Life and Leadership Lessons learned from Bill Campbell – the ultimate coach of Billionaire CEOs including Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Larry Page, Sergey Brin

Bill was described as a legendary coach who coached Steve Jobs, Eric Schmitz, Larry Page, Sergey Brins.

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I first read about Bill Campbell from “Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal” by Nick Bilton. Bill was brought into Twitter to mentor the CEO Evan Williams.

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Bill was described as a legendary coach who coached Steve Jobs, Eric Schmitz, Larry Page, Sergey Brins. From the first meeting, Bill fearlessly pointed out to Evan that the biggest mistake a CEO can make is to “Hire your fucking friends.” Bill often sat on Twitter’s board meeting.

Later I read about Bill Campbell in The Amazon Way.

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Bill was brought into Amazon by the board to help deal with Amazon’s leadership crisis. Amazon employees were complaining about Jeff Bezos’ controlling and demanding styles. The board was considering whether to ask Jeff Bezos to step aside and let someone else be the CEO. “Campbell had a reputation for being an astute listener who could parachute into difficult corporate situations and get executives to confront their own shortcomings. Steve Jobs considered him a confidant and got him to join the Apple board when Jobs returned to the helm of that company in 1997.

After meeting Jeff Bezos, Bill concluded that “Why would you ever replace him [Jeff Bezos]?’ He’s out of his mind, so brilliant about what he does.

I read about Bill Campbell from Ben Horowitz’s book: The Hard Things about Hard Things.

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Ben described Bill as “At the time, Bill was in his sixties, with gray hair and a gruff voice, yet he had the energy of a twenty-year-old….Bill is extremely smart, super-charismatic, and elite operationally, but the key to his success goes beyond those attributes. In any situation—whether it’s the board of Apple, where he’s served for over a decade; the Columbia University Board of Trustees, where he is chairman; or the girls’ football team that he coaches—Bill is inevitably everybody’s favorite person…..
No matter who you are, you need two kinds of friends in your life. The first kind is one you can call when something good happens, and you need someone who will be excited for you. Not a fake excitement veiling envy, but a real excitement. You need someone who will actually be more excited for you than he would be if it had happened to him. The second kind of friend is somebody you can call when things go horribly wrong—when your life is on the line and you only have one phone call. Who is it going to be? Bill Campbell is both of those friends.

Several valuable advices Bill Campbell gave Ben Horowitz:

  1. In preparing to fire an executive: “Ben, you cannot let him keep his job, but you absolutely can let him keep his respect.
  2. When announcing a layoff: “The message is for the people who are staying.

The most noticeable journey of Bill Campbell was his journey as GO corporation’s CEO. GO was the startup on pen computers in late 80s. GO raised more venture capital than most other startups and lost it all. However, “The amazing thing was that every one of those GO employees counted GO as one of the greatest work experiences of their lives. The best work experience ever despite the fact that their careers stood still, they made no money, and they were front-page failures. GO was a good place to work.

Jerry Kaplan, GO’s founder, described Bill Campbell in his book “The Startup” as “he was passionate about whatever he was doing, and he placed the welfare of his employees above all else, including his own.

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Jerry learned from Bill that the key skill is not in convincing people of your point of view with rational arguments, but, when circumstances require, in building a feeling of consensus in the face of uncertainty or adversity.
Bill worked only face to face or on the phone.
Bill’s trademark was to give people who wandered by his office a big bear hug.
For a man pushing fifty, Bill was in remarkable mental and physical shape. He worked out for an hour every morning before coming to the office while he read the trades, newspapers, and analysts’ reports.
He took great delight in his ability to outlast whomever he was traveling with, staying out late with customers and getting up early for pre-breakfast briefings.
Wherever we went, Bill seemed to know everyone, and everyone considered him a personal friend.
He’d sit with individual executives and ask them about their families, and tell a story or two in his colloquial way, and gradually he’d learn how they felt about the issue at hand. He had a remarkable way of getting people to agree in advance before they came into the room.
For Bill, it was always about the team, the company. He was devoid of private motives or agendas. The mission was paramount. Bill was a master leader who developed great leaders.
Among many lessons, Bill taught us the importance of a team’s dignity, especially when a company fails.

 

In his latest book “Measure What Matters”, John Doerr dedicated one chapter to Bill Campbell and Larry Page wrote the rare foreword because of Bill Campbell.

