Age old leadership lessons from the All Blacks


There is a lot of literature about leadership. And as with many business topics, the Lindy effect applies. What was wisdom for thousands of years, still is. Leadership has been applied for as long as we exist. Particularly in the military and sports.

Sport and leadership

Sports is increasingly used in business books, for example, “The captain class” and there have been many business books taken lessons from the military. The ones that stand out for me:

“Extreme Ownership”  “The Navy Seal Art of War”Make your bed”


“Legacy” by James Kerr, is about leadership in the All Blacks. One of the most impressive sports team in the world. The book is an absolute cracker. …

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The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck- A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life

Happiness is hard work

We are all pursuing happiness. Including the hacks and shortcuts. No sure if there are any. Happiness is hard work. Starting with knowing what to focus on. And more important, what not to focus on.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life

In “The code of the extraordinary mind“, I first came across the term “unfuckwithable”. The book “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life” brings it a few steps further.


Mark Manson is a stoic. Life sucks sometimes. Deal with it. Don’t be an asshole and be honest with yourself. He gives out about this ongoing pursuit of …

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Teams as a Service


A few years ago we founded StrategyCrowd. The principles are that 1+1+1+1 = a lot more and that a swarm or team of entrepreneurial talent can bring something different to the table, compared to the usual suspects. It has worked well. StrategyCrowd has developed a portfolio of impressive clients, including Trinity College, Teesside University, EBRD, Enterprise Ireland, World Bank, Sustainable Nation, some private equity funds and a number of large corporate clients.

Talent pool

With a pool of interesting individuals whom all have the battle scars of failing and scaling and everything in between. With expertise in fundraising, innovation, intrapreneurship, strategy and scaling.

“The Interim Revolution: How crowdsourcing, the on-demand Gig Economy and Teams as a Service are transforming …

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To Be a Machine- Adventures Among Cyborgs, Utopians, Hackers, and the Futurists Solving the Modest Problem of Death

Technology and philosophy

It is not about technology. It is philosophy, that is the new black.

Future trends

There are many books about future trends. They all paint the same picture. It is fast, it is exponential, the technologies are amplifying each other, it is science fiction happening in front of our eyes, it is VUCA, it is scary, exciting, disruptive and most of all unpredictable.


What is much more interesting, are the philosophical questions. The consequences of all this new technology. Books like “WTF“, “Technology versus humanity“, “Life 3.0“. Compulsory reading for every CEO of a person in a leadership position. We really need to think about this and what this will mean. We are …

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Fusion- How Integrating Brand and Culture Powers the World's Greatest Companies

Marketing is culture. Culture is marketing.

Culture is the new marketing.

Marketing 3.0

Kotler, the godfather of marketing, wrote a book a while ago, titled “Marketing 3.0”. It is one of the greats. About the complete alignment of marketing with human resource management and about staff as the ultimate carrier of the brand. A true “employees first” perspective.

Fusion: How Integrating Brand and Culture Powers the World’s Greatest Companies

That is the topic of “Fusion: How Integrating Brand and Culture Powers the World’s Greatest Companies”. You can unleash great power when you fuse together your organisation’s two nuclei: your culture, the way the people in your organisation behave and the attitudes and beliefs that inform them (i.e., “the way we do things around here”) and your …

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Ikigai- The Japanese secret to a long and happy life

Purpose or Ikigai as the new black

Purpose and passion are the new “not-to-copy”

In a world where technology commoditises everything, purpose and passion are the new “not-to-copy”. Full alignment of culture with marketing as the only way to compete. Culture as the tool to increase your internal clock speed. Culture and shared values as the only platform for the future. Purpose as a way to become super efficient. There is no flow without purpose. There is no micro-flow if you are not enjoying mundane tasks.

CSR is outdated

Which means that there are now a lot of books about “purpose” as the new black in business. For me, it started with “Exponential organisations“, but before that, I was already writing about social enterprise and …

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Endure- Mind, Body and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance

Endure: Mind, Body and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance

When you read books about leadership, athletes and Navy Seals, you understand that many things are possible with the right mindset. Hence “Endure: Mind, Body and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance”


Reaching the limits of endurance is a concept that seems yawningly obvious until you actually try to explain it. He defines endurance as “the struggle to continue against a mounting desire to stop.” And the mind plays a huge role. However, the brain’s role in endurance is, perhaps, the single most controversial topic in sports science.

Not dead, could have done more

He quotes a coach’s observation about a second-place Olympic marathoner jogging around the track waving his country’s flag. “Do you notice he’s not dead?” …

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CEO, criminal or Zeronaut?

Picked up “The Zeronauts: Breaking the Sustainability Barrier”. Interesting mix of sustainability, innovation, cradle to cradle and innovation. Any type of pollution is criminal, you will be sued as an organisation and there are ways to transform your business.

New gold

Things we have taken for free will become the new gold. Water, waste, carbon. What would happen if sharply reduced carbon, water, toxic waste, or other footprints became the focus of policy and, ultimately, societal expectations? (or vice versa.) What would a zero impact growth model look like? What would be the risks and where are the likely opportunities? What sort of timescales might be involved?

Going zero

I think we are going zero. It is only a matter …

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zone to win

An intrapreneurship playbook for CEOs

Intrapreneurship is a hot topic. It will replace innovation as the buzzword for the next three years. Peter Hinssen, Eric Ries and Freek Vermeulen have written some excellent books on the topic.

Zone to win

The one book to read if you are on the management team of a large corporation is “Zone to Win: Organising to Compete in an Age of Disruption” by Geoffrey A. Moore. Intrapreneurship and innovation are hard for large corporations. As CEO you are constantly facing a crisis of prioritisation and organisation.

How do you segregate disruptive innovation incubating or scaling new products or business opportunities from sustaining innovation, making improvements to existing entities? How do you t separate revenue performance and financial commitments…
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Small Data- The Tiny Clues That Uncover Huge Trends

Anthropology as the last mile of marketing

Anthropology is the new black.


Martin Lindstrom is the author of “Brandwashed”. My all-time favourite dark book about marketing. I think it was one of the first mentioned neuroscience as a selling tool. “Small Data: The Tiny Clues That Uncover Huge Trends”, describes how he takes an anthropologic approach to help companies rebrand and refocus. Anthropology as the last mile of data.

It is the small data

Small data versus big data. If you want to understand how animals live, you don’t go to the zoo, you go to the jungle. He uses a technique he calls subtext research or small mining. A detailed process that involves visiting consumers in their homes, gathering small data offline …

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