Book Summary: Trillion Dollar Coach
By Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg & Alan Eagle
He’s responsible for some of Silicon Valley’s biggest wins. He coached some of the world’s most important CEOs; Apple and Google wouldn’t be what they are without him. Campbell was the silent weapon in the arsenal of companies that have revolutionised the world–and he did it all for free.
Yes, you read that right.
Campbell spent the latter part of his life helping CEOs grow trillion dollar companies and wanted nothing in return.
Bill took “No stock, no cash and no bullshit” – if you wanted him to coach you and/or your team. He honestly and genuinely cared for the people around him and simply wanted to do right by them. Campbell coached both the Apple and Google boards at a time when both companies were fighting legal battles with each other. He’d built such a level of trust and integrity that no one in either company thought this was a conflict. Let that sink in for a moment.
He was the Trillion Dollar Coach and he may just be one of the most inspiring people you’ll ever read about.
The book is an amazingly easy and digestible read, with great actionable advice readers could start implementing immediately. Written by Google CEO’s Eric Schmidt, the book is a fascinating anecdotal account of the impact that Bill Campbell had on the companies he coached. The book is brimming with stories that will make you laugh, reflect, think hard and most importantly, change the way you approach your life and work. At the end of each chapter, there is a concise summary where the key insights & habits of Bill are outlined for readers to action.
Key advice from the book:
- Start with Trip Reports: to build rapport and better relationships among team members, start team meetings with trip reports, or other types of more personal, non-business topics
- 5 words on a whiteboard: Have structure for 1:1s, and take the time to prepare for them, as they are the best way to help people be more effective and to grow. Prior to your team member coming into the room, write down 5 words that summarise what you need to discuss.
- Manage the aberrant genius: when you have a high performing but difficult team member – tolerate and even protect them, as long as their behaviour isn’t unethical or abusive and their value outweighs the toll their behaviour takes on management, colleges and teams.
- Only coach the coachable: the traits that make a person coachable include honesty and humility, the willingness to preserver and work hard, and a constant openness to learning. If someone is no longer coachable, they are not worth your time.
- Practice free form listening: Listen to people with full and undivided attention – don’t think ahead to what you’re going to say next and ask questions to get to real issue. Make people feel that they are the only person in the world your listening to.
- Be the evangelist for courage: believe in people more than they believe in themselves, and push them to be more courageous. Vocalise this when they seem nervous and unsure of themselves.
- Full identity front and centre: people are most effective when they can be completely themselves and bring their full identity to work. If you know someone is faking it to “fit in”, take them aside and privately tell them they shouldn’t have to.
- Work the team and then the problem: when faced with a problem or opportunity, the first step is to ensure the right team in place and working on it and not the other way around.
- The percussive clap: cheer demonstrably for people and their successes, and ensure the rest of your team does this as well.
- Always build communities: build communities inside and outside work. A place is much stronger when people are connected.
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About: Imteaz Ahamed works in the digital space for RB. In the early 90’s at the tender age of 6, his father bought him a 386 PC for $3000, the best investment he could’ve ever made for his son. Imteaz also mentors early stage startups & entrepreneurs from all over the world and is avid fan of hackathons. He is also a StartupBus Mentor and Alumni – the most intense 72 hour startup hackathon in the world.