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John Doerr described Bill’s role as “Kleiner invests, Doerr sponsors, Doerr calls Campbell, Campbell coaches the team. We ran that game plan again and again.

He coached in his characteristic style, one part Zen and one part Bud Light. Bill gave little direction. He’d ask a very few questions, invariably the right ones. But mostly he listened. He knew that most times in business there were several right answers, and the leader’s job was to pick one. “Just make a decision,” he’d say. Or: “Are you moving forward? Are you breaking ties? Let’s keep rolling.

People are discouraged from bringing love into business settings, but love was Bill’s most distinguishing trait.
Sometimes it was love by faux insult. (If you came to work in an ugly sweater, he’d ask, “Did you roll some guy in the restroom to get that thing?”) But you always knew the Coach cared. You always knew he had your back. You always knew he was there for the team. You don’t find many leaders who can convey love and fearless feedback at the same time. Bill Campbell was a tough coach, but he was always a players’ coach.
And you’d never find the Coach distractedly checking his cell phone in the sixth inning. He was completely present. He sparkled in that setting.
Bill’s moto: Get better everyday.

From Forbes article: What are some of the key fundamentals you do when you go to work for a company?

Campbell: First of all, I don’t really take the company unless the founder is passionate and really wants to create something durable. Once you get the founder and CEO, you just want to find out what makes them tick. You’re trying to understand what they want to get out of their management team. Then you try to spend time with the team. And then put processes in place. I’m not going to tell Larry Page and Sergey Brin how to do their search algorithms. I just try to bring what they’re doing to life.

More articles about Bill Campbell:

  1. http://fortune.com/2016/07/13/leadership-lessons-from-ceo-coach-bill-campbell/
  2. https://www.forbes.com/sites/roberthof/2011/07/27/startups-secrets-of-bill-campbell-the-coach-of-silicon-valley/#5d73d0546931
  3. http://fortune.com/2008/07/01/bill-campbell/

Books:

  1. The Hard Things about Hard Things – Ben Horowitz
  2. Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal – Nick Bilton
  3. The Hard Things about Hard Things – Ben Horowitz
  4. The Startup – Jerry Kaplan
  5. Measure What Matters – John Doerr
  6. Playbook: The Coach – Lessons Learned from Bill Campbell – Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg, Alan Eagle

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About the author: Hoan Do is a certified leadership coach with John Maxwell Team. Hoan have led multiple teams at Symantec Inc. across the globe delivering world-class solutions to protect consumers and businesses. Hoan is an expert in building highly performing teams. He believes that the best leader is the leader that could grow his followers to be leaders. Hoan has been organizing mastermind groups at work to share with other leaders about transformational leadership and coaching. He has trained many leaders both inside and outside Symantec via mastermind groups, workshops, and one-on-one coaching.
Coaching inquiry can be sent to coach@hoanmdo.com

Making 6 figures #2? How to avoid being one of 29% of American households with no retirement savings

Having a job? You can make it to the top 5%

There are 100 people at 65 years old:
One will be rich.
Four will be financially independent.
Five will be working.
Thirty six will be dead.
Fifty four will be dependent.

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Let’s suppose that most men and women start working at 25 and retire by 65.
How much money do you suppose an average man earn in 40 years?
According to CNBC( https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/24/how-much-americans-earn-at-every-age.html ), this figure would be over $1.6 million. This is a substantial amount. This is a fortune.

Earl Nightingale in his popular audio program “Top 5%” talks about a research. There are 100 men and women at 25 starting out equally in America, the richest country on earth. Each has as much opportunity as the rest. By the time they are 65 years old:

  1. One will be rich.
  2. Four will be financially independent.
  3. Five will be working.
  4. Thirty six will be dead.
  5. Fifty four will be dependent.

Earl’s tape was in 1960s. However, the stats holds even in this present time. Only 5% are financially independent. This is the top 5% that we all want to belong to.

So according to CNBC above, most people will earn at least $1.6 million ($40K per year * 40 years) by the time they are 65 if they started working at 25. Only 5% makes the grade. 95% are either dead or don’t become financially independent. As I wrote in the article “Making 6 figure? How to avoid being one of 69% of Americans who have less than $1000 in the bank“, the survey by GoBankRates year after year still points out that many Americans who make 6 figures have less than $1000 in the bank. So where does the money all go? What’s the problem?

