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The Secret of Successful Teams

James Kerr

23 November 2023

James Kerr is a bestselling writer, speaker, coach and consultant who helps create high performance cultures for elite teams and organisations. James was the first outsider to ever be allowed on the inside of the All Blacks camp, his is a unique viewpoint that has never been reported before, and translates seamlessly into the business setting. Here, James shares with us his secret to successful teams, drawing insights from his time spent with the All Blacks rugby team; one of the greatest teams in the world.


Performance = Capability X Behaviour

Leading teams believe that environment – physical, cultural & mental – is everything. They work on creating a culture that delivers the right behaviours so that the collective capability is optimised, and if you get that right, the ‘score takes care of itself’. So how do you create an environment in which winning is inevitable? Are you prepared to perform?

What will you bring to the team?

When an All Black becomes an All Black, they get asked two questions; What will you bring to this team, and What are you prepared to sacrifice. James asks the same questions of the audience. Because time is fleeting – and this is your time, your team, your moment – so what will YOU bring to THIS team, and what are you prepared to sacrifice?

Leaders create leaders

Leaders don’t create followers, they create leaders. This empowerment principle is the essence of leadership – creating a learning environment in which people can get better every day.

3 Core Values: Humility, Excellence & Respect

These are the 3 core mantras of the All Blacks, and they should be taken into and followed by every team.

Write your own legacy

During my time with the All Blacks, I gave each member of the team a book in which, after a lineage of All Blacks jerseys and a page in which the values are stated, the rest of the book’s pages are blank. The blank pages tell the new player; now it’s your turn, now it’s your time – time to leave your jersey in a better place, time to make your contribution, time to write your own Legacy.

So, what will YOU bring to the team?


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James Kerr


James Kerr is a bestselling writer, speaker, coach and consultant who helps create high performance cultures for elite teams and organisations. He is the author of the global best-seller ‘Legacy’ which provides a unique insight into the most successful sporting team, The All Blacks – and has worked with some of the world’s most exceptional organisations, from Tier One Special Forces to Formula One teams, Premiership Football managers to Olympic teams, Google to Spotify to Boeing.  

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