James Kerr‘s Biography
James Kerr is the author of Legacy, the global bestseller, which unpicks the secrets of the world’s most successful sporting team, the All Blacks. The book has been described as ‘seminal’ by the Independent newspaper and ‘unputdownable’ by Bloomberg. The Daily Telegraph newspaper called it the ‘modern version of Vince Lombardi’s guides to coaching’ and says ‘for those searching for genuine keys to team culture, it is manna from heaven.’
Kerr argues that all winning teams share the same high performance principles; a relentless focus on excellence, a collective commitment to an ‘uncommon cause’, a high degree of autonomy, trust and individual initiative, clear, candid and compelling communication, an emphasis on individual accountability, integrity and genuine humility, underpinned by a climate in which ‘leaders create leaders’.
Kerr reveals the simple secrets of success that drive the best teams to extraordinary results – and what these teams can teach us about leading a business, a team, even a life. He helps organisations ‘lift their game’: galvanising and inspiring their teams, reconnecting them to common purpose, connecting and de-siloing their businesses, developing leadership at every level, attracting and retain top talent, and enhancing contribution, accountability and engagement.
As well as small, elite teams, Kerr addresses the specific challenges faced by larger, more diverse organisations today: including the impact that female leaders can have in previously male dominated environments, the challenges of engaging millennials, the shift from a transactional towards a transformative leadership style, personal leadership, ethics and integrity, marginal gains and incremental improvement, values and vision-setting, and resilience in adversity
Kerr has advised US and UK Special Forces, Formula 1 teams, America’s Cup crews, Premier League football managers, Olympic Performance Directors – as well as many corporations from Google to PayPal, Vodafone to Dyson, HSBC to Roche, Red Bull to Unilever, Shell to Boeing. His next book, Spearhead, explores ‘the principles of war for the business of leadership’, providing a fresh framework for leaders looking to turn culture into a ‘force multiplier’ for competitive advantage.
‘We knew James would be a great fit for what we wanted – the day to end on a high, guests to feel motivated, focused and with purpose, and he really did not disappoint. Guests passed on great feedback to me after the event, and I’m still receiving those comments back in the office today. I would not hesitate to recommend James to any colleagues.’
‘If you read only one leadership book in your life, make it this one. Brilliant’
Kevin Roberts – Global CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi
‘Beautifully written, wonderfully observed, true to the bone. This book is both intelligent and insightful: the perfect ‘how-to’ manual for effective leadership. Read it.’
Anton Oliver – former All Blacks captain
‘It’s a very good book. It’s about leadership, based on the principles the All Blacks have used in their culture and their identity, and some of the values they live by.
Stuart Lancaster – former England rugby coach
‘Absolutely incredible. A brilliant set of stories, brilliantly told.’
Sir Lockwood Smith – NZ High Commissioner to London
‘This is one of the best connection books I have ever read. It evokes great visual and kinesthetic emotions. I get why the All Black get it.’
John Bracewell – former NZ Cricket Coach
The Irish Independent
The Daily Telegraph
‘A fantastic book’
The Irish Examiner
“94% felt the meeting… inspired them to act as a transformative leader. James was really able to translate the All Blacks ethos and approach into something very relevant, not just for business generally, but for Roche in particular. His presentation was inspiring and also raised some questions to think about.”
‘It is the second time I have seen James and the messages that he is able to convey using the examples from the All Blacks are extremely powerful and transferrable into the business environment. The session went down very well with the team.’
Head of Telecoms, Post Office
“James was a delight to work from an event organisers point of view and he gave our members a fascinating insight into the culture of the world’s most successful sporting team. The parallels drawn between leadership in sport and business where both insightful and inspirational and the event feedback we received was exceptional: “just about the best event I have attended”, “one of the best learning events I’ve attended” and “having completed numerous management training sessions I can honestly say I’ve taken more away from this morning than the last course which lasted eight days!!”.”
Chief Executive, Entrepreneurs Forum