Trillion-dollar Coach

Trillion-dollar Coach

The Leadership Playbook From Silicon Valley's Bill Campbell

Book - 2019
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"Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg and Alan Eagle, the team behind How Google Works, return with the story of Bill Campbell, the greatest executive business coach the world has ever seen, responsible for creating more value than just about anybody else on the planet"--
Publisher: New York, NY : HarperBusiness, [2019]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9780062839268
Branch Call Number: 658.40712 C1522S 2019
Characteristics: xvi, 218 pages ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Rosenberg, Jonathan 1961-
Eagle, Alan


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Mar 26, 2020

This is an inspirational book most likely for managers or people who are CEOs. I suspect anyone might enjoy it regardless of their title. It sort of feels like the authors wanted to write a biography of coach Bill Campbell but because he shunned the spotlight and most likely hated the idea of a book about him, they opted to write a coaching manual based on his ideas instead. It's sort of both. It's a quasi biographical story and it contains some notions on how to be a coach. Both aspects are good and interesting. It's an easy read too and well written. Maybe it's only because the three authors are tech people that it occasionally had a feeling of being written by an algorithm. Or perhaps that is only a kind of knee jerk reaction to the very big world it describes and the larger than life people in it. It might feel a little out of touch sometimes. The authors freely acknowledge this. They know most people will never be a CEO. That's helpful. The idea that a CEO might need a coach is fascinating. Bill Campbell was obviously inspiring. He helped a lot of people. The book does a pretty good job of capturing that.

Feb 26, 2020

This book was a surprise delight for me, and from all possible angles, the best book on leadership lessons that's ever been compiled. It was astonishing at so many levels because I had never heard of the titular 'Coach', Bill Campbell, before I picked this book up, but he was there all over the place! He was friends with Steve Jobs, tutored Larry and Sergey, coach of Eric Schmitt (who's a co-author of the book), the CEO of Intuit, founder and CEO of the failed start-up GO, CEO of the Apple spun-off company Claris, advisor for Marissa Mayer, coach of John Doerr, backer of Jobs during the Mac failure times, swearer of cuss words to people in need including Nextdoor founder Nirav Tolia and Google Products guy Jonathan Rosenberg (also a co-author), unofficial mentor to Sundar Pichai, inspirer to countless executives including Sheryl Sandberg, former Football coach of Columbia's Football team - Columbia Lions, coach of Atherton's prestigious private school Sacred Heart's girls' football team.... and I'm just starting! All this, and I had no clue a man so adored and respected by one and all, and in particular, the who's who of Silicon Valley.

So, what made him so popular? Well, that's what the book is all about. His leadership qualities, team building knack, authentic love for the people he worked with, cut-throat tutoring, committed coaching - all these, but yet, we find so many people with all those qualities but they're not Bill Campbell! Bill, in my opinion, was also contradictory in so many ways - his life was so full of accomplishments and accolades, yet he was a miserable failure as a formal Football coach because of his lack of dispassion, which is very important in Football; he was loved, adored, and his presence was cherished by all around him and yet, he had to go through a divorce in his personal life; he preached various coaching styles and best-practices throughout and yet, he micro-managed when he was initially at Kodak; he was warm and lovable and yet, swore a lot, almost at anyone, in workplace!

Despite all these, there's just praise for him from every sector of his coachees! I think that says a lot about how he coached, his value, and his knowledge and experience. And it was pleasantly surprising to know that he usually didn't charge for his coaching! Google eventually gave him some stocks for his contributions, which he donated to charity. He said - "If you're blessed, be a blessing". That was a marvelous quote. He was also a proponent of gender rights, helping women board members of Apple "get to the table" when it wasn't the norm!

The book narrates hundreds of tricky situations that happened at the very top of some of the Silicon Valley biggies, and all of them keep the reader hooked to the book. Google's stock split into Class A and an internal Class B based on Berkshire Hathaway model, Apple's nightmare after they released the second generation iPhone in 2008 when their servers crashed, and upgrades failed, Microsoft's dilemma with TellMeNow acquisition, Eric Schmitt's confusion about stepping down from the position of the CEO of Google, Dan Rosenberg's epic Chegg journey, promoting innovation at Kodak and eventually beating its main competitor Fuji - are only some of the major ones that I remember at the top of my head.

After I finished reading the book, I got this feeling that one can't try to become like Bill, but someone like Bill just happens! The book is for all aspiring leaders and all inquisitive followers alike. I had a great time reading this.

Oct 03, 2019

Interesting book, well written and good learning.


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