The Captain Class

The Hidden Force That Creates the World's Greatest Teams
Narrated by: Keith Szarabajka
Length: 9 hrs and 24 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (718 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A bold new theory of leadership drawn from elite captains throughout sports - named one of the best business books of the year by CNBC, The New York Times, Forbes, strategy+business, The Globe and Mail, and Sports Illustrated 

“The book taught me that there’s no cookie-cutter way to lead. Leading is not just what Hollywood tells you. It’s not the big pregame speech. It’s how you carry yourself every day, how you treat the people around you, who you are as a person.” (Mitchell Trubisky, quarterback, Chicago Bears)

The sixteen most dominant teams in sports history had one thing in common: Each employed the same type of captain - a singular leader with an unconventional set of skills and tendencies. Drawing on original interviews with athletes, general managers, coaches, and team-building experts, Sam Walker identifies the seven core qualities of the Captain Class - from extreme doggedness and emotional control to tactical aggression and the courage to stand apart. Told through riveting accounts of pressure-soaked moments in sports history, The Captain Class will challenge your assumptions of what inspired leadership looks like.   

Praise for The Captain Class  

“Wildly entertaining and thought-provoking... makes you reexamine long-held beliefs about leadership and the glue that binds winning teams together.” (Theo Epstein, president of baseball operations, Chicago Cubs)

“If you care about leadership, talent development, or the art of competition, you need to read this immediately.” (Daniel Coyle, author of The Culture Code)

“The insights in this book are tremendous.” (Bob Myers, general manager, Golden State Warriors)

“An awesome book... I find myself relating a lot to its portrayal of the out-of the-norm leader.” (Carli Lloyd, co-captain, US Soccer Women’s National Team)

“A great read... Sam Walker used data and a systems approach to reach some original and unconventional conclusions about the kinds of leaders that foster enduring success. Most business and leadership books lapse into clichés. This one is fresh.” (Jeff Immelt, chairman and former CEO, General Electric)

“I can’t tell you how much I loved The Captain Class. It identifies something many people who’ve been around successful teams have felt but were never able to articulate. It has deeply affected my thoughts around how we build our culture.” (Derek Falvey, chief baseball officer, Minnesota Twins)

©2017 Sam Walker (P)2017 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

The Captain Class really resonated with me. It will absolutely be part of my thought process as we continue to build our roster.” (Ryan Pace, general manager, Chicago Bears)

"I’ve been involved with an undefeated high school team, an undefeated college team, and coached in two Super Bowls. The Captain Class made me think back to those teams. The captains were indeed characters with a bit of uniqueness and a certain grittiness.” (Pat Ruel, offensive line coach, Seattle Seahawks)

“The best book I’ve read this year.” (Mike Dunlap, head basketball coach, Loyola Marymount University)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Must read

Become a better leader and recognize the attributes and key components that make them up.

1 person found this helpful

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Great book

Just finished it and already want to hear it again. Strongly recommend it is a must listen.

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Excellent audiobook

Just what an audiobook should be. First, great writing by Sam Walker, with engaging stories and sometimes surprising conclusions. And then a first-class narrator in Keith Szarabajka - compelling and not overdone. Highly recommended for content and narration.

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Captain my Captain

I consume leadership books like water and this is one of the best ever! If you want to build or lead a game-changing, world class team, read this book and then choose to be or endeavor to find the Captain.

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Excellent

Great book. It Changed my perspective on the nature and role of leadership in sports.

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  • EH
  • 01-24-20

insightful and an extremely helpful perspective

as a long time athlete, coach and educator, I found this book to be a must-read in my journey toward helping to form a vision for my teams, to facilitate the best environment for my teams, to help me guide and develop leadership on my teams, and to reflect on my past experiences.

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if you love sports and argument, this is for you.

love this doesn't just rehash the same old stale arguments, great takes and data to back it up. well done.

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Great for coaching, parenting and business world.<br />

Book related to a lot of different sports stories. Great insight on some great players and teams. Well researched book.

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A deeply insightful read into leadership

it starts slow and might seem overly deceptive in chapter 1, but that's necessary to understand the content.

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Enjoyed the info not the narrator

I enjoyed the subject matter and respect all of the time the author invested gathering and researching the topic. I did not enjoy the narrator (especially how he tried to mimick someone's accent). This was distracting.