What would Bill do?

Bill Campbell

If you enjoyed reading Trillion Dollar Coach, there was a great follow-up piece titled “What would Bill Campbell do?” by Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg, and Alan Eagle.

They provide some insight on how Bill may have coached his teams during the past year. Here are the main points that resonated with me:

Bill coached us to start team meetings with trip reports, as a way to get people talking about their lives and perspectives outside of their roles at work. Today, however, we think he would tell us to start with empathy.

There were certainly fewer trips and travel opportunities to share over the past year, but there were a lot of other fun things to talk to your teammates about: backyard gardens, new exercise routines, or shows we had started watching.

Bill was at his best face-to-face, but we don’t have that option today. Whenever you can, use videoconferencing. Keep the camera on, and look into it to create eye contact. Put the phone away, close other screens, unmute the microphone, and do what you can to communicate physically (nod, laugh, clap, raise your hand).

While working remotely during the pandemic, many of us have learned that constant Zoom meetings can be tiring. It’s personally helped me to stay fully engaged and present by taking notes on my laptop or on paper, and at times focusing on keeping my hands together to avoid the temptation of checking Slack, email, and iPhones.

I highly recommend the original book, and plan to re-read the key sections of it from time-to-time to refresh myself on Bill’s philosophy and approach.