My next guest is James Kerr – the only person that has ever been allowed to go behind the curtain with the All Blacks -, to study what it is that makes them such an unrivalled force in the sporting world.
He has spent most of his professional career studying the culture, patterns and habits of the world’s top performers including the Navy Seals, Manchester City FC and obviously the All Blacks – the fascinating insights of which became part of his widely acclaimed book Legacy.
It’s his belief, that by unpacking what it is that makes generations of these teams so extraordinary, we can all learn to become better leaders – of ourselves, our teams and our chosen playing fields.
Background to how it came about…
Jules – can you add how you stumbled on James?
And so that’s how James and I found ourselves sitting down over a dodgy internet connection, he sat by an exotic pool in Bali and me sat in my makeshift studio surrounded by empty cups of tea, trying not to be jealous of said exotic pool.
I think it’s pretty clear to anyone who has ever heard of the All Blacks, which let’s face it, is everyone, why I would be so keen to sit down with the man who’s spent more time studying them up close than anyone out there – as a team, they are the pin ups of high performance, from the moment they step onto the pitch, to the ground shaking impact of the Hakka, to what happens even in the changing room – the influence they have over themselves, each other and their opponents is mesmerising.
Now I’m not traditional known as a follower of sport, being surprised by the layers of Influence these players master on a day to day basis. From self influence, not letting high stakes situations crush you, to the influence of the collective, working together towards a higher order purpose as a team.
James summed it up well when he said that the entire team has a mission that they strive towards that is talked about at every team meeting, and at every game and that is, to leave the jersey in a better place than when you first put it on.
It’s this that I think will be the most powerful takeaway as you listen to James talk – a higher order purpose, bigger than one individual ego or performance, brought to life by captivating stories and delivered daily through habits and rituals is really the difference between an All Black, and – basically – everyone else.
So what can we learn if we want to become the All black of our own space?
- Intensity vs. hustle – how to shoot for your goals without your team burning out
- Mental tricks for standing your ground – the tools players use to keep a cool head on the field and how these can work in your high stakes situations
- The power of totems – why there are wine gums in every All Blacks locker room
- Fierce Rituals – how the Haka has never lost its spine chilling power
- Shared mission – why the man who lays out the jerseys is as important as the men who wear them
I’m confident that you’ll walk away from our time spent together today armed with the tools you need to set an intention, create a culture and operate at peak performance in a way that allows you to create your own legacy whatever you’re playing field.
So sit back – or sit up straight if you’re driving – and enjoy my interview with James Kerr, peeling back the curtain and giving you unfiltered access to the sporting legends that are The All Blacks.