Episode #1350 Sam Walker: The Hidden Force That Creates the World’s Greatest

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Accomplished WSJ deputy editor, Sam Walker joins Moe Abdou to discuss the link between the world’s greatest sports teams. 


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Sam Walker

Wall Street Journal’s Deputy editor for enterprise View Full Profile

The Captain Class

As passionate sports fans, we’re quick to label our favorite athlete and/or team as the G.O.A.T - Greatest of all time.  Whether it’s the current version of the Golden State Warriors, and The New England Patriots; or the epic era of Michael Jordan’s Bulls and Deter Jeter’s Yankees - each of us sees greatness from our own unique vantage point.  

Ask any modern sports fan who the best coaches of our era are, and you’re likely to hear names like Bill Belichick, Gregg Popovich, Phil Jackson, John Wooden, and Vince Lombardi, among others - And, while each of them is legendary in their own right, are they truly the singular force that distinguishes winners from losers? 

In his fascinating new book - The Captain Class:  The Hidden Force That Creates the World’s Greatest Teams, Sam Walker - The Wall Street Journal’s deputy editor for enterprise, takes you on a wildly entertaining journey that has spanned nearly two decades, to unlock one of sports’ great mysteries - the secret to building a world-class team.  As the title implies, it’s the Captains who make the difference - still, who are these individuals? and what is it about them that makes them so revered?  

If you’re a sports junkie like I am, get ready for a few curve balls, and pay close attention to the seven character traits that will accelerate your own path to greatness.  Here’s a glimpse of what we discuss:

  • What is greatness?
  • What does the world often get wrong about defining an elite team - both in sports and in business?
  • The Alpha 16 - who are they, and what links them?
  • Seven traits that define the world’s greatest Captains?
  • Are coaches overrated?
  • A formula for leadership excellence - Potential x Motivation x Development.
  • A framework for leaders in business to build great teams.
  • Resources: