Leaving your “metaphorical” jersey better than you found it: Performance expert James Kerr on team legacy

August 4, 2021

Leaving your “metaphorical” jersey better than you found it: Performance expert James Kerr on team legacy

James Kerr

Best Selling Author and Performance Expert

Leadership, performance expert, and bestselling author James Kerr shares with us the qualities that make up high-performance teams.

Leadership, performance expert, and bestselling author James Kerr has studied every sort of team - from those based on the sports pitch to those on the battlefield and in the board room. On the latest Walker Webcast, James shares with us the qualities that make up high-performance teams and the leadership traits needed to build such teams. A lot if it comes down to answering one question: What sort of legacy do you and your team want to leave? 


The episode begins with James sharing about the inspiration behind his “Legacy”, which was a book called Paper Lion by George Plimpton. James shares his fascination with the inside workings of a team and the legacy teams leave. This is what inspired him to begin thinking about how these same strategies and skills can be related to life and leaving our own legacy. 

James and Willy then begin to talk about how different strategies sports team use can be related to the world of business, such as the imagery and ownership that comes from putting on a jersey. Businesses should be searching for similar ways to provide identity and meaning for the people who work there. This means setting clear goals and creating something significant that gives workers the ability to be a part of something bigger than just themselves. Another aspect of this includes providing workers with a clear understanding of why they are there and the impact their work has on overarching company goals. 

Another factor Willy and James address is the importance of setting a vision that is adopted by the whole business, not just the leadership. When you show what is possible, you grab attention of others and set a purpose. Instead of just focusing on what needs to get done, put the focus on why it is getting done and the purpose behind it. James then uses this philosophy to dive into how this leads to level 5 leadership and how this promotes thinking just beyond yourself. He shares the theme that helped the All Blacks become successful and how having this theme promoted growth and change. 

Next, James shares about the importance of communication as well as the leaders of a company setting the example they want others to follow. A big part of this depends on relationships being build and having a business fee like a community. Good teams are about good relationships, and he points out how this is also true for businesses. He also explains the importance of setting clear expectations for behavior to provide clarity for what is expected. 

The episode concludes with James pointing out a final factor that the All Blacks used to become successful that is also true for businesses which is to continually be improving and having an adaptive culture. Never be content with where you are but always look for ways to improve. ends by sharing the importance of having a clear idea of where you want to go and how you want to get there. This is what leads to success in life and business. 


Learn about the book Good to Great mentioned by Willy.
Follow James Kerr on LinkedIn.

Read Transcript

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