Remembering the Life and Career of Bill Campbell

Last week at Fortune’s Brainstorm Conference, Adam Lashinsky led a panel discussion about Bill Campbell, who passed away earlier this year. There are some great anecdotes about Bill in this 30min video.

#life lessons

Comments (Archived):

  1. LE

    Bill apparently liked using the word fuck. [1] I just starting watching this and it’s amazing to me (I am referring to the “get the fuck out of here” story that Shellye tells) how behavior that most of us would think is objectionable becomes acceptable and actually lauded (and referred to as appropriate) when attached to someone who people have respect for or who people need in some way.[1] Because in the words of Adam “that’s who he was”.

    1. William Mougayar

      Interesting that each of the panelists had an F story about him. And it seemed like that word was judiciously used to make a key point, so it was effective.

      1. LE

        Imagine if a woman did the same exact thing. Or a minority. Or a police officer. I don’t take issue with the use of the word “fuck”. Just noting the way that rules apply differently to primadonnas (which I am fine with).

        1. William Mougayar

          It depends on the intent of that word, ie if it’s meant to improve you or put you down.Putting humor in the mix is always a good tactic for saying the darndest things.

          1. LE

            Agree that using humor is a great tactic for saying the darnedest things. (Like a backhanded compliment.)if it’s meant to improve you or put you down.It’s the true mark of a social “gambler”. I think that the use of that word (in the context we are discussing) is a put down. Almost all of the time. Why? It says “I am superior, powerful enough (and/or don’t care about consequences) vs you to use that word”.

    2. PhilipSugar

      I use the word too often as well.People get used to it especially for us old white guys. And I say that not out of pride but shame.

      1. LE

        When you use something to often sometimes it becomes a ‘tick’. Using it just because it feels so good and comfortable to do so. So you over use it. I don’t use it that much I probably say it more on this blog than I ever do in real life. Why? I think it’s a lazy way to make a point which I should be making with words. Also because, well, the IVY League thing and some party in my brain saying I am better than that (regardless of whether true nothing wrong with feeling you are above certain behavior).That said if you are dealing with a lower class person who may view you as a higher class person (or someone with more money) it might be helpful to throw it in to make them feel comfortable with you.

  2. William Mougayar

    Bill Campbell was mostly a great coach to big companies & their CEOs/Boards. But the lessons of his management style and experienced wisdom are so applicable to startups, because every startup aspires to become a big company.I liked this quote: “Your title makes you a manager. Your people will decide if you’re a leader.”Any startup CEO would benefit in getting familiarized with lessons from Bill Campbell. If you don’t have time to watch the video, read this:”Tech Startup Secrets of Bill Campbell, Coach of Silicon Valley”… and this:

    1. Joe Cardillo

      Dug the point about titles, too. I think when you get rid of that in its place you’ll often see a deep hunger to understand a problem and the experiences of people involved in it, and that’s really the heart of the whole thing.

    2. creative group

      William Mougayar:That quote regarding a Manager we believe to be true.

  3. pointsnfigures

    you don’t control your reputation. the people that talk about you control your reputation

  4. BillMcNeely

    If you need a lesson on how to properly use the word Fuck ask a Sergeants Major

  5. Salt Shaker

    Coaching Columbia football, now that’s a lesson in perseverance.

  6. george

    What strikes me unique about the Man, he was very diverse in his leadership skills – the range of leaders he enabled to execute. The distinguished panel is a sample of what people remember most about him – how he treated them; with exceptional Care and Integrity!

  7. awaldstein

    Old school tech legend are the type I was raised up on.As someone who was taught and reported directly in to people like Jack Tramiel, Sim Wong Hu and Umang Gupta, this strikes home to me.