Trillion Dollar Coach by Eric Schmidt cover

Trillion Dollar Coach by Eric Schmidt

Bill Campbell Management Manifesto: It’s the people

The top priority of a manager is the performance of her people. A good manager is also a good coach: he creates an environment of support, respect and trust:

  • Support: giving people the information & tools to succeed.
  • Respect: understand people uniqueness and help connect them to the needs of the company.
  • Trust: free people to make their own decisions.

Connect before Doing Business

Good managers connect with people on a personal level in 1-1s or staff meetings:

  • Share trip reports
  • Discuss family
  • Etc…

“Getring people to share stories, to be personal with each other, is a tactic to ensure better decision-making and camaraderie.”


Bill Campbell 1-1s Formula

  • Start with personal small talk
  • Move to performance. What are you working on? How is it going? How can I help?
  • Relationship with peers: what do your colleagues think?
  • TeamWhat is not clear? Do we have the right people? Who do we need to hire?
  • InnovationAre we working on bigger changes? Did we try new things or new technology?

The throne behind the round table

The manager’s job is to run a decision making process that ensures all perspectives get heard & considered, and, if necessary, to break ties and make the decision.

Tactical advice:

  • Make sure every team member is company first not me first.
  • Discuss conflicting issues in 1-1s prior to a meeting
  • As a leader be the last one to talk
  • When a wining idea does not emerge, step in and make the call. Use first principlestruths everyone already agrees on, to make the call.

Running a board meeting

It’s the CEOs job to manage boards, not the other way around.

  • The status of the company should be communicated beforehand in writing.
  • The update should contain the highlights, alongside honest lowlights.

Trust in business = honour + loyalty + integrity + discretion

Efficient teams trust each other. Bill Campbell always advocates to build the trust muscle first. It’s the basis for psychological safety:

  • Trust means you keep your word. If you say you will do something… Do it.
  • Trust means loyalty. To your company, your team and your family.
  • Trust means integrity. Say the truth and expect nothing else in return.
  • Truth means discretion. Keep secrets.

Manager’s way of providing feedback

Being a great boss means telling what you thing in a way that shows you care:

  • Don’t wait for the oficial performance review to share feedback.
  • Engage with empathy
  • Listen actively when the other person is speaking.
  • Don’t offer pronouncements. Use the Socratic method and ask questions until the answer emerges.

Work the Team first, then the Problem

When faced with a challenge or an opportunity, the first thing is to make sure the right team is working on it.

Hire for potential, not experience

Look at skills & mindset, the 🧠 smarts and the ❤️ hearts and hire for what the person can become if coached correctly. Look for:

  • Smarts, not academically, but the ability to get up to speed quickly.
  • Hard working
  • Integrity
  • GRIT: perseverance of effort for a particular long-term goal.

Coach the team, love the people

Bill Campbell didn’t separate the working self from personal self. He worked with persons and acknowledged their emotions, struggles and professional achievements.

He sweater a lot, hugged almost everyone and he was a straight shooter. But he had a way of communicating that people knew he is coming from a place of love.

From the book:-
Trillion Dollar Coach by Eric Schmidt

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