In 2010 James became one of the only ever people to be allowed inside the camp of the New Zealand All Blacks, the most successful sporting team in history. What he learned from this experience he translated into 15 lessons that can be translated into any high-performance team be it sport, military, or business for success.
James Kerr’s book has been described as ‘seminal’ by the Independent newspaper and ‘unputdownable’ by Bloomberg. The Daily Telegraph newspaper called it the ‘modern version of Vince Lombardi’s guides to coaching’ and says ‘for those searching for genuine keys to team culture, it is manna from heaven.’ It’s still one of the most popular 1% Podcasts.
+ “It’s the people, it’s the people, it’s the people.”
Quoting from the Maori proverb “What is the most important thing in the world? It’s the people, it’s the people, it’s the people” James learned from studying the All-Blacks that whilst we spend a lot of time talking about processes and culture and leadership it’s the actual people within the team that make the team.
+ Leading Remote Workers
Whilst nobody in June 2018 could have possibly imagined that during the Covid-19 Pandemic so many of us would be working from home so suddenly and simultaneously, James talks about how leaders in atomized organisations need to be powerful storytellers in order to get the message of belonging across to their employees. This, he says, is essential to maintain the culture, buy-in, and retention of your best workers.
+ Focus, discipline, integrity, success
The All Blacks have an incredible legacy of discipline with very few players having ever been sent off during a game. James puts this down to keeping the focus on the wider goal of winning the game rather than the instant goal of winning the ball in a way that may result in your sending off. He draws the parallel with the business world where he advocates acting with integrity at all times, pointing out that if you cut corners you’ll eventually get the red card!
+ “You can’t copy the All Blacks’ culture.”
The All Blacks worked hard to define and create their culture by means of inclusive discussion. James points out that any organisation looking to create a strong culture needs to do two things – ask people questions about the sort of culture and environment that would help them thrive and then take some accountability for making that happen.
Listen to full episode Here