Trillion Dollar Coach

books Jul 29, 2019

The Trillion Dollar Coach

  • About Bill Campbell who was a coach to the likes of Steve Jobs, Eric Schmidt, and Jonathan Rosenberg and Alan Eagle, to name just the authors. Eric was the CEO & Chairman of Google from 2001 to 2011 and executive chair from 2011 to 1015. Jonathan was SVP at Google and ran the product team from 02 to 2011. Alan has been a director at Google since 2007. Bill was also a coach to most of Silicon Valley during the late 90’s until his death in 2016. He never charged for his services. In fact, he worked at Google, Apple and Inuit and was a key player in helping to make those companies what they are today. But he was a natural coach and that is what he did. This book is a tribute to him. It is about how and what he coached to these major players during the boom and rapid growth of this time. His ideas and beliefs and what he taught these people are principles that when applied to your own teams, will inspire your teams and leaders to create something few of us get to experience. How to build a successful, talented, and diverse leave the ego-at-the door team.


  • Excellent teams at Google had psychological safety (people knew that if they took risks, their manager would have their back). The teams had clear goals, each role was meaningful, and members were reliable and confident that the team’s mission would make a difference.
  • Build safety, clarity, meaning, dependability, and impact into each team
  • Meet every week to talk through the various challenges faced
  • Critical factor for success in companies: teams that act as communities, integrating interests and putting aside difference to be individually and collectively obsessed with what’s good for the company. Research shows that when people feel like they are part of a supportive community at work, they are more engaged with their jobs and more productive. Conversely, a lack of community is a leading factor in job burnout.
  • A 2014 study finds that it is the most insecure managers who are threatened by suggestions from others, ie coaching.
  • The best coach for any team is the manager who leads that team. Being a good coach is essential to being a good manager and leader.
  • Go beyond the ‘traditional notion of managing that focuses on controlling, supervising, evaluating and rewarding/punishing’ to create a climate of communication, respect, feedback, and trust. All through coaching.
  • The engineers liked being managed, as long as their manager was someone from whom they could learn something, and someone who helped make decisions.
  • Being an executive of a successful company is all about management, about creating operational excellence.
    • Results matter and that they are a direct result of good management.
  • How do you bring people around and help them flourish in your environment? Its not by being a dictator. Its not by telling them what the hell to do. Its making sure they feel valued by being in the room with you. Listen. Pay attention. This is what great managers do.
  • A manager’s authority emerges only as the manager establishes credibility with subordinates, peers and superiors.
  • Socioemotional communication-direct correlation between fun work environments and higher performance, with conversation about family and fun at the start of every meeting.
    • The simple communications practice-getting people to share stories, to be personal with each other- is a tactic to ensure better decision making and camaraderie.
  • The Throne behind the Round Table – The manager’s job is to run a decision-making process that ensures all perspectives get heard and considered, and, if necessary, to break ties and make the decision.
  • Manage the aberrant genius – the divas that are productive and smart, but high maintenance. It is managements job to manage them in a way that doesn’t disrupt the company. Support them as they continue to perform, and minimize time spent fighting them. Instead, invest that energy in trying as hard as possible to coach them past their aberrant behavior.
    • However, if he breaks communications, interrupt other, attacks or makes people afraid or stressed, he may have become too toxic for the team to bear. If your spending hours controlling the damage, that’s a good sign it’s gone too far.
  • Product teams, or production are the heart of the company. They are the ones who generate and/or create. Finances, sales, or marketing shouldn’t tell the team what to do. Instead, these groups can supply intelligence on what customer problems need solving, and what opportunities they see.
  • Leadership is not about you, its about service to something bigger: the company, the team. Good leaders grow over time, that leadership accrues to them from their teams.
  • Tom Landry said “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.”
  • As a leader you have to believe in people more than they believe in themselves and push them to be more courageous.
  • Team First – Put the right players in the right positions and cheer them on and kick their collective butt when they are under performing.
  • The right player – 4 characteristics: 1-has to be smart, not necessarily academically but more from the standpoint of being able to get up to speed quickly in different areas and then make the connections. 2-has to work hard, 3-has to have high integrity and 4-should have that hard-to-define characteristic of grit. The ability to get knocked down and have the passion and perseverance to get up and go at it again.
  • Don’t let the bitch sessions last – air all the negative issues, but don’t dwell on them. Move on as fast as possible.



50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.