communicating new cultural norms and standards, using specific words, phrases, mottos and mantras.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sunny

    Loved this book. It’s about the leadership and sports lessons you can learn from the All Blacks Rugby team. I played rugby for 7 years at my school and having played football and done some boxing in my life also I can safely say that rugby is one sport which had probably been the most physical out of all the sports that I have played. Once you get hit in a tackle by someone 4/5 stones heavier than you, you can take any punch, you can take any tackle. This book was deeply philosophical. The All b Loved this book. It’s about the leadership and sports lessons you can learn from the All Blacks Rugby team. I played rugby for 7 years at my school and having played football and done some boxing in my life also I can safely say that rugby is one sport which had probably been the most physical out of all the sports that I have played. Once you get hit in a tackle by someone 4/5 stones heavier than you, you can take any punch, you can take any tackle. This book was deeply philosophical. The All black rugby team do the Hakka which if you have no clue about do YouTube it. Its impressive. I have not seen much else in the business world or in other sports teams that galvanises you and inspires you like the Hakka does. I learnt a great deal from this book and here are some of my favourite learnings: • So we picked high work rate, strong body movers, guys that were unselfish and had a sacrificial mindset. We selected on character. • The first stage of learning is silence, the second stage is listening. • John wooden said that a player who makes the team great is better than a great player. • As recounted by Tony Cozier to the BBCs Sam Sheringham, Tino Best, the West Indies fast bowler shows how it’s done on his answer phone. “This is Tino Best speaking, the fastest bowler in the world, I can’t take your call right now but I’ll get back to you as soon as I’ve finished practising how to get faster. • A small boy is playing cricket alone in a backyard. The sound of the ball on bat echoes over the neighbourhood in an ordinary Australian town. The bat is a cricket stump and the ball is the golf ball. The boy throws the ball against the curved corrugated wall. Each time he throws it it flies off at a different random angle. Sometimes he cuts, sometimes he blocks and sometimes he drives. Every time though he hits the ball. Every time. The boy does this every morning every afternoon every day and every year for a decade. Years and accolades later he retires with an average test score of 99.94. the boys name was Donald Bradman. • Authenticity according to leadership writer Lance Secretan is the alignment of head mouth heart and feet. • Hunter S Thompson copied out the entire text of Scott Fitzgerald’s the great Gatsby and Hemingway’s farewell to arms, twice. As his friend Jonny Depp told the guardian, he wanted to know what it felt like to write a masterpiece. • Whatever we give our life to whether a business or a project a family or a sport a cause or an art or a belief – we are always making sacrifices. Whether we are giving up an hour or a day or a lifetime we are spending our lives. We are giving our lives for it. • Psychology professor Steven pinker wrote that wisdom consists of appreciating the preciousness and finiteness of our own existence and therefore not squandering it. We don’t get a chance to do many things said Steve jobs and everyone should be really excellent. Because this is our life. Life is brief and then you die you know? • It’s not a coincidence that perhaps the most durable brand in the notoriously fly by night advertising business is Leo Burnett. The company’s ritual began on the day that it opened for business – 5th august 1935 in the middle of the great depression. To brighten up an unfurnished reception area someone put out a bowl of apples. The criticism wasn’t long in coming. It won’t be long a sceptical journalist wrote until Leo Burnett is selling apples on the street corner instead of giving them away. In defiance and in defence of fresh thinking Leo Burnett has offered an apple to every visitor to the agency ever since and now gives away more than 1000 apples around the world every day. And it has never had to sell them on street corners to survive. • Be a good ancestor. Plant trees you will never see. • The greatest part of a writers time is spent in reading. In order to write a man will turn over half a library to make one book – Samuel Johnson.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Reece

    Legacy, by James Kerr is a book about a team called the All Blacks. This amazing novel gives you the foundation of traits that you need to excel. From leadership to responsibilities this book takes you around the clock of characteristics that you can use yourself to build your own legacy and will teach you the building blocks of teamwork. The All Blacks is a rugby team located in New Zealand. The book is about how their team can teach us about the business of life. Each chapter is about a specifi Legacy, by James Kerr is a book about a team called the All Blacks. This amazing novel gives you the foundation of traits that you need to excel. From leadership to responsibilities this book takes you around the clock of characteristics that you can use yourself to build your own legacy and will teach you the building blocks of teamwork. The All Blacks is a rugby team located in New Zealand. The book is about how their team can teach us about the business of life. Each chapter is about a specific mindset and the author has interviewed many people and writes about how their methods as a team can teach us about our own life. Some of the methods include: character, adapt, purpose, responsibility, and more traits that go along with a team. Each chapter goes in depth on how these traits connect with our own life and how the team demonstrates it. The All Blacks because their team is so successful in Rugby, which made the author, James Kerr, want to find out what made them so good. All of the chapters in the book contain different traits that the team uses themselves to be a better overall team and people. Some of the traits require extra work to obtain and to use, but from team development, the All Blacks have gotten there. The All Blacks have used these special characteristics throughout their entire careers and still use them today. The characteristics have proven to work and still are, and that is why James Kerr had to research and talk to the team. People who are looking for inspiration or looking to know about how to be successful would appreciate this book. Specifically coaches would love this book. This book lays down the foundations of teamwork and coaching. If a coach were to read this book, they could almost build their entire team around these traits and become a better overall team. And I’m not saying you will be as good as the All Blacks, but you most likely would see improvement in your team development and the flow throughout the team. In any sport these methods would work too, not just Rugby. Also you do not need to be a team or coach either. You could be an individual looking for ways to improve your overall being and your legacy. This book would be perfect for you also. Overall, I think many people would enjoy this book no matter what you are trying to accomplish.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Simon

    Kevin Roberts single-word recommendation, "Brilliant!", emblazoned on the cover, seemed too good to be true, and coming from a marketing and sales chap I kind of knew it was. Finding him quoted throughout the book left me feeling a little unimpressed by this blatant conflict of interest. That said, the book proved to be a thought-provoking partial insight into the thinking and shaping of the All Blacks through recent times as they've found the need to redefine themselves to stay on top. I wouldn' Kevin Roberts single-word recommendation, "Brilliant!", emblazoned on the cover, seemed too good to be true, and coming from a marketing and sales chap I kind of knew it was. Finding him quoted throughout the book left me feeling a little unimpressed by this blatant conflict of interest. That said, the book proved to be a thought-provoking partial insight into the thinking and shaping of the All Blacks through recent times as they've found the need to redefine themselves to stay on top. I wouldn't describe this as a 'rollicking good read', but I did reflect on leadership and culture, character and purpose as I made my way through the pages. Plenty of cross-references to the Dans (Carter, as you'd expect but also Kahneman and Pink) and other sources to make sound points on these topics. Interesting to hear so much about the culture and 'the way' of the All Blacks and how successful the 2011+ work has been in this area (up to the time the book was published in 2013), yet the Chief's Super Rugby post-season Mad Monday striptease shenanigans (2016) and Aaron Smith's disabled toilet escapades (2016) still happened. Perhaps a follow-up book would be valuable, targeting tomorrow's All Blacks (and more broadly, tomorrow's leaders) that examines how these events can happen in such a strong culture? I'll end with the quotes I liked most, given the book is largely a series of quotes and anecdotes covering (fairly well) important matters of Leadership: E taku mokai, he wa poto noa koe i waenganui i te wa kua hipa ki te wa kei tu mai. You are but a speck in the moment of time situated between two eternities, the past and the future. An Old Greek proverb tells us, ‘A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they will never see’ John Wooden said, ‘Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are’

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