Over the years, many books have promised to reveal the secret of building successful teams. But now Sam Walker has actually gone and done it. He’s given us an idea-driven, myth-busting gem of a book that is insightful, useful and hellaciously fun to read. If you care about leadership, talent development, or the art of competition, you need to read this immediately.
Dan Coyle, New York Times bestselling author ofÂ The Talent Code, The Secret Race, and Lance Armstrongâ??s War
In The Captain Class, Sam Walker gives us important and original insights into the mysterious ingredients of transformative leadership. A stunning mix of research and narrative.
Susan Cain, author of the #1 bestseller The Quiet
Well-researched, wildly entertaining, and thought-provoking. In The Captain Class, Sam Walker presents compelling narratives about the secret ingredient to the greatest teams of all time – and quickly has the reader reexamining long-held beliefs about leadership and the glue that binds winning teams together.
Theo Epstein, President of the Chicago Cubs
In 2004, I took a leave from my job to write a book about competing in America’s toughest fantasy-baseball expert competition. My strategy was to spend many days and nights with real major-league teams collecting inside information. The club I followed most closely was the Boston Red Sox.
The Red Sox franchise had a long and glorious history of failure and heartbreak dating back to 1918, the last time it had won a World Series. The moment I met them at spring training in February, I found little evidence that this season would be any different. Despite a sprinkling of stars, the roster was largely composed of misfits and castoffs—oddly shaped and sloppily bearded party animals with unconventional skills that other teams didn’t value. Behind the scenes I found them to be candid and funny, unpredictable and hopelessly undisciplined—a profile that would earn them the nickname The Idiots.
When Boston fell nine and a half games behind their rivals, the dynastic New York Yankees, I wasn’t the least bit surprised. I believed my first impression had been spot-on. The Red Sox were nothing like the dominant teams I had known. They weren’t championship contenders.Continue Reading