We’re all familiar with books that celebrate political leaders, spiritual gurus, sports heroes, media moguls, corporate titans and business legends. But, how many books have been written about an Executive Coach? I’m hard-pressed to name any.
That's changed with 'Trillion Dollar Coach' – a book dedicated to Bill Campbell (former football player, CEO and coach) who coached and mentored, amongst others, Eric Schmidt, Larry Page, Sundar Pichai, Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Sheryl Sandberg, Marissa Mayer and Brad Smith, to name a few.
'Trillion Dollar Coach' is co-authored by Eric Schmidt (ex-CEO & Chairman, Google), Jonathan Rosenberg (former head of Product Team, Google) and Alan Eagle (Director, Google). As top executives at Google, Schmidt, Rosenberg and Eagle experienced first-hand how Bill Campbell painstakingly built trusting relationships, nurtured talent, infused courage, provided tough love and helped leaders identify challenges that are inevitable in high-pressure environments.
Based on interviews with people who knew Bill Campbell, 'Trillion Dollar Coach' codifies his coaching wisdom and principles with stories from organizations and people he worked with. The result is a living guide for business leaders - to help them create resilient and high-performing teams and organizations.
Bill Campbell helped build some of Silicon Valley’s giants — including Google, Apple and Intuit — and create over a trillion dollars in market value (which explains the book’s title). When he passed away in 2016, ‘the Coach’, as he was referred to, left behind a legacy of flourishing organizations, successful leaders and an abundance of respect and friendship. He is sorely missed - a non-tech guy who became the go-to advisor to some of the world’s most powerful tech czars.
Why is 'Trillion Dollar Coach' so special? It's a moving testimony to the power of Coaching in modern times. It’s written by Clients, not by Coaches extolling the virtues of their craft. It establishes the value of Coaching in the modern workplace and does what research studies and white papers struggle to do - provide a credible response to the question of ROI in Coaching.
Coaches are asked about ROI all the time: How do you know Coaching works? Where’s the evidence? What’s the ROI? Well, here’s something to think about. Some highly influential, busy and wealthy people took the time to write a book about the out-sized effect their Coach had on their growth! How's that for a testimonial!
And, don't just go by the book. Such was Bill Campbell’s impact on Google's C-suite that they went on to embed Coaching in the culture of the organization. Project Oxygen – a 10-year study on managerial effectiveness at Google - rated the top 10 behaviours of its highest performing managers. "Being productive and results-oriented" came in at No. 4 and "Having a clear vision/strategy" at No. 9. Guess what the No. 1 behaviour was? "Being a good coach". As one of the planet's best places to work for over 10 years straight, Google must know a thing or two about developing leaders and motivating people. And they place this soft skill right on top of their managerial competency heap! If this isn't a testament to the power of Coaching, I don’t know what is.
'Trillion Dollar Coach' has done a service in bringing the noble profession of coaching into the limelight (as does the highly successful TV series ‘Billions’). The book speaks to the role of the many Bill Campbell's out there, content to remain behind the scenes, listen empathetically and guide leaders through the complexity of modern business. The impact of good coaching cannot be estimated in numbers.
So, the next time a Coach is asked "does Coaching work?", all they need to do is gift their client a book…