Trillion-dollar Coach
Trillion-dollar Coach The Leadership Playbook From Silicon Valley's Bill Campbell By Schmidt, Eric, 1955 April 27- Book - 2019

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.

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