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Trillion Dollar Coach: The Leadership Playbook of Silicon Valley's Bill Campbell

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  12,331 ratings  ·  1,026 reviews
The team behind How Google Works returns with management lessons from legendary coach and business executive, Bill Campbell, whose mentoring of some of our most successful modern entrepreneurs has helped create well over a trillion dollars in market value.

Bill Campbell played an instrumental role in the growth of several prominent companies, such as Google, Apple, and Intu
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published April 16th 2019 by Harper Business (first published 2019)
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 ·  12,331 ratings  ·  1,026 reviews

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Philip Joubert
May 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book fails both as a biography and as a playbook. It's thin on details and the rose-coloured lens of Bill makes it read more like a eulogy.

Evidence would suggest that Bill Campbell was an excellent coach. This book does not capture his playbook in a meaningful way and I learned very little.

It’s filled with stories of Bill being a hero without any description of what he really did. It contains such useless statements as: Bill swore a lot and could come across as a bit rough, but that’s fine
Steve Sarner
I read a lot of books on leadership, management and business in general. Trillion Dollar Coach was fantastic and has earned a spot on my top 10 list.

I was particularly excited to read Trillion Dollar Coach because I've always had tremendous admiration for Bill Campbell and the amazing relationships and accomplishments he had in forming much of the interactive age of Silicon Valley. In fact, I don’t know that there is anyone who comes close to being so involved and connected with so many of th
Jan 31, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Disappointed to say I struggled with Trillion Dollar Coach: The Leadership Playbook of Silicon Valley’s Bill Campbell. It mostly read like a compilation of tips from colleagues, friends, and fans of Bill Campbell. While nice, it’s not the book I expected, and even given Bill’s coaching experience, seems like a stretch to call this a playbook.

I wasn’t familiar with Bill Campbell prior to reading this book - He was a former football player then coach, turned business executive, who worked with an
Frederico Cabral
May 02, 2019 rated it did not like it
I had mixed feelings about this book. After a few pages I started to wonder, why did Eric decide to write it? Would it be a courtesy for Campbel? Or just a way to share Campbel's wisdom and coach techniques to a broader public? Regardless of the reason, Eric failed on both.

I wasn't expecting a profile so well described as Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson, but I wasn't expecting something so poorly written as this neither. There is not even his family involved.

Is there any take away from Bil
May 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
Meh. Too light on specifics. Too heavy on name dropping. Very male. Quite simplistic. Should have been a Medium essay.
Bjoern Rochel
Jul 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, eng-mgmt
I bet this is going to be a divisive book. Half of the readers will probably passionately hate it, while the other group most certainly will enjoy or love it.

The first group will likely consists of people that are either pursuing Lalouxs Teal Organisations, are allergic to the idea that a manager can be a coach to his directs and peers (such as Appelo or in general hate sport or competition metaphors and analogies (like DHH for example).

So if you're in
Rishabh Srivastava
Apr 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Some great anecdotes in this book. However, the authors didn't create a framework that codified Bill Campbell's legendary coaching skills.

The major points I took away were:

1. Candor + Care - give blunt feedback (and be harsh when necessary). But deliver it an envelope of trust (make sure that the person receiving the feedback knows you have their best interests in mind)
2. Treat teams - not individuals - as the fundamental building blocks of the organization. Chastise superstars when they let the
Jul 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I had so often heard of this hidden secret of Silicon Valley that when I read about a book written about him, I had to buy and read it immediately. Which I did. And what about the authors: first and foremost, Eric Schmidt, the former CEO of Google… I had mentioned Campbell 3 times here:

– first in 2014, in Horowitz’ The Hard Thing About Hard Things: there is no recipe but courage. This is there I had Campbell picture just between Steve Jobs abd Andy grove.

– then in 2015, in Goo
Jun 18, 2019 rated it did not like it
I'd really love to understand why this book is rated so highly, for me it didn't go much beyond clichés and adoration. I get that Bill Campbell is a great coach and maybe he was ahead of his time - even more so, this doesn't do him justice.