If you practice karate 40 hours a week, 50 weeks a year, for 40 years, you will agree that you will be an accomplished martial artist. I use Karate in this example as I practiced Musokai Karate for over 10 years. I realized the difference between an accomplished karate master and the rest is how much time they put into practicing persistently. My Shihan Arakaki is a living example of an accomplished Karate master through hard work and persistence.

If you practice anything (piano, acting, investing, programming, …anything) 8 hour a day, 5 days a week, 50 weeks ago, for 40 years, you can become an expert. 

In the above research, the fifty four men and women out of 100 who arrive at age 65 without having become financially independent in the richest land in the world have worked in the economy for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, 50 weeks ago, for 40 years and have not figured out how to be financially independent for the remaining years of their life. 

The experts say that only 5% make the grade because that is the group that does not conform. They do not follow the crowd. 

Conformity is to act like everybody else. And by acting like everyone else, the odd is that 95 to 5 that we will miss the boat of becoming financially independent.

Why do people conform?

The reason to conform is simply because it is an easy thing to do. We have been taught to conform. From the time we were born through school, we were told what to do. We don’t want to be different as being different is ridiculed by others. We want to be liked and to belong to the group. We spent at least 18 years learning to conform.

Out of school, suddenly we find ourselves to be on our own for the first time. We get a job. The most natural thing for us to do as we have been trained to conform is to look around and see how other fellows are doing their jobs. Since we have always been told what to do, why should we start thinking for ourselves? Thinking for ourselves is much hard than to conform.

By starting at 25 and retiring at 65, you know that people have 40 years to become great at their craft. However, 95 percent won’t do it. The reason is because they do like everyone else, they follow the crowd.

Everyone has a choice. You can choose to follow the crowd to be like everyone else or to join the top 5%. The choice is yours.

If you don’t want to conform, you must think now before it’s too late.

If you decide to join the top 5%, let’s continue. If not, reading more will waste your time.

There are only two steps when it comes to financial independence. And anyone can do these two steps:

  1. One’s attitude toward their work.
  2. The money one can save.

First, no matter what your present job is, it contains many hidden opportunities. Take a moment in quietness, ask yourself those questions, and silently write down the answers:

  1. How can you become an expert in your present industry?
  2. Do you know your job and your industry like a doctor knows about medicine?
  3. What will your job be like in 5 years? Can you do it the same now?
  4. What are some ways that have not been done before to improve your job?

No matter what your job is, it contains the key to greatness. Look for it until you find it.

Second, your financial success has nothing to do with the money you earn but only with the money you save. Unless you save 10% or more of what you earn, you are doing yourself a disservice. Following those steps consistently and you will know the power of saving as well as enjoy your life, especially the later part when you need it most.

  1. First, save one-tenth of what you earn and dont touch it.
  2. Second, for every dollar you save, make it work for you. Make your savings your slaves. Make their children your slaves also.
  3. Third, control your expenditure so that you never have to tap into your saving. Better yet, slash your expense so that you may have some extra dollars to put into your saving. Remember #2, your saving will work for you along with its children, grandchildren,
  4. Fourth, guard your capital. Remember that getting rich is not a quick venture. You must be patient and not jump into any venture that causes you to lose your saving.
  5. Fifth, be disciplined and remember step #4. Warren Buffett follows this principle by saying “the first rule of investing is to not lose money. The second rule is to never forget rule #1”.

For detailed explanation, you can read more at: Making 6 figures? How to avoid being one of 69% of Americans who have less than $1000 in the bank.

Don’t follow the crowd. Start thinking for yourself now. Look for the key to greatness in your job. Start saving and put your saving to work.

Remember that 95% won’t do it. You want to be financially independent. You want to join the top 5%. And you can.

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Other popular articles:

  1. This simple skill is worth millions, helped many become millionaires, billionaires
  2. 20 minutes that can change your life
  3. Making 6 figures? How to avoid being one of 69% of Americans who have less than $1000 in the bank.
  4. Making 6 figures #2? How to avoid being one of 29% of American households with no retirement savings
  5. How to get your dream job with no experience – Lessons from Bill McDermott
  6. Leaders are readers
  7. How to guard yourself against negative influences
  8. Life lessons from a Uber driver who was laid off
  9. A SPECIAL GIFT FOR YOU – WHY SHOULD I HIRE A COACH?

