The Captain Class – Sam Walker
Download The Captain Class ebook. The Captain Class: The Hidden Force That Creates the World’s Greatest Teams.
Several years ago, Sam Walker set out to answer one of the most hotly debated questions in sports: What are the greatest teams of all time? He devised a formula, then applied it to thousands of teams from leagues all over the world, from the NBA to the English Premier League to Olympic field hockey. When he was done, he had a list of the sixteen most dominant teams in history. At that point, he became obsessed with another, more complicated question: What did these freak teams have in common?
As Walker dug into their stories, a pattern emerged: Each team had the same type of captain—a singular leader with an unconventional skill set who drove it to achieve sustained, historic greatness.
Fueled by a lifetime of sports spectating, twenty years of reporting, and a decade of painstaking research, The Captain Class tells the surprising story of what makes teams exceptional. Drawing on original interviews with athletes from two dozen countries, as well as general managers, coaches, executives, and others skilled at building teams, Walker identifies the seven core qualities of this Captain Class—from extreme doggedness and emotional control to a knack for nonverbal communication to tactical aggression and the courage to stand apart.
“The Captain Class is an awesome book. I find myself relating a lot to its portrayal of the out-of-the-norm leader.”—Carli Lloyd, co-captain, U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team
“The Captain Class really resonated with me. It will absolutely be part of my thought process as we continue to build our roster. Several of our players, coaches, and other executives are reading it too.”—Ryan Pace, general manager, Chicago Bears
“I’ve been involved with an undefeated high school team, an undefeated college team, and coached in two Super Bowls. The Captain Class made me think back to those teams. The captains were indeed characters with a bit of uniqueness and a certain grittiness. I realized after reading the book how little we really know about the characteristics of a great captain.”—Pat Ruel, offensive line coach, Seattle Seahawks
“The Captain Class is a great read. Sam Walker used data and a systems approach to reach some original and unconventional conclusions about the kinds of leaders that foster enduring success. Most business and leadership books lapse into clichés. This one was fresh.”—Jeff Immelt, chairman and former CEO, General Electric
“Well-researched, wildly entertaining, and thought-provoking, Sam Walker’s The Captain Class presents compelling narratives about the secret ingredient to the greatest teams of all time—and quickly has the reader reexamining long-held beliefs about leadership and the glue that binds winning teams together.”—Theo Epstein, president of baseball operations, Chicago Cubs
“The insights in this book are tremendous.”—Bob Myers, general manager, Golden State Warriors
“The Captain Class is the best book I’ve read this year. A player’s raw athletic ability and their fitness for leadership are distinct and separate things.”—Mike Dunlap, head basketball coach, Loyola Marymount University
“I can’t tell you how much I loved The Captain Class. It identifies something many people who’ve been around successful teams have felt but were never able to articulate. It has impacted my thoughts around how we build our culture.”—Derek Falvey, chief baseball officer, Minnesota Twins
“I couldn’t agree more with the premise of The Captain Class. Like the greatest athletic teams, every elite team and fighting unit I’ve seen in the military that has displayed consistent excellence over time has a leader like Sam Walker describes. I wouldn’t be surprised if the book develops a wide following throughout the military. I often refer to these character traits during developmental sessions with my officers.”—Jason Armagost, U.S. Air Force brigadier general, commander of the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing, Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar
“The most fabulous book on freakish sporting success and leadership traits commonly shared across the greatest teams of all time. I thoroughly recommend it.”—Rich Buchanan, performance director, Swansea City FC (English Premier League)
“In The Captain Class, Sam Walker gives us important and original insights into the mysterious ingredients of transformative leadership. A stunning mix of research and narrative.”—Susan Cain, bestselling author of Quiet
“Over the years, many books have promised to reveal the secret of building successful teams. But now Sam Walker has actually gone and done it. He’s given us an idea-driven, myth-busting gem of a book that that is insightful, useful, and hellaciously fun to read. If you care about leadership, talent development, or the art of competition, you need to read this immediately.”—Daniel Coyle, bestselling author of The Talent Code
“The Captain Class is a brilliant hybrid: one-part detective story and one-part leadership book, set in the world of sports, and dedicated to a fascinating mystery: What sets apart the greatest teams of all time? I’m not even a sports nut and I couldn’t put it down.”—Dan Heath, co-author of the New York Times bestseller Made to Stick
“Sam Walker has unlocked one of sports’ greatest mysteries: the secret to the success of 16 team dynasties. On nearly every page, you’ll be shaking your head at another revelation about how a team’s dominance is hard-wired to the team captain’s leadership. The Captain Class is one of the most surprising, best-written—and fun—sports books published in recent years.”—Don Van Natta Jr., Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times bestselling author of First Off the Tees
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Sam Walker is The Wall Street Journal’s deputy editor for enterprise, the unit that oversees the paper’s in-depth page-one features and investigative reporting projects. A former reporter, columnist, and sports editor, Walker founded the Journal’s prizewinning daily sports coverage in 2009. He is the author of Fantasyland, a bestselling account of his attempt to win America’s top fantasy baseball expert competition (of which he is a two-time champion). Walker attended the University of Michigan. He lives in New York City with his wife and two children.
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