A friend of mine introduced me to the book Legacy. Unknown to me the author James Kerr spent 5 weeks with the New zealand Rugby team. A team normally surrounded in secrecy, this was a first to learn what makes the All blacks tick. Once I picked this book up, I just couldn’t put it down.
A brief history of the All Blacks
The New Zealand national rugby union team, called the All Blacks, was formed in 1892 and have ammassed a 77% winning record in test match rugby, normally ranked the number 1 team in the world, they have underperformed on a world cup stage untill the last two tournaments in 2011 and 2015, lead by coach Steven Hansen they won in convinsing style to show the rest of the world their dominantes of rugby. Also in the southern hemisphere tournament called Rugby Championship they have won 16/23 times.
The All Blacks are also famous for their black jersey with a silver fern.The team perform a haka, a Māori challenge or posture dance, before each match. The haka has traditionally been Te Rauparaha’s Ka Mate, although since 2005 Kapa o Pango has also been performed.
Not only are they Rugbys best team, they are also regarded as the best sports team across all sports.
There are 15 chapters on leadership from All blacks past and present players and coaches,
I Sweep the sheds — Never be too big to do the small things that need to be done
II Go for the gap — When you’re on top of your game, change your game
III Play with purpose Ask ‘Why?’
IV Pass the ball — Leaders create leaders
V Create a learning Environment — Leaders are teachers
VI No dickheads — Follow the spearhead
VII Embrace expectations — Aim for the highest cloud
VIII Train to win — Practise under pressure
IX Keep a blue head — Control your attention
X Know thyself — Keep it real
XI Sacrifice — Find something you would die for and give your life to it
XII Invent a language — Sing your world into existence
XIII Ritualize to actualize — Create a culture
XIV Be a good ancestor — Plant trees you’ll never see
XV Write your legacy — This is your time!
Every chapter has amazing detail of how these 15 principles help the all blacks become the most dominate team in world sport. This is not by luck, its methodical analysis of what it means to be an all black and how the next generation can see the full benefits of their hard work. Present and future I can’t see these winning habits changing, a team hell bent on leaving their jersey better than they found it, is echoed amongst all.
What I learnt
I learnt that sport and business are very alike and all these principals can be easily transferred into a business environment. With the right foundations any organisation can grow stronger through a personal connection with it’s people and a vision for people to follow. I also learned from this book, you as a person need to hold yourself to a greater level for other people to follow, like their captain Ritchie McCaw, who leads by example, “sweep the shead” is the guy you want to be. Actually there are so many points and tips within this book that could last you a years perfecting your business, it’s that good.
I would read a chapter at a time and spend a minimum of a month trying incorporate the most important chapters to you and see the benefits unfold.
A must read for any sports coach, team leader or head of an organisation.