The main messages of the book are:
- Trust is important
- Teams are good, you should not only focus on top players
- Love and compassion are valid in business
(- BC was this amazing dude who knew a lot of millionairs and billionairs!!!1!)

I think that the first two
Mridul Singhai
Apr 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Eric Schmidt & Jonathan Rosenberg share the leadership tactics of Bill Campbell, by means of interesting personal encounters people have had with Bill over the years.

Two key takeaways – 
1. Be a human at work – recognize that people around you are humans.
The human values of love, kindness and care (which are foundational for interpersonal relationships) generally do not belong to a corporate boardroom, but practicing them can lead to great good – not just for the stakeholders, but also for the e
Rick Wilson
There are a variety of reasons I consider a book "great." Some books are great because they break new ground. Some because they re-categorize and redefine already established ideas. Some books are great because they summarize an issue better than others. This great book definitely falls into the second camp. Leadership hasn't changed over the last couple thousand years, I don't believe anyone who tries to sell me otherwise.

I wouldn't say it's a "drop everything and read this" book. No "groundbr
Regimantas Urbanas
This book is highly overlooked and undervalued, based on the number of reviews it has on Goodreads ;) it's a must read for anyone working in a team, leading a team or just trying to live a purposeful life and make all people around them better, happier and more effective.

Football coach who has turned to be the greatest Business coaches of our times. Bill was a coach in some of the biggest tech companies of the Silicon Valley - Google, Apple, Amazon, just to name a few ;) he was coaching the fou
Oct 02, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is a typical NYT Business Bestseller about someone who died.


Please don't waste your money and time on this book.
Herve Tunga
May 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Maybe not as organised as I would have liked (me being picky here). It's a great book and I have a new role model. ...more
Jul 02, 2019 rated it did not like it
This is one of the most ‘low on new knowledge’ books about business, coaching and leadership I have ever read.

Wonder why did Eric even decide to write it/ why he didn’t chose better content.

The book just throws around names of one Silicon Valley executive after another who got coached by Bill without really getting into the details about how he exactly coached/ developed those relationships.

It’s one long praise for Bill who I am sure the authors were really in awe of and admired but they fail ba
Sep 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
Another of those book written by CEO about CEO that keeps disappointing.

The rate on Goodreads was above 4/5 with 2k votes, I had high expectations about it, right after the first two chapter it's clear it's going to disappoint. I kept reading.

It doesn't provide any special insights, which you'd expect from "a trillion dollar coach" narrated by Google ex CEO. Just too vague, too basic.

I always wonder if Eric Schmidt and the other big star CEOs are:
1) keeping secrets to themselves
2) using ghost wr
Roy Nallapeta
This book is a trillion dollar let down - the book doesn't measure up to the man, the legend, the coach. I'd have loved to channel Bill Campbell's colorful language in this review, but out of respect to him and the author's pedigree and hard work, I refrain. There are some great anecdotes, examples, and situations in this book but the codification of the principles, if any, are really poor. I had very high expectations from this book and came away disappointed. ...more
Aug 27, 2019 rated it did not like it
This is a decent book summarizing the behaviors of one of Silicon Valley's most excellent executives. Because Bill Campbell didn't participate in the book, it's constructed posthumously, and because it's written by a couple of Bill's adoring fans, it's not anywhere near the excellence of something you'd get from an actual professional biographer such as Chernow or Isaacson. Still, was an interesting read. ...more
Saurabh Modi
It’s generally an ok to good book. I say this because it’s a useful book but it doesn’t achieve its potential because it’s trying to be both a biography and a guidebook.

The good - the elements that are needed to be successful, to help others be successful, to build good companies, teams, culture. The book is a glimpse into who Bill Campbell was and what he managed to achieve (I find it hard to imagine that so many of the top Silicon Valley folks actively sought him out and learnt from him and h
Jay Hennessey
Apr 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: coaching
I really enjoyed reading this book and learning about Bill Campbell. Tim Ferriss’ interview with Eric Schmidt was the perfect primer to this book. I really enjoyed learning about the tech companies if Silicon Valley and the impact that Bill had with many of their leaders.

