Legacy: What the All Blacks Can Teach Us About Leadership & Life.

Since writing my first book review back in March, I’ve wanted to continue writing reviews as and when I finish a new title. This book marks 9/26.

I have a notes section in my phone which is getting longer and longer by the day. It is filled with book recommendations that I’ve had from Instagram, friends and ones I’ve come across when browsing other blogs.

I find myself referring to the list when I’m after a new read and if a book has been recommended by more than one person, I’ll star it.

Legacy was one of those starred titles. Recommended by my housemate and by a follower, I was instantly intrigued.

I’ve read my fair share of ‘self-help’ books but leadership titles were new for me because I thought they’d be a bit of a slog to read in all honesty. I also don’t consider myself to be a in a leadership position so I didn’t think it would resonate with me. I can admit that I was wrong.

Here in the UK, we’re still in lockdown and have just been blessed with a very sunny Easter Weekend. Seeing as we are all unable to leave our homes, I’ve been reading a lot. And this book didn’t last 2 days. I honestly couldn’t put it down! It’s unique, insightful and inspirational in equal parts. It left me feeling as though I could lead my very own team to success.

I fell in love with New Zealand after visiting 4 years ago and if you’ve been lucky enough to visit, you’ll know the obsession all New Zealanders have with the All Blacks – rightly so.

Legacy is a thought-provoking and fascinating read that dives deep into the traits of The Maori culture and the ethos of the most successful team, The All Blacks.

The Maori believe that the haka draws up our ancestors from the earth to the soul. Those facing the haka know that they are facing a culture, an ethos and a belief system. In a nutshell, the book is an exploration of those themes and how they can be applied to leadership and team building.

It asks questions such as –

What are the secrets of success?
How do you handle pressure?
How do you train to win at the highest level?

The New Zealand All Blacks are loved and respected by fans worldwide. They have an extraordinary success rate of 86% and the book explores their secrets in 15 chapters.

They are as follows –

  1. Character
  2. Adapt
  3. Purpose
  4. Responsibility
  5. Learn
  6. Whanau (Literally meaning, ‘no dickheads’)
  7. Expectations
  8. Preparation
  9. Pressure
  10. Authenticity
  11. Sacrifice
  12. Language
  13. Ritual
  14. Whakapapa
  15. Legacy

Each chapter discusses themes that are ingrained into the everyday lives of the players, each one exploring techniques that the All Black coaches utilise and employ.

The book begins by telling us how all team members sweep the changing rooms after every game – win or loose. I was instantly gripped. The final chapter talks about writing your legacy.

The All Blacks receive a book with a visual journey through history and the values and standards but with pages that are blank so each player adds their legacy. So the story continues.

James Kerr is a best-selling author, award winning brand consultant and advises leading companies on brand, identity, advertising, internal communications and culture change.

There are so many anecdotes and lessons that can be taken from this book, I think its a must read for everyone, leader or not.

If you’re looking for other book reviews, be sure to check out this round up then let me know if you’ve read any of them!

Let’s get this virtual book club off the ground!

Amy xo.

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