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Given the number of references to Bill Campbell by Eric Schmidt, Lazlo Bock and other luminaries - this book is long overdue. But even though we're warned that BC was originally a football coach and transferred many of those skills over to the business world - the number of sporting references which the book is larded with gets very tiresome. Honestly, we're not kids, we don't need all this cheerleading. Most of BC's homespun wisdom is actually quite straightforward and mere mortals (ie: folks who aren't MIT / Stanford educated quants ) would probably figure these things for themselves in real life. Maybe it's just the geeks who need reminding about stuff like primacy of the team and so forth. Worth a read though
Very insightful lessons from Bill Campbell's coaching techniques, but the struture and text did not do them justice. I personally found the execution to be quite unengaging and becomes repetitive after halfway point, ideal for skimming. This is more suited to reading as an ebook, don't want it to take up precious bookshelf real estate...
The book offered a real insight into a top class coach and his practices. Whilst some of the ideas were not original they were a great reminder. I really enjoyed the style of writing and took many notes that I will refer to on a regular basis.
One key take-away from this book is the reinforcement in the known beliefs: Importance of Teams- it’s composition and dynamics, Trust and integrity matters most, leaders to encourage people to believe in themselves, and strive for excellence.
Besides the foundation for all this starts with leaders’ genuine interest in people – reflected in the way they listen, support and even provoke! And Yes, a good manger is now expected to be a good coach as well.
In Bill’s case achieving all the above is more commendable, given the kind of personalities, teams, companies and issues he dealt with. Book provides glimpses of how well Bill managed various challenging situations.
The book is written with inputs from 80 plus individual who knew Bill well and also the context in which he operated, and have first-hand witnessed his coaching technique and its effectiveness.
For readers, who have not personally worked with Bill, the incentive to pick this book is to learn some useful tips around coaching- which as managers or coaches they can employ. It is here the book falls short of the expectations. Neither the situations are detailed case studies which can be studied for insights, nor are the techniques or frameworks that Bill applied shared for reference. In most of the instances and situations covered in the book, the effectiveness of Bill gets attributed to his unique personality and his application of established management wisdom, which may be praiseworthy, but not useful.