The Captain Class: The Hidden Force That Creates the World’s Greatest Teams

Sam Walker. Random House, $28 (352p) ISBN 978-0-8129-9719-4
Walker, former global sports editor of the Wall Street Journal, set out to identify the world’s all-time greatest sports teams and determine the common factors that united them. This daunting search for the “DNA of greatness” required scouring dozens of newspaper and obscure websites. Walker settled on 16 elite teams from around the world, including baseball’s New York Yankees (1949–1953), hockey’s Montreal Canadiens (1955–1960), and soccer’s Barcelona (2008–2013). As Walker points out, the common denominator was a captain who possessed at least one of seven key leadership attributes; scoring points and basking in the spotlight are not among them. Walker backs up his assertions with anecdotes from the field, the court, and the locker room, often focusing on captains whose names are not immediately recognizable (Carla Overbeck of the U.S. women’s natonal soccer team, Maurice Richard of the Montreal Canadiens, Wayne Shelford of the New Zealand All Blacks rugby team). Written for serious sports fans in lively language that also speaks to aspiring athletes and business professionals, this book offers a compelling argument for the value of inspired leadership. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/10/2017
Release date: 05/16/2017
Compact Disc - 978-1-5247-7709-8
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio

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