About the author: Hoan Do is a certified leadership coach. Hoan have led multiple teams at Symantec Inc. across the globe delivering world-class solutions to protect consumers and businesses. Hoan is an expert in building highly performing teams. He believes that the best leader is the leader that could grow his followers to be leaders. Hoan has been organizing mastermind groups to share with other leaders about transformational leadership and coaching. He has trained many leaders via mastermind groups, workshops, and one-on-one coaching.
If you are curious about the above method and how you can apply it to your life successfully, open your email and send me an inquiry at coach@hoanmdo.com

 

 

How can this Uber driver be happier driving Uber than being an executive?

The driver was a Vice President at a pharmaceutical company. He worked there for over 20 years. He’s happier now being a Uber driver than being a VP. The guy had so much energy. How?

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The uber driver got out of his car and helped load my luggages into the trunk after seeing that I was limping. He looked like a 30-year athlete. I appreciated him as my foot was injured.

The drive was pleasant. A a coach, I often start the conversation and build a relationship. However, the driver started first. He asked about my trip, my foot, and my stay. Then he shared with me about his life. We had a great connection being built up.

The driver was a Vice President at a pharmaceutical company. This explained why he was very good at relationship building.  He worked there for over 20 years. When his company struggled, he was laid off with a big severance package.

When he was working as the VP, he made a lot of money. He ate out all day. He lived in a mansion. He bought expensive stuffs for his wife every month. However, he’s a big fat guy. He was not satisfied with his life but was too busy to even care.

As for his spending, the more he earned, the more he spent.

Once he got laid off, at first it was a devastating blow to his lifestyle. After a month being in quietness, he realized that he’s not dead yet and he still has many years to live as well as a family to take care of.

He also noticed that his health was much better. He started joining groups to exercise. In three months, he lost 90 lbs. Now he’s an active member of a group that bikes daily at 6am.

He’s in late 50s with a look of a young 30s. He’s very upbeat about life.

And he has more money in savings now as a uber driver than he had as an executive of a big pharmaceutical company.

He often goes back to his former company to party with his former co-workers. He said that he felt sorry for them as they are big fat guys burying themselves into a life that they have no control over.

Several companies invited him to work for them after his layoff. He tried and left as he chooses his life as it is now.

Several lessons from this driver:

  1. Spend less than what you learn. The Uber driver was following this strategy: Learn the skill here.
  2. Create your life. Choose happiness.
  3. Exercise often. Start now.
  4. If you are laid off, get off it and congratulate yourself for starting a new life. Then start a new life.
  5. Rewrite a new chapter of your life everyday.
  6. Be friendly to others. Build relationships. You never know what might come after.
  7. Be friendly to Uber drivers. You can learn great deals from them.

If you like what you just read, please click Like or put + in the comment.
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Still need help, send me an email at coach@hoanmdo.com

How to overcome FEAR instantly

Werner Erhard with his younger son, St. John
Werner took his son, St. John, to Hawaii. They went sailing. John was very frightened. He already knew that the boat is not likely to tip over, and both of them wore life jackets. In other words, they would be safe. However, reassurances and explanations are not always enough to quieten fear.
When they got way offshore, John started to talk incessantly. He kept on going: “Why don’t we turn around and go back?” “I think we’re out far enough. And besides that, I think that the mast is going to break, and the rope is falling down.” “I looked and there’s a cloud up there and it’s getting bigger and I’m shaking a lot, don’t you think?” “I think we ought to turn around now and go the other way.”
John was on automatic.
Werner said “son, if you are frightened, you don’t need to hide that. If you are afraid, it’s all right to let me know that you are afraid. You don’t need to go through that whole racket in order to hide the fact that you’re afraid.”
John acknowledged “Yeah, I’m afraid.”
John sat there and was able to experience fear. He was frightened. But he did stop talking. He no longer had to hide the fear with his talk. He could be quiet and he was.
When they were back to their hotel, Werner asked John: “How do you handle fear in life?” “How was he going to handle his being afraid in a sailboat?”
John had a very good idea about that. He said that he would just not go sailing anymore. The logic of this was overpowering. Werner remarked that what he can do is to avoid all the things that are uncomfortable in life as a way of getting around being uncomfortable. He can set a high value on being comfortable. That’s a sure solution and it’s a solution most people take. They get down in one little corner of the boat of life and play down in that corner, where it is nice and safe and where they are protected from all discomfort and all fear and all harm. And they are truly survivors.
They even look good, because they are always dealing with something as totally familiar to them, as something that they can handle.
Werner told John that it was possible to do that. The only problem with that is that he never gets to the true joy in life. Life gets more and more stuck. Eventually, he makes up really horrendous problems to have some variety in life. He might get deathly ill or have some tragic accident.
John thought that over for awhile. Werner asked if there’s another way to overcome his fear of sailing.
John came up with the idea that he could overcome his fear of sailing by being afraid of sailing. He got excited about going sailing and being frightened the next day. He actually looked forward to being frightened, because he already knew that he had discovered for himself that the way you overcome being afraid of sailing is by experiencing the fear. John chose to expand rather than to contract.
That’s the whole story about self-discipline. If you are afraid, the point is not to rub your nose in it, to inure yourself to it, to get used to it, or even to overcome it. The point is not to jam it down or suppress it. Rather the point is to choose to be uncomfortable in order to allow being uncomfortable to be. When you let something be, it lets you be. That way, you attain mastery.
What stands in the way of this is only your point of view. Your point of view is the point from which you view – which therefore you do not see. Your point of view is positional, and to get off it, to leave it behind, is always uncomfortable and frequently terrifying.

