Trillion Dollar Coach – Install #1

I have been a student of management, strategy, organizational culture, leadership, personnel development, etc. for almost as long as I can remember. Questions like “What causes one team or one company to win when another in the same space fails or is average?” have been a curiosity mission of mine since I was a teenager. I have read many, many books and have been fortunate enough to have worked with / in many organizations and with many different types of managers and leaders. Sometimes I stumble onto something and it truly resonates with me. Trillion Dollar Coach, written by Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg, and Alan Eagle about Bill Campbell, was a book that hit that mark.

Over the next several posts, I will highlight a few of the things that really hit me that I feel are important for anyone who wants to be the best coach and leader they can be. This book would be at the top of my list for anyone who wants to lead and manage a team. To me, it has become like an organizational leadership bible. I took notes in the book, consolidated them in an Evernote note and share it often. And every time I pick it up, I see some nuance I hadn’t before. I wish I would’ve had an opportunity to meet Bill, but I have met some leaders who seem to be unknowing apostles, and man are they special people. Now onto to installment #1.

Teams Come Together To Produce Results

That header may seem obvious. But often I have found we in the business world, in the private equity world, seem to strive to overcomplicate things. Truly gifted coaches / leaders / managers know this tenet intrinsically. In any organization, a team comes together to produce results. Period. All too often, teams come together and they are smart, they are nice to one another, they do lots of “things” – but they are not focused on producing results. And they don’t. As Bill often noted to his teams – it’s easy to get off track – but a good leader keeps their team focused on results. Constantly.

Get Everyone On The Same Page

Getting your team focused on results is critical. Getting them on the same page is just as critical. Every meeting, every email, every interaction is an opportunity to reinforce where you are trying to go and what the most important things are. What will lead to results. As anyone who has ever managed knows, people often need help staying on focus with how and where they should spend their precious time. Relentlessly using your interactions to make sure everyone is on the same page about what you are doing as a team or organization and why is critical. As I often tell teams I work with – it’s really hard to over communicate important messages like what we stand for, where we are going, and why.

You Are There To Get More Out Of Them Then They Could Accomplish On Their Own

This may seem obvious as well, but if you haven’t ever thought about what a leader, or manager, or coach does – why they exist – this IS the answer. You are there for one thing – to facilitate the team to get more and better results than they would without you. Period. If you frame your interactions, meetings, etc. with that in mind, you can start to lead like Bill.

That’s it for installment #1. I would argue if you write those down somewhere and read them at the beginning of every day, or every meeting – you will start to understand what a real leader of organizations is supposed to do.