What Great Leaders Look Like according to Bill Campbell

Trillion Dollar Coach is a great read (or listen if you’re an audiobook fan like me) about Bill Campbell, a football coach who pivoted mid-career into a business executive in Silicon Valley, as an executive at Apple, a CEO of Intuit, and an executive coach to Steve Jobs and other high profile leaders.  The book talks about some the qualities he looked for in leaders, which I found very useful to consider as I think about how what I look for when I’m interviewing or considering someone for creased responsibility:

  • Smarts:  Ability to learn quickly and apply new concepts in novel ways
  • Hearts:  Ability to empathize with and understand others
  • Grit:  Ability and willingness to work hard
  • Curiosity:  Desire and openness to continually learn (Avoid people who “have it all figured out” — instead you want people who always have more questions)
  • Winning Right:  A desire to win the right way, with a team-first attitude and integrity, all the time not just when it’s easy
  • Humility:  Pay attention when people celebrate other teams or leaders succeeding, not just themselves
  • Sacrifice:  Pay attention when people are willing to sacrifice something for the organization, another team, or a customer


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s