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The Score Takes Care of Itself: My Philosophy of Leadership

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"Even when you have an organization brimming with talent, victory is not always under your control. There is no guarantee, no ultimate formula for success. It all comes down to intelligently and relentlessly seeking solutions that will increase your chance of prevailing. When you do that, the score will take care of itself." (Bill Walsh) Bill Walsh is a towering figure in "Even when you have an organization brimming with talent, victory is not always under your control. There is no guarantee, no ultimate formula for success. It all comes down to intelligently and relentlessly seeking solutions that will increase your chance of prevailing. When you do that, the score will take care of itself." (Bill Walsh) Bill Walsh is a towering figure in the history of the NFL. His advanced leadership transformed the San Francisco 49ers from the worst franchise in sports to a legendary dynasty that won three Super Bowls. In the process, he changed the way football is played-pushing it into the twenty-first century. Walsh is famous for his strategic brilliance and innovations, such as the West Coast Offense, but his enlightened philosophy of leadership was just as crucial, if not more so, to the unprecedented success of his teams. And that philosophy of leadership is just as powerful and productive in business or any other endeavor as it was for him on the football field. Prior to his death, Walsh granted exclusive interviews to bestselling author Steve Jamison. They became his ultimate lecture on leadership-illustrated by dramatic and apt anecdotes from throughout Walsh's career. A small sample of what you'll learn from one of America's greatest coaches: * Believe in People: Push them hard to be their very best. No one will ever come back later and thank you for expecting too little of them. * Professionalism Matters: There was no showboating allowed after touchdowns, no taunting of opponents, no demonstration to attract attention to oneself: "Champions act like champions before they're champions." * Keep a Short Enemies List: One enemy can do more damage than the good done by a hundred friends. * Protect Your Blind Side: Prompt yourself to aggressively analyze not only your organization's strengths, but also its unseen vulnerabilities. * Sometimes You Can't Have he Last Word. A leader cannot escape harsh criticism. Ignore the undeserving; learn from the deserving. Lick your wounds and move on. Your bruised ego will get over it. Additional insights and perspective are provided by his son Craig Walsh, by legendary quarterback Joe Montana, and by other important figures who knew Bill well. Bill Walsh taught that the requirements of successful leadership are the same whether you run an NFL franchise, a Fortune 500 company, or a hardware store with twelve employees. His final words of wisdom will inspire and enlighten readers in all walks of life.


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"Even when you have an organization brimming with talent, victory is not always under your control. There is no guarantee, no ultimate formula for success. It all comes down to intelligently and relentlessly seeking solutions that will increase your chance of prevailing. When you do that, the score will take care of itself." (Bill Walsh) Bill Walsh is a towering figure in "Even when you have an organization brimming with talent, victory is not always under your control. There is no guarantee, no ultimate formula for success. It all comes down to intelligently and relentlessly seeking solutions that will increase your chance of prevailing. When you do that, the score will take care of itself." (Bill Walsh) Bill Walsh is a towering figure in the history of the NFL. His advanced leadership transformed the San Francisco 49ers from the worst franchise in sports to a legendary dynasty that won three Super Bowls. In the process, he changed the way football is played-pushing it into the twenty-first century. Walsh is famous for his strategic brilliance and innovations, such as the West Coast Offense, but his enlightened philosophy of leadership was just as crucial, if not more so, to the unprecedented success of his teams. And that philosophy of leadership is just as powerful and productive in business or any other endeavor as it was for him on the football field. Prior to his death, Walsh granted exclusive interviews to bestselling author Steve Jamison. They became his ultimate lecture on leadership-illustrated by dramatic and apt anecdotes from throughout Walsh's career. A small sample of what you'll learn from one of America's greatest coaches: * Believe in People: Push them hard to be their very best. No one will ever come back later and thank you for expecting too little of them. * Professionalism Matters: There was no showboating allowed after touchdowns, no taunting of opponents, no demonstration to attract attention to oneself: "Champions act like champions before they're champions." * Keep a Short Enemies List: One enemy can do more damage than the good done by a hundred friends. * Protect Your Blind Side: Prompt yourself to aggressively analyze not only your organization's strengths, but also its unseen vulnerabilities. * Sometimes You Can't Have he Last Word. A leader cannot escape harsh criticism. Ignore the undeserving; learn from the deserving. Lick your wounds and move on. Your bruised ego will get over it. Additional insights and perspective are provided by his son Craig Walsh, by legendary quarterback Joe Montana, and by other important figures who knew Bill well. Bill Walsh taught that the requirements of successful leadership are the same whether you run an NFL franchise, a Fortune 500 company, or a hardware store with twelve employees. His final words of wisdom will inspire and enlighten readers in all walks of life.

