Eric Schmidt and two of his colleagues from Google have written a beautiful book about their coach, Bill Campbell entitled Trillion Dollar Coach. I highly recommend the book for its combination of stories, principles and practical tips for leaders. The bottom line message that I took away is that it is not only okay to love people at work, it is an essential quality of leadership to be willing and able to do so.
Here are the 31 principles that the authors derived from their own experience of Bill and from interviews with dozens of people whose lives he touched.
It’s The People
People are the foundation of any company’s success. The primary job of any manager is to help people be more effective in their job and to grow and develop.
5 Words On A Whiteboard
Have a structure for 1:1s and take the time to prepare for them, as they are the best way to help people be more effective and to grow.
The Throne Behind the Round Table
The Manager’s job is to run the decision-making process that ensures all perspectives get heard and considered, and if necessary to break ties and make the decision.
Lead Based On First Principles
Define the “First Principles” for the situation, the immutable truths that are the foundation for the company or product, and help guide the decision from those principles.
Manage The Aberrant Genius
Aberrant geniuses – high-performing but difficult team members – should be tolerated and even protected, as long as their behavior is not unethical or abusive and their value outweighs the toll their behavior takes on management, colleagues and teams.
Money Is Not About Money
Compensating people well demonstrates love and respect and ties them strongly to the goals of the company
Innovation is Where the Crazy People Have Stature
The purpose of a company is to bring product vision to life. All the other components are in service to product.
Heads Held High
If you have to let people go, be generous, treat them well and celebrate their accomplishments
It’s the CEO’s job to manage boards, not the other way around.
Only Coach The Coachable
The traits that make a person coachable include honesty and humility, the willingness to persevere and work hard, and a constant openness to learning.
Practice Free-Form Listening
Listen to people with your full and undivided attention – don’t think ahead to what you’re going to say next- and ask questions to get to the real issue.
No Gap Between Statements and Facts
Be relentlessly honest and candid, couple negative feedback with caring, give feedback as soon as possible,