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What I learnt from the man who coached Eric Schmidt, Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos and more leaders of the tech world

Bill Campbell is often known as the coach of silicon valley. He was the business coach to many tech superstars including Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg and Sundar Pichai at Google, Susan Wojcicki at YouTube, Steve Jobs at Apple, Brad D. Smith at Intuit, Jeff Bezos at Amazon, John Donahoe at eBay, Marissa Mayer at Yahoo, Jack Dorsey and Dick Costolo at Twitter, and Sheryl Sandberg at Facebook.

He’s somewhat the unsung hero behind the scenes of several large tech companies building high performing teams.

Here’s a few things I learnt from this book focused on Bill’s philosophy written by the leadership team at Google who knew him best.

Always build communities 

This is for both inside and outside of work – place is stronger when people are connected.

Care about people

Leading teams becomes a lot more joyful, and allows teams to be more effective, when you know and care about the people.

Team first always

Make sure to pick the right players. Bill’s top recommended characteristics smarts and hearts – the ability to learn fast, willingness to work hard, integrity, grit, empathy and a team-first attitude.

It’s never just about the money!

In high-performing teams, other things matter, too! Purpose, pride, ambition, ego: these are vital motivators as well and must be considered by any manager or coach.

Don’t tell people what to do

Instead, tell stories and help guide people to the best decisions for them.

Listen carefully

Listen to people with your full and undivided attention. Don’t fall prey to thinking ahead about what you’re going to say! Ask questions to get to the real issues.

Only coach the coachable

Such an important insight, as coaching is not magic and doesn’t work for everyone. Bill set out the criteria for a coachable person as someone who is honest, humble, willing to persevere, work hard and has an openness and curiosity to learn.


Useful resources 💡

Get the book Trillion Dollar Coach

Free slideshare with all the principles of Bill’s leadership playbook provided by the team at Google.


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