30 review for The Score Takes Care of Itself: My Philosophy of Leadership

  1. 5 out of 5

    Yevgeniy Brikman

    The good: it's a fun tale of how Bill Walsh helped turn the San Francisco 49ers from the worst team in football into one of the NFL's greatest dynasties. The strongest parts of the book are those that feel like Walsh's memoir, where he shares gritty, down-to-earth stories of success and failure which allow you to extract lessons for yourself. The bad: the story is awkwardly twisted into a "business book" format, which just doesn't work. The weakest parts of the book are when it relies heavily on The good: it's a fun tale of how Bill Walsh helped turn the San Francisco 49ers from the worst team in football into one of the NFL's greatest dynasties. The strongest parts of the book are those that feel like Walsh's memoir, where he shares gritty, down-to-earth stories of success and failure which allow you to extract lessons for yourself. The bad: the story is awkwardly twisted into a "business book" format, which just doesn't work. The weakest parts of the book are when it relies heavily on managerial-speak, full of dry "top 10" lists, empty platitudes, and "try it in your office" style advice. These parts of the book feel like they were tacked on as an afterthought to broaden the market for the book, and it just doesn't work. In part, that's because the writing in the "business parts" is poor, and does not convey the message nearly as well or as memorably as Walsh's storytelling. In part, that's because much of what worked for Walsh and the 49ers simply does not apply to other types of businesses. The fact is that most of us are NOT dealing with the world's top athletes, or the demands of physical performance, or the kind of command structure you see in sports franchises. Despite that, there are a few gems in here: * The key to winning is not to focus on winning, but to focus on getting better. You can't completely control the outcome of a game, but you can control the effort you put into your training, and if you relentlessly focus on improving, you increase your chances of success. Focus on continuously bettering yourself, and the score will take care of itself. * It's best to keep your competitors faceless and nameless. That way, you won't be distracted or intimated or focused on them at all and can instead focus on yourself and what you can do to get better. * Create a standard of performance—an extremely high standard of performance—that applies to every detail of your work and spend every day trying to move a little closer to that standard. Great results come from small improvements made on a regular basis over a long period of time. * Copious planning, playbooks, and preparation are essential for success. As an introvert, I find planning to be essential in all aspects of life: I simply need to give my mind time to get used to things and then I can perform well. It turns out this same trait is essential in football and many other aspects of life. No one performs as well under extreme stress, so being able to prepare in a pressure-free environment beforehand, and having your plan of attack ready to go before the stress kicks in, is essential, both in football, and in many other aspects of life. * Inspirational speeches are rarely useful. Most of them don't have much of an impact, and even if they do, the impact doesn't last long. Real motivation must come from within. It comes from the inner voice: the voice that each person hears inside their head every day, all day, that produces the long-lasting motivation you need to accomplish great things. Great leaders don't motivate through fancy speeches; they motivate by helping people build and grow that inner voice. * The ending of the book, and the ending of Walsh's career, is tragic. Many of us work hard, assuming that when we achieve success, life will be easy and worry free. But Walsh's career, which was one of the most successful in NFL history, shows that success alone is not enough. Despite his incredible accomplishments—or perhaps because of them—Walsh found himself under extreme stress to always succeed, and eventually, this relentless pressure broke him down. The book preaches over and over again that you should focus on improvement rather than success, and that you should tie your identity to how you went about getting results rather than the results themselves, but it's clear that Walsh wasn't able to do this himself, and it cost him dearly. It's a sad and powerful lesson. As always, I saves some of my favorite quotes: "The culture precedes positive results. It doesn't get tacked on as an afterthought on your way to the victory stand. Champions behave like champions before they're champions: they have a winning standard of performance before they are winners." "Sometimes you snarl; sometimes you bite; sometimes you smile and give thumbs-up. There’s a little bit of the actor in all good leaders." "When the audience is bored, it's not their fault." "Concentrate on what will produce results rather than on the results, the process rather than the prize."

