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The Gist Of

Captain Class

Covered by

2/10/2020

This book by Sam Walker examines the qualities of leaders in sports. Sam breaks down who he selects as the greatest sports teams of all time. He then looks to the leaders of those teams and examines any commonalities they have. This book examines leaders and their leadership styles through intense qualitative analysis.

Sam Walker is deputy editor of The Wall Street Journal’s enterprise, the department that does one-page features and investigative reporting.

Sam Walker is deputy editor of The Wall Street Journal’s enterprise, the department that does one-page features and investigative reporting.

Why did we put Captain Class on The Shelf?

Sam’s book offers those in any industry the keys to being an effective and successful leader, using sports’ examples to back his claims. The author systematically goes about ranking the greatest teams of all time in any sport, and then comparing how their captains led their respective teams.

Captain Class belongs on The Shelf

Once Walker deciphers which great teams to examine, he figures out what 7 traits link their leaders:

  1. Extreme doggedness and focus in competition
  2. Aggressive play that tests the limits of the rules
  3. A willingness to do thankless jobs in the shadows
  4. A low-key, practical and democratic communication style
  5. Motivates others with passionate nonverbal displays
  6. Strong convictions and the courage to stand apart
  7. Ironclad emotional control

The Power Of Sports To Inspire

At the end of his book, Walker then examines three questions that focus around the qualities commonly found in poor leaders. He then concludes his book with an examination of if great leaders are made or born.

Anthony's Final Thoughts

I appreciated the daunting journey that Walker takes the reader through, taking the time and putting in the effort to do a good job at examining what a great leader looks like. The applications for Walker’s theory and findings go well beyond the world of sports. If you are a leader in any sense of the word, and want to excel at leading, Walker’s book is a must read.

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