Trillion Dollar Coach – Bill Campbell

Trillion Dollar coach is a tribute and Leadership Playbook of Silicon Valley’s Bill Campbell written by Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg and Alan Eagle. When you read a certain books it takes a long time to complete (especially when it is not your area of expertise). Trillion Dollar Coach is an easy, interesting and inspiring read.

Trillion Dollar Coach

This book is a must read for any leader or manager.  The whole idea of having a coach is not prevalent a lot yet in the business world. However after reading this book, a lot of successful Silicon Valley company CEO’s have had a coach and the big ones had Bill Campbell as their coach. The authors of this book have taken great efforts to document the learning from Bill Campbell as it would benefit everyone in the business world. Not just the business world, it will benefit any leader. 

Here are some of my learnings from the book:

  1. Leadership means being selfless. Putting your team first / being a selfless leader is what makes a leader
  2. If you have the right product for the right market at the right time, go as fast as you can.
  3. The little conversations you have with your team helps a lot. It does not have to be about work. For example, every time before Bill starts a meeting, he has chit chats with the folks in the room. It could also be a trip report (How was your vacation/ trip?).  It is so easy to forget these little conversations when you are busy at work. However Bill made it a point and took the effort to have these conversations.
  4. Listening is an important skill. Especially when in meetings it is very important to listen and make sure everyone’s voice is being heard. When you listen, people feel valued. 
  5. When things don’t go well or if you are not sure about something, it is easy to have one foot in, one foot out. However it does not work. Others around you will not be committed either. You have to be totally committed. 
  6. If you have a problem, do not focus on the problem. Focus on who is working on the problem. Get the team right and you will solve all the issues.
  7. Loyalty and commitment are much easier when you are winning and much harder when you are losing. 
  8. Winning depends on having the best team and the best team have more women
  9. You can keep someone’s respect and loyalty while delivering tough news about their performance
  10. Be generous when it comes to compensation and pay
  11. The importance of community and create events where people can mingle and converse with each other. It is more about the community than the event. 

Bill also used to pay for the drinks / food / (or) whenever an event is organized , it is all on Bill. This makes it easier for people to attend. He genuinely cared for people and was very generous. 

Thanks Eric, Jonathan and Alan  for writing another great and inspiring book. Thanks for documenting Bill Campbell’s work and practice. This is free education for all of us in the technology and business world.

Restore Water Body – Shenoy Nagar/ Anna Nagar

There was an excellent article in Anna Nagar Talk this morning. – ‘Restore Water Body with a picture of an open land’. This caught my attention and also to me it was an excellent article because as a neighborhood resident this affects me and  each one of us living here on a daily basis. There is a huge vacant land right next to the Shenoy Nagar park (also called as the skating park). My kids skate in this park and I also use the park to run twice a week. There used to be Government Housing quarters right next to this park. However, one fine day, (about 6 months to a year ago), this entire building was demolished and the residents were relocated to another neighborhood. The Government did an excellent job without a lot of chaos. This is an excellent location (few minutes walk to the metro) and could certainly be converted to a pond (or) a water body to store water. One could store water and also use it as a walking trail. 

Anna Nagar Shenoy Nagar

Anna Nagar Talk Restore Water Body

Anna Nagar Talk Restore Water Body

When work is being done in such locations of prominence , it is a good idea to ask the residents in the neighborhood for their feedback. I tried to ask several folks near the park on what will be constructed in the open land and they have no clue. 

Based on the article published today in Anna Nagar talk, there used to be a water body in the same location. Feasibility of water body in the location should be carried out (or) The Government should detail its plans for the location. Let us assume that they have great plans and it will make a positive impact to the residents of the area and beyond. I would love for the land to be used for the public (not just for the residents of the Anna Nagar/Shenoy Nagar) , but also for people in the nearby towns. 

Here are some options based on the feasibility:

  1. Water Body (based on Anna Nagar Talk’s article)
  2. Extend the Shenoy Nagar park with a Sports Stadium so more people can stay healthy
  3. Library
  4. Government may have bigger and better plans which may benefit all of us

These are great opportunities for the Government to make an impact and Good Luck. Thank you for reading.

Imminent Death of BSNL

BSNL (Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited) provides telephone and internet services to people across India. The  Chennai floods in 2017 left the entire city in shambles. Most of the internet service providers took months to restore their service. However BSNL was at the top of its game. Even though the private operators were not able to provide connectivity to the city, BSNL rose up to the disaster and ensured connectivity and minimal disruption.

BSNL

BSNL

I decided to take up BSNL connection at home. However the experience was not so pleasant. I had the connection for about 2 years. The connection was never stable and it hardly worked. I made several attempts to reach out to the concerned authorities. They would take the complaint and sit on it. The cable is cut, there are cable issues in your area are the constant responses you would hear from them. My home is not too far from the BSNL office and they are unable (or) not willing to fix this problem. When you talk directly to the technician, he would recommend switching providers.

I gave up and chose a private provider and in less than 24 hours the connection was installed the internet speed is amazing. If you talk to folks at BSNL, many private operators lease lines (not sure what the technical word is) and resell BSNL services. You will not be surprised to learn that BSNL is not able to pay salaries to its employees.

Doordarshan, the State run television network was killed when the private television operators came into play. It is not rocket science to figure out the nexus between Doordarshan and the private operators. The same is the fate of BSNL.

The Government of India should exit providing such services to people if they are not able to provide quality. It is a drain on the public exchequer and the funds can be effectively utilized for education (or) healthcare. I can empathize with the BSNL officials and the Government of India with the numerous challenges (opportunities) we have. With the rapid changes happening in the telecom space, I hope we can fix it or kill it. 

How to get to Downtown Toronto from YYZ Airport

I recently visited Toronto for the Shopify Unite conference. The first place you land via Air is the YYZ airport. We were staying in a place called Yorkville (in the middle of Downtown). I was planning on taking the Uber to go to Downtown and also looked at the UP Express. In the baggage claim area, happened to have a chat with a fellow passenger. Uber costs about CAD $40 (dependent on the time of the day) and UP Express was a little over CAD $12. The fellow passenger I was chatting with was also heading to Downtown. I landed at around 9 pm, not much traffic and the route the fellow passenger suggested worked out perfect.

Step 1: Take the 900 Airport Express (You will have to pay in Canadian $ and the bus driver also accepts USD) – However payment needs to be made in cash.

900 Airport Express

900 Airport Express

Step 2: Get down at the Kipling Station

Kipling Station

Kipling Station

Step 3: Board the train to Downtown Toronto

Cost: $3.25

Yes. all for CAD $3.25  You will be looking at a travel time of little over an hour.  If you are not travelling with a lot of luggage and looking to save costs, this is a great way to get to Downtown Toronto from YYZ airport.