As much as I found this book to be enjoyable and interesting, I was really hoping to learn the unsuspected secrets of Bill’s success. The secret was that he was able to do all the things that most people know, but just do not do
Kair Käsper
Nov 23, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: people
What a great eulogy, what a terrible (leadership) book.

All I got from this book was a deep look into how the halo effect works in real life. Bill Campbell was an extremely likable guy and this book makes him into Jesus. Even the negatives or "mistakes" discussed on a few pages are made out as valuable lessons that made Bill much better.

Without a doubt most of Bill's success can be purely attributed to his ability to form deep connections with people abnormally quickly. This, however, is somethi
Brian Rosenblat
Mar 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Told through stories of those who worked most closely with Bill Campbell, there is wisdom in this book about what it takes to inspire and lead teams. Bill taught people how to bring their full, authentic selves to work. To be a great leader, you need to be willing to deeply support and connect with your people. He set a high bar for himself and the people he mentored and this book is a good reminder of how important this is.

Bill seems to have been a selfless coach and mentor and wanted to avoid
Tim Ingate
When Bill Campbell died in 2016, Silicon Valley lost "The Coach", as he was affectionately known.

Aside from his roles as an influential tech exec, Campbell was revered as the executive coach to Valley legends like Apple's Steve Jobs and Google's Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

In Trillion Dollar Coach, former Alphabet chairman Eric Schmidt, Page's advisor Jonathan Rosenberg, and Google's director of communications Alan Eagle share lessons they gathered from 80 of Campbell's students that you'll want
Michael Shaw
I always appreciate reading books that give an insider's view into the lives of impressive people. Campbell seems like one of those, and the bevy of quotes from his friends and coachees supports that.

Still, as a book, this was lacking. There wasn't much there beyond the anecdotes, and it never really lived up to it's title.
Nhi Mai
Mar 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While Bill Campbell is truly an inspiring leader and coach, the writer failed to specify the details & concepts of Bill's leadership. Meanwhile, some of the stories and key takeaways from this book were very interesting and worth reading: his generosity and give and take moto, his direct feedback but positive impact, how he build people and team... ...more
Kirt Fitzpatrick
Jul 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Only book on management I've ever read that describes my own personal philosophy around leadership. It's about enabling individuals, cohesiveness, and yes, love. ...more
Arani Satgunaseelan
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Bill Campbell is a legend. Good reminder to just be a good human in business
Emma Hingst
May 10, 2022 rated it really liked it
i can’t tell you why i picked up this book at the library but i’m glad i did! It was very interesting to learn about this CEO of coaching CEOs. Bill Campbell was a football coach turned Silicon Valley businessman. this book definitely made me want to become a manager for a Fortune 500 company but the feeling was fleeting after a 50 hour work week.
Any who, it was an interesting read overall to learn his specific tactics to ensue success for companies.
Damir Antunovic
Jul 27, 2022 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business, biography
Containing some tangents to Isaacson's Steve Jobs, which I read at the same time, this is another story of a fascinating, albeit a far less known man.
He was Jobs' friend and coach, and the coach to Google's executive team (hence the title), as well as holding a couple of CEO positions himself.
The book is partly a hommage to Bill, and partly a handbook with his management principles and methods.
Plenty to learn here, will probably reread at some point.
Writing itself is not that great, but consider
Raven Brooks
Feb 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best business books I’ve read in a while. Had internalized some of these things and it was nice to have them validated, but learned a lot more too.
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“Bill looked for four characteristics in people. The person 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 connections. Bill called this the ability to make “far analogies.” The person has to work hard, and has to have high integrity. Finally, the person should have that hard-to-define characteristic: grit. The ability to get knocked down and have the passion and perseverance to get up and go at it again.” 7 likes
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