  2. 5 out of 5

    EB

    I really enjoyed this book. It was a slower read, but very informative and helped me think about another aspect of leadership, teaching. I don't follow football, so I didn't know anything about Bill Walsh before I read this book. I picked it up because I read an article on the Harvard Business Review blog talking about his leadership style and it mentioned this book. I wanted to get a "non-corporate" perspective on leadership and coaching. There were a couple things that really stood out to me in I really enjoyed this book. It was a slower read, but very informative and helped me think about another aspect of leadership, teaching. I don't follow football, so I didn't know anything about Bill Walsh before I read this book. I picked it up because I read an article on the Harvard Business Review blog talking about his leadership style and it mentioned this book. I wanted to get a "non-corporate" perspective on leadership and coaching. There were a couple things that really stood out to me in the book. - A big part of leadership is teaching. He spent a huge a amount of time teaching everyone what he wanted done. I think (and he admits at the end of the book) that he didn't delegate enough. However, he reinforced for me that a good leader is always teaching. - His level of concern for the details was tremendous. He talks about paying close attention to the right details (and not the wrong ones). This is something that also seemed true to me from the Alan Mullay book (American Icon: Alan Mulally and the Fight to Save Ford Motor Company) and the David Marquette book(Turn the Ship Around!: A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders). All three of them dove very deep into the details as part of the turn around effort.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Willian Molinari

    I'm migrating all my reviews to my blog. If you want to read the full review with my raw notes, check it here: https://pothix.com/scoretakescareofit... It's a great book on leadership. I confess that I was really bored in the first 15% of the book. The beginning is boring for those who don't give a f*** about football but keep reading, it worth the journey. Bill Walsh took the San Francisco 49ers from a really bad performance (2 wins/14 losses) to an amazing one (13 win/3 losses) 2 years later. He I'm migrating all my reviews to my blog. If you want to read the full review with my raw notes, check it here: https://pothix.com/scoretakescareofit... It's a great book on leadership. I confess that I was really bored in the first 15% of the book. The beginning is boring for those who don't give a f*** about football but keep reading, it worth the journey. Bill Walsh took the San Francisco 49ers from a really bad performance (2 wins/14 losses) to an amazing one (13 win/3 losses) 2 years later. He applied his organizational philosophy to the whole organization and this is what this book is about, how he managed to do that, and how it works. The conclusion for the book: If you achieve your goal to create a great team and superior organization, the score will take care of itself

  4. 5 out of 5

    Shane

    The late 49er's coach Bill Walsh and his leadership journey various football leagues are captured and descried inside. The late 49er's coach Bill Walsh and his leadership journey various football leagues are captured and descried inside. It's a unique compilation of his personal notes, interviews from peers and players all compiled by his son Craig and Steve Jamison. This book provides a refreshing and unapologetic review of what leadership is all about; the good, the bad and often times ugly pe The late 49er's coach Bill Walsh and his leadership journey various football leagues are captured and descried inside. The late 49er's coach Bill Walsh and his leadership journey various football leagues are captured and descried inside. It's a unique compilation of his personal notes, interviews from peers and players all compiled by his son Craig and Steve Jamison. This book provides a refreshing and unapologetic review of what leadership is all about; the good, the bad and often times ugly personal toll it can have on a person. Bill Walsh was a selfless hard charger man, who through his relentless pursuit for perfection, turned around a failed NFL team and turned it into a world class and competitive people oriented business from the Janitor through many star players (Montana, Rice etc) the GM. The concepts applied are those he learned from others and form his own experiences and mistakes. He was not ashamed to • Expect people to strive for perfection, to give 100%, to always be prepared. • Provide clear direction and expectations from the leader all the way. • Expect results and have high standards of performance and still treat people properly, • Accountability in the how and the what. • Ensure the right people were in the right places, and even when stars were not performing or support “his” team concept they were cut, traded or fired. • When stars were plateau – he let them know and that they were going to be replaced. • Describe his failures and lessons learned. Great read – the concepts are transferable regardless of what you do or where you sit in an organization of any kind.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Alex Ikonn

    One of the best management books that I've read. Very actionable advice. One of the best management books that I've read. Very actionable advice.

