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.

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.

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