With our Annual Meeting, Accelerating the Next Technology Revolution less than three weeks away we're excited to welcome Bill Taylor, Co-Founder of FastCompany and author of Practically Radical, who will be leading our Fireside Chat with Bill Campbell, as a guest blogger. Read on for some great insights into what he and Campbell will cover at the event.
We look forward to seeing you all on March 7th!
President & CEO, MassTLC
by William C. Taylor
Apple and Google don't agree on very much these days, and Silicon Valley's top venture-capital firms spend most of their timing maneuvering against each other to fund the next generation of hot startups. But if there's one thing on which the hyper-competitive leaders of Silicon Valley can agree, it is on the unique role and vital contributions made by Bill Campbell, who may be the tech world's best-kept secret.
Google chairman Eric Schmidt has said of Campbell, "His contribution to Google-it is literally not possible to overstate. He essentially architected the organizational structure." John Doerr, the legendary partner at VC giant Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, talks about Campbell this way: "Every person Bill has touched has been empowered to be the best he or she can be. He is my mentor." Steve Jobs once said of Campbell: "There’s something deeply human about him."
No wonder Fortune magazine has called Campbell "a quasi-religious force for good in Silicon Valley." Of course, most people who work with him simply call him "Coach." That's because Campbell began his leadership journey in the rough-and-tumble world of football, first as a player at Columbia University, then as an assistant coach at Boston College, then as head coach at Columbia for six years.
But Campbell eventually traded competition on the gridiron for competition in the trenches of technology. In 1983, John Sculley, then-CEO of Apple, recruited Campbell to Palo Alto. Thus began a nearly 30-year journey in which Campbell has run, coached, and worked with many of the most important and fascinating companies, entrepreneurs, and financiers in Silicon Valley and beyond.
Intuit. Apple. Google. Amazon. Kleiner. Andreesen Horowitz. Benchmark Capital. The one thing they all have in common? They've all called on Bill Campbell for his advice, counsel, and leadership insights.
On March 7, at the Mass TLC 2012 Annual Meeting, we'll get the chance to call on Bill Campbell's insights as well. I'm excited to be leading a "chalk talk" with the Coach of Silicon Valley, a session in which we'll encourage the audience to become a big part of the conversation. Sure, we'll talk about the world-famous companies and entrepreneurs with whom Campbell has worked. But we'll focus the conversation on how his knowledge and leadership savvy can improve how you work. What does it take to build a successful company? What does it mean to be an effective leader? What are the right ways to build productive teams? How do you know great people when you see them? What are the lessons all of us can learn from the biggest success stories in technology today?
Any successful venture begins with a clear definition of success. Our definition of success for this chalk talk is whether or not it delivers ideas, strategies, and lessons to help your success. I'm excited to hear what Bill Campbell is prepared to share. I hope you'll join the conversation.
William Taylor is the cofounder of Fast Company and bestselling author of Practically Radical.
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