  6. 4 out of 5

    John Majors

    Must read book. So fantastic at so many levels.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Christian Janke

    The Score Takes Care of Itself by Steve Jamison and Craig Walsh is in my mind the best book to read if you are a leader or someone of a high position in an organization. Bill Walsh was recognized as one of the highest and most esteemed coaches in all of sports history. His philosophy on leadership is unparalleled to that of any other coach or captain. That’s what this biography tries to depict his reasoning behind his coaching techniques and the insight that he has on being a successful master The Score Takes Care of Itself by Steve Jamison and Craig Walsh is in my mind the best book to read if you are a leader or someone of a high position in an organization. Bill Walsh was recognized as one of the highest and most esteemed coaches in all of sports history. His philosophy on leadership is unparalleled to that of any other coach or captain. That’s what this biography tries to depict his reasoning behind his coaching techniques and the insight that he has on being a successful master of management. The book goes through five parts of Bill Walsh’s strategies as a coach. Part 1: his standard of performance, which is just the dos and don’ts of being a leader and when you know you are doing your job right. Part 2: success is not spelled G-E-N-I-U-S, which means it’s all about your opportunity and what you do when you get it. Part 3: fundamentals of leadership, this is just the habits a leader has and the example he/she has to set. Part 4: essentials of a winning team, what a team must learn and do to overcome adversity. Part 5: looking for lessons in my mirror, which is just taking what you have and using that to your advantage and learning from your mistakes. As Bill claims, “once you master these 5 parts, you can become a great leader.” This novel really got me thinking about what I have done wrong as a leader before, whether that be in sports or in my everyday life. I need to learn not to focus on criticizing everything that I or anybody on my teams have done, but focus on using what gifts they have to use to our advantage. Not only does it make the person who receives the praise confidence and a greater drive to win, but that would help my team as a result. This book definitely gave me an idea on how to lead a team and will help me for future teams. Anyone who is a leader in a sport or even a work force, they should definitely find a way to read this book because it will give you a great idea on how to lead a team to success. It will give you a play-by-play on how to be successful while still being creative in your own way. That’s what made Bill Walsh such a great coach, he was creative while still sticking to traditional ways.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Beckham

    Very applicable to business There's lots to learn from Bill Walsh, with the caveat being his real secret is being a genius who knows everything about everything. That allows you to instruct every coordinator, receptionist, and grounds crew member in detail about doing their job well. I have pages of notes and especially enjoyed the football stories as a long-time 49ers fan (although you don't have to be one to like the book). A bit repetitive in places but overall a great read. Very applicable to business There's lots to learn from Bill Walsh, with the caveat being his real secret is being a genius who knows everything about everything. That allows you to instruct every coordinator, receptionist, and grounds crew member in detail about doing their job well. I have pages of notes and especially enjoyed the football stories as a long-time 49ers fan (although you don't have to be one to like the book). A bit repetitive in places but overall a great read.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Oleksiy Kovyrin

    Truly inspiring story, great leadership lessons! For many years throughout my career I had this idea, that everybody should be doing their best job and the results will come. That has been my default mode of operation for years now. It was so good to see, that the standard of performance idea worked for someone, especially in the situation like the one described in the book. Highly recommend this book to anyone who needs to work with other people on achieving a common goal: from CEOs, to middle Truly inspiring story, great leadership lessons! For many years throughout my career I had this idea, that everybody should be doing their best job and the results will come. That has been my default mode of operation for years now. It was so good to see, that the standard of performance idea worked for someone, especially in the situation like the one described in the book. Highly recommend this book to anyone who needs to work with other people on achieving a common goal: from CEOs, to middle and low level management and leadership. Even individual contributors may benefit from this story, since once again it touches on the old and very powerful idea of a strong connection between practice and performance/excellence.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Amir Salihefnedic

