9 Principles from the Trillion Dollar Coach Bill Campbell -An Impact of the UNKNOWN COACH-MENTOR

Coaching is one of the best kept secrets of great achievers, athletes and ace leaders . In recent times during one of my coaching interaction with a fellow coach, we were wondering about the personality of a coach and how they are shrouded in mystery and in oblivion. No one really gets to know most of them, till their prodigy or disciple achieves the goal and declares them to the world. One such true inspiration is Bill Campbell whose mentoring of tech luminaries like Steve Jobs, Larry Page, Eric Schmidt and Jeff Bezos has made him worthy of the TITLE OF TRILLION DOLLAR COACH. The book Trillion Dollar Coach: The Leadership Playbook of Silicon Valley’s Bill Campbell is an absolutely gripping MUST read about how he was instrumental in impacting the history of the world, through his simple yet powerful conversations with the leaders.

While Bill was a private person  loved to stay behind the scenes totally unknown yet creating the impact through his dialogues with his mentees — he passed away in 2016. He preferred to shine the spotlight on the entrepreneurs and executives he worked with, three of his mentees, Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg and Alan Eagle, decided that his invaluable teachings needed to be shared far and wide, in order to have the biggest impact that they possibly could; so they captured his wisdom in this fantastic book, which leaves you magnetized. Most often coaching is a very expensive engagement, however surprisingly, Bill took no cash, no stock…and no shit, and until I picked this book up, I didn’t realize people like Bill existed. The book is an amazing resource of valuable inputs, methods, innumerable bite size learnings!!!

Following are the 9 key takeaways or principles, that are unparalleled practices that can revolutionize your journey as a LEADER:

  1. Communities and Team First Mindset - Companies forming teams that act as communities. Conversely, a lack of community is a leading factor in job burnout. Teams of people who subordinate individual performance to that of the group will generally perform better than teams that don’t. You can’t get anything done without a team. You can only really succeed and accomplish things through the collective, the common purpose.

  2. Effective Decision Making -Use the Rule of Two to make decisions. Get the two people most closely involved in a decision to gather more information and work together on the best solution. Usually, they come back a week or two later having decided together on the best course of action. One of the managers main jobs is to facilitate decisions. A place where the top manager makes all decisions leads to just the opposite because people will spend their time trying to convince the manager that their idea is the best. In that scenario, it’s not about the best idea carrying the day, it’s about who does the best job of lobbying the top dog; in other words, politics. Bill Campbell hated politics and consensus.

  3. Radical Transparency for long term results - Being a great boss means saying what you really think in a way that lets people know you care. Be aggressive and tenacious and giving negative feedback. Be relentlessly honest and candid, couple negative feedback with caring, give feedback as soon as possible, and if the feedback is negative, deliver it privately. No gap between statements and fact!

  4. Practice Active Listening - as a leader listening is a critical competence to have. If we were not entangled in ego of being the last word or even responding with our verdict we would enhance our skills as a listener. People perceive the best listeners to be those who periodically ask questions that promote discovery and insight. Above all when you listen to people, they feel valued. Research shows that thoughtful things like listening and chatting with employees are important aspects of successful leadership because people feel more respected, visible, less anonymous and included in teamwork.

  5. Hiring People smarter than you -Everybody that is managing a function on behalf of the CEO has to be better at that functions than the CEO. Some of the qualities to look for being -integrity, grit, hardworking, people who want to create an impact. If you are creating a high performing team and building for the future, you need to hire for potential as well as experience. Also support an environment where you appreciate potential and camaraderie to flourish. Also look for people who are SMART CREATIVE someone who combines technical depth with business savvy and creative flair; and build an environment where these employees can succeed at scale.

  6. Create a COACHING Culture -Every sports team needs a coach and the best coaches make good teams great. The same goes in business. Coaching is the best way to mould Effective People into powerful teams.A coach is someone who tells you what you don’t want to hear, who has you see what you don’t want to see, so you can be who you have always known you could be. Being coachable requires honesty and humility because a successful coaching relationship requires a high degree of vulnerability, much more than is typical in a business relationship. Only coach the coachable.

  7. Care for your people -Making connections between people, generating what sociologists call social capital. Help people. Be generous with your time connections and other resources.

  8. Idea Generation - If your team is working well and thinking company first rather than me first then the best idea will surely emerge. Creativity flourishes in environments such as Broadway shows that are more network-oriented than hierarchical. So there’s always a tension between creativity and operational efficiency.

  9. Encourage Authenticity - When people can be authentic they are more respected by their colleagues and accepted by their teams. People are more effective when they can be completely themselves and bring their full identity to work.

This book sure is a great read for leaders, coaches, entrepreneurs and anyone who wants to enhance their leadership abilities. Do share your thoughts and experiences as a leader -coach -entrepreneur in your journey of creating an impact for your clients, employees or coachees ....

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