My Learnings from “Trillion Dollar Coach” – Part I

I finished reading “Trillion Dollar Coach” on Bill Campbell by Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg and Alan Eagle. The book is a tribute to Bill by the authors of the book. It focuses on Bill’s coaching to Silicon Valley executives and making them successfully run their companies and start-ups.

I found this book very engaging, the way it’s been narrated by authors and sharing their every day stories with Bill. The stories and examples bring a lot of learning that can be embraced by coaches, managers and executives to achieve the desired outcomes from people and teams.

In this post, I’m going to share my learnings from first two chapters of the book.

Chapter 1: The Caddie and the CEO

  1. In business, compassion is a key factor to success.
  2. Make sure the team is communicating, that tensions and disagreements are brought to the surface and discussed, so that when the big decisions are made, everyone is on board, whether they agreed or not.
  3. Treat everyone the same way.
  4. Community is necessary to cultivate success. Teams that act as communities, integrating interests and putting aside differences to be individually and collectively obsessed with what’s good for the company.

Chapter 2: Your Title Makes You a Manager. Your People Make You a Leader.

  1. Good management practices are as important as R&D and IT investments and worker skill level. Leadership was something that evolved as a result of management excellence.
  2. The top priority of any manager is the well-being and success of his/her people.
  3. There’s a direct correlation between fun work environments and higher performance.
  4. Failure to make a decision can be as damaging as a wrong decision. There’s indecision in business all the time, because there’s no perfect answer. Do something, even if it’s wrong.
  5. Compensation isn’t just about the economic value of the money; it’s about the emotional value. It’s a signaling device for recognition, respect, and status, and it ties people strongly to the goals of the company.
  6. If you have the right product for the right market at the right time, go as fast as you can. There are minor things that will go wrong and you have to fix them quickly, but speed is essential.
  7. If you have to let people go, be generous, treat them well and celebrate their accomplishments.
  8. A company that is honest with its board can be honest with itself, too; people learn that not only is it okay to frankly share bad news, it’s expected.

Many lines are straight from the book, as they are too good to modify and if I put it in my words, I may lose the intention of the authors, what they want to convey. The book is like a guide and a mentor telling you what to do and what not to do.

You can only get the real feel of the book by reading it. This post will help me also to come quickly and revisit the learnings that I gained from this book.

In next post i.e. Part-II, I will be sharing learnings from remaining chapters of the book. Please share your comments in the comment box.

Published by Raveesh Mishra

Transforming organisation's excellence through agile and DevOps practices, Business solutions, IT delivery management, Programme management and Quality Management.

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