    One of the best leadership books I've read. One of the best leadership books I've read.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jane Dugger

    I love a book that makes me think. This one did in surprising ways. There is much about Coach Bill Walsh's philosophy I applaud: his "Standards of Performance", his idea of everyone on the team/staff were connected "success belongs to everyone" no matter the job title, and his approach to leadership "listen, learn, lead". I was also astounded about how much I learned about football. There is method (and appreciation) to the madness of men reenacting tribal warfare. As well as how it IS a busines I love a book that makes me think. This one did in surprising ways. There is much about Coach Bill Walsh's philosophy I applaud: his "Standards of Performance", his idea of everyone on the team/staff were connected "success belongs to everyone" no matter the job title, and his approach to leadership "listen, learn, lead". I was also astounded about how much I learned about football. There is method (and appreciation) to the madness of men reenacting tribal warfare. As well as how it IS a business. Which led me to recall when I first learned libraries were also a business - how novel. I especially enjoyed the chapter included at the end about his faults and what he "thought" (the book was written posthumously) were mistakes. It takes a lot of reflection and self-awareness to admit one's errors. I admire Coach Walsh (and his co-author) for including it. There is much to like about his philosophy of leadership but I can see his methods encroaching into micromanaging. Like much in life and philosophy discover what works for you then cultivate those habits into your character. In my opinion Coach Walsh's philosophy is a good starting point.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Seth Davis

    Really enjoyed this biography. Made me appreciate Bill Walsh and his perspective on coaching. My previous knowledge of him was no more than superficial. His diligence and style have much more to offer a business environment than most other sports coaches in my estimation.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Geraldine Carrillo

    Just a shame that I wasn't able to meet this great human being, at least being at one of his 49ers game. Bill Walsh is a clear example of perseverance and grit. I haven't been interested in football before, never thought how complex it could be. Leadership is not in business guys... Just a shame that I wasn't able to meet this great human being, at least being at one of his 49ers game. Bill Walsh is a clear example of perseverance and grit. I haven't been interested in football before, never thought how complex it could be. Leadership is not in business guys...

  14. 4 out of 5

    Barron Caster

    Get the small things right.

  15. 5 out of 5

    TEELOCK Mithilesh

    In the book, the author talks about how being a leader has more to do with your mindset than your skills. Walsh speaks about how champions behave like champions before they are champions by obsessing about improving themselves and their team and focusing on the things within their control. When they do that, the score will take care of itself. Also, it’s a great book for sports fans!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Brad Carl

    There are some good leadership lessons and practices in this book. That said, I'd be apprehensive about suggesting this book to a young and upcoming leader because there are portions of Walsh's ways that resemble micromanagement. Towards the end of the book Bill Walsh's son, Craig, wrote several pages about his late father. Much of it was repetitive and unnecessary....book filler. But that's okay, I guess. The part that struck me most, though? Bill Walsh was apparently always bothered by the Wes There are some good leadership lessons and practices in this book. That said, I'd be apprehensive about suggesting this book to a young and upcoming leader because there are portions of Walsh's ways that resemble micromanagement. Towards the end of the book Bill Walsh's son, Craig, wrote several pages about his late father. Much of it was repetitive and unnecessary....book filler. But that's okay, I guess. The part that struck me most, though? Bill Walsh was apparently always bothered by the West Coast Offense being called the "West Coast Offense" instead of the "Cincinnati Offense" (where he developed it) or even "The Bill Walsh Offense." Really? This is a "great leader"? Believe me, it wasn't the only part in the book that made me raise my eyebrows in confusion.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Robert

    Incredible book that not only applies to the game of football but to life and business.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Max Nova