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Other popular articles:

  1. This simple skill is worth millions, helped many become millionaires, billionaires
  2. 20 minutes that can change your life
  3. Making 6 figures? How to avoid being one of 69% of Americans who have less than $1000 in the bank.
  4. Making 6 figures #2? How to avoid being one of 29% of American households with no retirement savings
  5. How to get your dream job with no experience – Lessons from Bill McDermott
  6. Leaders are readers
  7. How to guard yourself against negative influences
  8. Life lessons from a Uber driver who was laid off
  9. A SPECIAL GIFT FOR YOU – WHY SHOULD I HIRE A COACH?

About the author: Hoan Do is a certified leadership coach with John Maxwell Team. Hoan have led multiple teams at Symantec Inc. across the globe delivering world-class solutions to protect consumers and businesses. Hoan is an expert in building highly performing teams. He believes that the best leader is the leader that could grow his followers to be leaders. Hoan has been organizing mastermind groups at work to share with other leaders about transformational leadership and coaching. He has trained many leaders both inside and outside Symantec via mastermind groups, workshops, and one-on-one coaching. Hoan perfected his own method “think and lead rich” to start leaders with the right mindset before equipping them with a complete leadership development solution.

Quotes from Werner Erhard to help you deal with fear and live life lovingly:

 

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Reference: Werner Erhard The Transformation of a Man: The Founding of EST by William Warren Bartley III

Why has experience helped some and not others?

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In recent hirings, I talked with several managers about experiences of candidates. We wanted to look for candidates with experiences that we needed. We put that in job description. Many resumes we received had 15 years of experiences in a particular field but those candidates either moved too often but stayed too short from organizations to organizations or did not grow much from their positions. They looked like having one year of experience 15 times. There were candidates with fewer years of experiences but they passed our strict tests with a high flag.

Why has experience helped some and not others?

Dr. John C. Maxwell said that we begin our lives as empty notebooks. Every day we have an opportunity to record new experiences on our pages. The problem is that not all people make the best use of their notebooks. Few who do make use of their notebooks often reread what they wrote and reflect on it. Reflection turns experience into insight. Experience teaches nothing, evaluated experience teaches everything. In other words, experience is automatic, insight is not.

Dr. John C. Maxwell taught about experiences:

  1. We experience more than we understand. In order to close the gap between understanding and experience, write it down and reflect on it daily.
  2. Our attitude toward unplanned and unpleasant experiences determine our growth.
  3. Lack of experience is costly.
  4. Experience is also costly. We can not gain experience without paying a price. Experience gives the test first and the lesson later.
    Mark Twain: I know a man who grabbed a cat by the tail and he learned 40 percent more about cats than the man who didnt.
  5. Not evaluating and learning from experience is more costly. It’s a terrible mistake to pay the price for experience and not receiving the lesson.
    Mark Twain: if a cat sits on a hot stove, that cat won’t sit on that hot stove again. In fact, that cat won’t sit on a cold stove either.
  6. Evaluated experience lifts a person above the crowd.

How do we apply this lesson? I have a habit of writing down what happened to me since high school. Shihan Arakaki (founder and grandmaster of Musokai Karate) taught me to write down both what happened as well as what I learned. Now Dr. Maxwell taught me to write down my experience, my thoughts, my learning, and really spend time to reflect on it. The entire process takes less than 15 minutes daily but it has been a life-changing habit. It will be for you too.

For more details, please read Leadership Gold by Dr. John C. Maxwell or join one of my mastermind groups.

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