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Episode 26- Sam Walker on the 7 Characteristics of Great Leaders

November 30, 2017 • Book Club
Sam Walker, The Captain Class

What makes great teams great? That’s the question Wall Street Journal deputy editor Sam Walker answers in his new book, The Captain Class: The Hidden Force That Creates the World’s Greatest Teams. His answer surprised everyone, including himself. The secret to winning isn’t talent, coaching, strategy, or money. It is the presence of a singular leader—those who make up Walker’s captain class. But these leaders aren’t the charismatic superstars you might expect. So who are they? On this episode, Sam breaks down the seven characteristics of great leaders and challenges our assumptions of what real leadership looks like.

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Show Notes

  • The question that inspired Sam’s book, The Captain Class (1:49)
  • The methodology he used to determine the world’s greatest teams (3:58)
  • The one thing that elite teams have in common (7:30)
  • The seven characteristics of great leaders (9:35)
  • Reevaluating how we select leaders in the business world (13:15)
  • The importance of emotional dexterity (18:05)
  • How to show appreciation (20:28)
  • The Steve Jobs management style example (22:55)
  • The key to enduring success (25:14)
  • Tim Duncan’s leadership style and the idea of “carrying water” (27:51)
  • The glue guy who holds the Golden State Warriors together (29:33)
  • The relationship between Gregg Popovich and Tim Duncan (30:26)
  • How coaches and leaders can identify the right captain (33:01)
  • How task conflict can be healthy inside of a team environment (41:29)
  • The biggest misperception people have about leadership (46:14)


Resources / People Mentioned

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