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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 29 November 2013
Quite simply, this is the best leadership book I've ever read. And I've read quite a few.

Its easy to read style takes you behind the scenes of the All Blacks, one of the worlds' most consistently high performing teams. It takes you into the pitches, locker rooms, practice sessions, selection panels and brutally honest `bunker' room conversations. It gives you pages packed with candid insights, fabulous quotes and powerful wisdoms shared by players and coaches. And then blends these beautifully with work by other leaders and leadership writers.

With some books you get the feeling that it can be condensed to 2 or three sides of A4, and has been expanded to fill a book. Not so this one. 15 sections each pick a theme that are simply packed with good stuff. I'm one of those readers who likes to mark pages and sections of particular interest. Hardly a page of this one was unmarked.

The book shows just how much goes into a great performing team, and how much it goes beyond simply 'winning'. The people speaking have been unflinching in discussing the setbacks and losing, and what they did in those times too. Throughout there's real heart and soul and greater purpose in here.

For me, this is not just a book for sports lovers (though I'm sure they'll love it - loads of stories and insights to share with your mates). In fact I've shown it to people who have little or no interest in sport whatsoever and they wanted a copy too. It goes deeper. I'm imagining it's for anyone who wants to be part of a team that itself wants to create, well, a Legacy through their work in some way.

I love it.

Inspiring, enjoyable, and quite brilliant.
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on 26 October 2014
Must say this is one of my favourite books, its one that I buy for friends when taking up new jobs.
It is full of interesting lessons from the All blacks.
I really enjoyed reading this it made jury service at least tolerable, and it was one that I didn't want to finish
I am not a big rugby fan so didn't recognise some of the situations described in terms of the big games and some of the personalities. I tis however well written and the author keeps relating back to to the core of the book.
If you are looking for some inspiration or a new way of looking at how to lead your team then I would definitely look at this book.
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on 23 February 2014
You don't have to like sport to learn from and enjoy this is about courage and meaning. Finding your strength and creating your story are the central challenges of this a good ancestor.plant a tree who's shade you will not antidote to secular materialism and a shout towards something more ancient and more free.
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on 27 October 2014
This is a no nonsense management book on how to lead a group or turn an under performing group. It is based on the primarily on the All Blacks being a recognisable high performing results achieving team.
But Kerr also extracts supporting arguments from a number of numerous popular leadership and management sources as not all have books about them the managing pressure was very insightful to me..
Some of his points maybe found by some a little too brief as the book is based on 15 principles over only 225 pages (but personally I read Richie McCaw's and Graham Henry's books straight after for supporting insight), though you get enough of an understanding to work with the principles in this book.
I don't feel you can't be inspired by reading this (or at the very least looking for Haka videos on the internet)
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on 10 June 2014
Very interesting read. I read it from both a business & rugby fan perspective. A lot of the principles in this book that could be adapted into the commercial world are straightforward (although not necessarily evident in many businesse) - but seeing how a whole rugby fraternity has enaged in a common goal for the betterment of both individual, collective & national gains in an eye-opener.
Its refreshing to see how the All Blacks rugby set up has built on years of its tradition, taken an open view of the changing world, and still managed to sublimely combine the best of the amateur ethos and professional methods.
I suggest every football manager in England slips a copy into the kit bag of every player on his excessively expanding payroll who can read, and ask for their views. I think they'd have a hissy fit at having the sweep the changing rooms after an International at Wembley - but what a leveller it would be.
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on 14 January 2014
This is no ordinary management handbook. It's also a compelling story, an inspirational text, an anthropological survey, and a philosophical treatise. This excellent book works brilliantly on many levels to help leaders manage teams, deliver change, and leave a lasting legacy. Full of fascinating anecdotes and profound wisdom, it's sure to be a future classic. A highly satisfying read that inspires you practical change.
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on 29 November 2013
I agree with everything Neil has said in his review.

Unusually for me, I couldn't put this book down and read it in 24 hours. By the end I was reeling from the effect of a book that is like a home-coming for leaders who lead for something inspiring and challenging beyond self and beyond profit.

It will be a timeless companion for those committed to creating a Legacy - simple ideas to grasp but not easy to live by, somehow both familiar but also new, and enormously affirming.

One of the most delightful aspects is the way it highlights the importance of heart, soul and humility. It's not called `Winning'. It's called `Legacy'.

So many leadership books go "down and in", helping people to achieve _their_ aims without seemingly a first thought for the wider picture beyond self or their organisation. This is a leadership book that instead comes "up and out", giving people a much bigger view of what their leadership might be like beyond self, beyond their organisation, beyond profit. And from a surprising direction - the super Alpha male environment of the world's top rugby team. What a brilliant mix.

Simply the best leadership book in the field and genuinely a fascinating read for anyone leading big change, whether you are interested in sport or not.

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on 1 October 2014
As an elite football coach working with youth players looking to become professionals, I had been recommended this book by a number of colleagues.
The messages, metaphors and images conjured up by James Kerr have had a real impact on how I view teams and individuals within it, methods to get people to buy in and take ownership of shared goals, and what is really important when forming, norming, storming and ultimately performing as a team.
Everything within this book also applies to any organisation it business and key lessons to be learnt from the All Blacks!
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on 4 March 2016
Jolly good read if you like team sports and you're a bloke. Depressing if you're a woman leader - the author has literally no female exemplars in sport, business, politics or public life to demonstrate what he's talking about. Even starts the book with a reference to testicles. Don't give it out at work. My wife went berserk by page 20.
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on 30 December 2014
Fascinating insight into the development of the All Blacks and traces the path they took to get to where there are now. Clear lessons for everyone who is involved in sports and sports management - as well as business management. Indeed, there are life lessons for us all here - so you do not need to be sports oriented to enjoy this.
An easy read, well -written and divided in to 15 chapters.
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