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Team first

Cover Image for Team first
Andres Spitzer
Andres Spitzer

Recently I finished re-reading "Trillion Dollar Coach", an amazing book explaining how Bill Campbell was a key influencer in many of the most influential companies around Silicon Valley.

I decided to re-read the book since some of the experiences described in the book were having similarities with current challenges I'm facing and I wanted to get a new perspective.

There are several very interesting insights and learnings in the book but, maybe the most important one is about the "Team first" culture.


Whenever we are facing issues on our products, services, platforms, deliveries... we often go directly to see how we can help and tackle the issue directly. What action do I need to do to help to fix the challenge? So we try to work directly around the desired output.

"As managers, we tend to focus on the problem at hand. What is the situation? What are the issues? "

Bill's approach to this was different. He proposed to work on the team first, make sure we have the right people working on the problem and make sure they were acting as a team. If you have the right people working the right way then solutions will come.

"Who is working on the problem? Is the right team in place? Do they have what they needed to succeed?"

That is a powerful shift.

Also, as a final note on this post, I would like to add one of the final thoughts of the book around the importance of team coaching. I also believe that today, great leaders need to become great coaches.

"To be successful, companies need to have teams that work together as communities, where individuals integrate their interests and put aside differences to be individually and collectively obsessed with what’s good and right for the company. Since this doesn’t naturally happen among groups of people, especially high-performing, ambitious people, you need someone playing the role of a coach, a team coach, to make it happen. Any company that wants to succeed in a time where technology has suffused every industry and most aspects of consumer life, where speed and innovation are paramount, must have team coaching as part of its culture. This is especially true at its top levels; executive teams must have a coach if they want to perform at their best."

Trillion Dollar Coach