Book Review: What the All Blacks can teach us about the business of life.
At this level, sport – like business and life – is a mind game, won primarily in the head.
In his latest book, Legacy, James Kerr goes deep into the heart and mind of the world’s most successful sporting team, the legendary All Blacks of New Zealand, to reveal 15 powerful and practical lessons for leadership and business. What the All Blacks can teach us about the business of life.
This week’s book review is a little different.
Instead of giving you a longer personal story and application, I want to just give you an excerpt of the book. This small chapter changed my life forever.
It’s about the ability to run a business in such a way that you can simultaneously change the world.
I’ve always been a huge fan of social enterprises like ThankYou.
We recently raised $1,700+ for Hummingbird House QLD’s Only Children’s Hospice.
My mentor is the founder and Chairman of the Buy 1 Give 1 Business for Good movement.
The happiest years of my life we’re those spent volunteering in some of the poorest parts of the world Brazil, Mexico, Thailand & South Africa.
So enjoy the life changing words of James Kerr, and I look forward to seeing you build your Legacy.
Excerpt from the Book Legacy:
Our social footprint.
Our social footprint is the impact our life has — or can have — on other lives.
It begins with character — a deep respect for our deepest values — and it involves a committed enquiry into our life’s purpose.
What do we hold most sacred?
What’s our purpose here?
What can we pass on, teach?
Great teams play with great purpose.
From ‘Uniting and Inspiring New Zealanders’ to ‘Ubuntu’ from ‘Semper Fidelis’ to ‘democratising the automobile’ better place’, to ‘making the world a better place to ‘I Have a Dream’ most inspiring leaders play a bigger, more important game.
Not long ago, we respected bankers and hedgefund financiers and vulture investors though making money alone was enough. Patently — after the sleazy collapse of financial standards — this is not true any more.
There is nothing wrong with making money but as a sole ambition it certainly isn’t inspiring an emerging generation that values human connection, social interaction and authenticity more highly. In a society badly let down by the promises of corporations it seems that capitalism has an opportunity to re-define itself and play a different game. It’s not enough just to win anymore, we must win with flair.
We must leave the jersey in a better place. Fortunately for the more hardheaded business person, the result of this shift in approach is not just an altruistic fantasy or a meaningless sop to society. It is a very real driver for organisational performance, cohesion and conviction.
It is likely that the teams — whether companies or causes — that contribute a healthy social footprint will be those that survive and thrive over the coming decades.
They’ll recruit better talent, engender more loyalty and profit from a virtuous cycle of purchase and recommendation, and build a sustainable culture of contribution and success.
From their value to society will come their value as company.
The cynics — those just in it for the money — have been found out. Theirs is no longer a sustainable model; increasingly, wealth on its own is no decent definition of success.
It doesn’t play well at dinner parties or in a eulogy. By taking responsibility for something more than profits, we tap into a collective vibrancy that is not only good for the world but also good for business.
To ‘leave the jersey in a better place’ means to work incrementally towards a better collective outcome.
It means to be a custodian of the future, an architect of tomorrow, a steward of society. It means to live with respect, humility and excellence. As leaders it means that we will truly lead, not just manage, and that others will spill blood for our team. People want to believe in something bigger than themselves; purpose propels and moves people, and moving people is the purpose of a leader.
‘Service to others’ ‘is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.’
But it’s about more than rent, it’s about respect: honouring that which we are capable of becoming, being great rather than just good, playing a bigger game, a more expansive game, a more ambitious , said Muhammad Ali, It all comes back to sweeping the sheds.
The word ‘character’ comes from the ancient Greek, mark that is left on a coin during its manufacture. Character is also the mark ‘kharakter’ left on you by life, and the mark we leave on life.
It’s the impact you make when you’re here, the trace you leave once you’re Character rises out of our values, our purpose, the standards we set ourselves, our sacrifice and commitment, and the decisions we make under pressure, but is primarily defined by the contribution we make, the responsibility we take, the leadership we show.
Character is formed by the way we respond to the challenges of life and business, by the way we lead our life and our If we value life, life values us. If we devalue it, we dishonour ourselves and our one chance at living. This is our
Leadership is surely the example we set. The way we lead our own life is what makes us a leader.
Be a Good Ancestor Our time is limited. Understanding the fragility of life is the first step of life is the first step in understanding our role and responsibility as a leader.
Our greatest responsibility is to honour those who came before us and those who will come after, to leave the jersey in a better place.
We are the stewards of our organisations, the caretakers of our own lineage. Our actions today will echo beyond our time.
They are our legacy.