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The Captain Class

The Hidden Force Behind the World's Greatest Teams
Narrated by: Keith Szarabajka
Length: 9 hrs and 24 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (94 ratings)

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Summary

Random House presents the unabridged downloadable audiobook edition of The Captain Class: The Hidden Force Behind the World's Greatest Teams by Sam Walker, read by Keith Szarabajka.

Several years ago Sam Walker set out to answer one of the most hotly debated questions in sport: what are the greatest teams of all time? He devised a formula and applied it to thousands of teams across the world from the English Premier League to the NFL. When he was done, he had a list of the 16 most dominant teams ever. At that point he became obsessed with another more complex question: what did these freak teams have in common?

As Walker dug more deeply, a pattern emerged: the teams were all driven by a singular type of leader, but not one with the characteristics you might expect. They were unorthodox outliers - awkward and disagreeable, marginally skilled, poor verbal communicators, at times aggressive and rule-breaking, and, rather than pursue fame, they preferred to hide in the shadows both on and off the field. Captains, in short, who will challenge your assumptions of what inspired leadership looks like.

From the captains of world-renowned teams like Barcelona, Brazil, the All Blacks and the New York Yankees to lesser known successes of Soviet ice hockey or French handball, The Captain Class unveils the seven key qualities that make these elite leaders exceptional. Drawing on original interviews with athletes from two dozen countries as well as coaches, managers and others skilled at building teams, Walker attempts to answer questions such as: are great captains made or born? Why do so many teams pick the wrong captains? Why has the value of the captain fallen out of favour, and how can it be revived? The culmination of 10 years' research and a lifetime of sports watching, The Captain Class is like no other sports book and is guaranteed to spark endless debate and heated argument among fans of every sport.

©2017 Sam Walker (P)2017 Random House AudioBooks

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Eye opening on team sporting greatness

I thoroughly enjoyed hearing about the common thread that links the greatest sporting teams.
I also liked that Keith Szarabajka attempted the different global accents, some of them were so bad I loved them. It added an extra flavour to what was being told.
The captain class told fascinating stories on the people who drove their respective team amongst the 16 greatest teams in the world of sport to the top of their games.

2 people found this helpful

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Superb insight, narration good however mimicked accents detract as they are either poor funny or poor awful

Overall well worth getting, keeping and revisiting. Sam Walker has done a great job with this.

Audio is a good way to experience it, except for Dick Van Dyke style accent mimicking.
I found it funny, it could easily annoy some people though.

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not for me

unfortunately way too focused on sport and not transferrable to business as I thought it would be

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Superb

Loved it from start to end with some fascinating ideas put forward and stories told

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A Business/Life thesis disguised as a Sports book

An excellent analysis of the behavioural competences associated with highly successful team leadership. Well written, researched and organised. A great listen.

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Easy to get through

Interesting takeaways. Wish author would have specifically stated each leader profile heading into the section instead of listing just once.

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Brilliant!

Wonderfully performed and a brilliantly insightful, this book is so well put together, very thought provoking listen indeed.

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A great book

I loved this book. Great stories of great sports teams. I must for anyone interested in sport or leadership. I am happy to recommend it to my friends.

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drudgery

generically selected criteria to whittle down achievements from different sports teams on different continents. stats to counter some other stats. joyless drudgery. gave up very early.

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excellent stuff

loved it, very insightful and very interesting! to hear about different sides of sports stars you think you know about!