Seeking consistent positive returns.
Come rain or shine.
And competition between the companies who want to shape it is fiercer than ever. Schmidt, Rosenberg and Eagle, previously part of the top team at Google, think they have discovered a secret to success. It’s not an algorithm, but a person – Bill Campbell, a middling American football player turned exceptional business coach.
Campbell’s work with corporate leaders – including Steve Jobs at Apple, Sheryl Sandberg at Facebook, Bob Iger at Walt Disney and Eric Schmidt at Google – made him a part of a trillion dollars’ worth of greatness, or so the authors believe. When Campbell died in 2016, Schmidt, Rosenberg and Eagle set out to document his principles and to capture his playbook.
Campbell navigated life as if it were a series of American football games, with the score determined by whether he got the best out of other people. Trillion Dollar Coach is about compassionate leadership. It aims to inspire. To share Campbell’s wisdom. To make the workplace better.
The book majors on Campbell’s focus on people. Employees of a company are an asset – an asset often overlooked when businesses seek to improve their performance. “It’s the people” was a defining mantra.
The book’s theme is far from unique. Businesses need good people, managed well. Work the team, then the problem. Culture is key, as is encouraging others.
But a familiar theme, and the occasional bear hug and excitable whoop in a meeting, don’t diminish this book’s value. In a world of political correctness, pressing deadlines and stifling bureaucracy, genuine compassion and humanity too often get squashed.
With Trillion Dollar Coach, readers will find the methods of an excellent leader of leaders, and the chance to compare and develop their own leadership style.
Any company that wants to succeed in a time where technology has suffused every industry and most aspects of consumer life, where speed and innovation are paramount, must have team coaching as part of its culture.
This article was first published in The Ruffer Review 2020.
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