12 Lessons From The “Trillion Dollar Coach” Bill Campbell For You To Apply This Week.
I trust you had a good weekend.
In 2016 I was told about a legendary coach in Silicon Valley named Bill Campbell who had just passed away.
A TLDR backstory of Bill:
Bill was a coach of an unsuccessful sports team for Columbia, Bill then moved into the business world and had successes at Kodak and Apple before becoming the go-to c-suite coach.
Bill’s coaching roaster is a who’s who of Silicon Valley. Bill helped the likes of:
- Google’s former chairman Eric Schmidt, founders Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and current Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai,
- Apple’s leaders including co-founder Steve Jobs, long-serving exec Phil Schiller and even current CEO Tim Cook.
- Ex CEO of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer
- The current COO at Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg
- Alongside leading Intuit’s Brad Smith and business hero Amazon’s chairman Jeff Bezos (read the business lessons from Jeff Bezos).
Bill’s life and legacy are told in a brilliant biography Trillion Dollar Coach by Former Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, Google’s Comms leader Alan Eagle and SVP’s of Product Jonathan Rosenberg.
I took a stack of notes and have applied a number of these lessons to a number of my coaching clients.
So, here are the 12 most applicable lessons from the biography and you can apply daily:
- Don’t be the hero
- Don’t be a fixer
- Ask questions and push those towards the answer
- Don’t assume employees respect you because of your title
- Lean into the hard problems
- Guide people to opportunities – many don’t see it myself
- It’s not about you – it’s about the team
- Listen to what people want and give them a process to an outcome
- Never give people the answer
- Park your ego – constantly put it in check
- Treat everyone with dignity, even in failure
- Get rid of people with bad attitudes. You need people that care about the outcome
I highly recommend reading the full book, if you don’t think you have the time, this video from The Tim Ferriss podcast with Eric Schmidt is worth the watch.
The message: Don’t think you do not need help, you will benefit from a coach.
Good luck with rolling these out and remember often it’s about guiding people and offering a light at the end of the tunnel than giving the answer in success and in failure.