    Full review and highlights at https://books.max-nova.com/score-takes-care "The Score Takes Care of Itself" exists at the intersection of the two worst genres in all of literature: business and sports. And yet, Bill Walsh's story of how he took the San Francisco 49'ers from being one of the worst teams in the league to three Superbowls in a few short years manages to transcend the typical drivel and self-glorification of these sorts of books. Walsh's perspective is thoughtful and self-aware and he Full review and highlights at https://books.max-nova.com/score-takes-care "The Score Takes Care of Itself" exists at the intersection of the two worst genres in all of literature: business and sports. And yet, Bill Walsh's story of how he took the San Francisco 49'ers from being one of the worst teams in the league to three Superbowls in a few short years manages to transcend the typical drivel and self-glorification of these sorts of books. Walsh's perspective is thoughtful and self-aware and he actually changed my mind on a few things about management. I particularly liked his concept of a "Standard of Performance" - as he notes, "People are most comfortable with how they are being treated when their duties are laid out in specific detail and their performance can be gauged by specific metrics. The key is to document — clarify — those expectations." This may sound like a fancy way of describing a normal, boring job description, but if you read his Standard of Performance for the 49'ers, you'll see that it is far more focused on attitude and mindset (emphasis mine):My Standard of Performance — the values and beliefs within it — guided everything I did in my work at San Francisco and are defined as follows: Exhibit a ferocious and intelligently applied work ethic directed at continual improvement; demonstrate respect for each person in the organization and the work he or she does; be deeply committed to learning and teaching, which means increasing my own expertise; be fair; demonstrate character; honor the direct connection between details and improvement, and relentlessly seek the latter; show self-control, especially where it counts most — under pressure; demonstrate and prize loyalty; use positive language and have a positive attitude; take pride in my effort as an entity separate from the result of that effort; be willing to go the extra distance for the organization; deal appropriately with victory and defeat, adulation and humiliation (don’t get crazy with victory nor dysfunctional with loss); promote internal communication that is both open and substantive (especially under stress); seek poise in myself and those I lead; put the team’s welfare and priorities ahead of my own; maintain an ongoing level of concentration and focus that is abnormally high; and make sacrifice and commitment the organization’s trademark.Walsh brought an unusually academic and analytical perspective to football, an approach that made him an outsider for much of his early career. With his constant emphasis on teaching, he was a natural fit as Stanford's football coach before his ascension to the NFL. He also did away with a lot of the macho bullshit that still characterizes many football programs (including the middle school team I played for growing up in Kentucky!), forbidding "the traditional hazing of rookies" and demanding that all "demonstrate respect for each person in the organization and the work he or she does." But Walsh was also uncompromising in his insistence on continual improvement and tracking of results. In a way, he reminded me of David Allen (of "Getting Things Done" notoriety) - as the author notes, "Bill Walsh loved lists, viewed them as a road map to results." I've read a lot of business books and 90% of them are completely useless (see Sturgeon's Law). This is one of the good ones.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Michael Huang

    If you pardon the length and unnecessary details at times, there are gems in this book. The author is a fan of Bill Walsh and interviewed him and put together this book. The key insight is that you can control certain things: in his case what he calls "Standard of Performance", which is everybody needs to measure up to that standard of excellence. With that you can control 80% of the game. Focus on that. The other 20% is outside your control. Accept it. In a big game, it's business as usual, no If you pardon the length and unnecessary details at times, there are gems in this book. The author is a fan of Bill Walsh and interviewed him and put together this book. The key insight is that you can control certain things: in his case what he calls "Standard of Performance", which is everybody needs to measure up to that standard of excellence. With that you can control 80% of the game. Focus on that. The other 20% is outside your control. Accept it. In a big game, it's business as usual, no "try harder mentality". To better handle what you can't control better: 1. Do expect defeat. 2. Do force yourself to stop looking backward. 3. Do allow yourself appropriate recovery/grieving time. 4. Do tell yourself I am going to stand and fight again. 5. Do begin planning for your next serious encounter. Don't do this 5: ask "why me"; expect sympathy; bellyache; keep accepting condolences; blame others. Nuggets of wisdom: • Make everybody believe "success belongs to everyone". Jordan's post-game interview always credit Pippen, Rodman, etc. No showboating after touchdown. • In his offense strategy he has 4 lessons: 1. Success doesn't care which road you take; 2. Be bold; don't fear the unknown; 3. Desperation should not drive innovation; 4. Be obsessive in looking for the upside in the downside. • If your staff doesn't fully mobilized and energized until you enter the room, then your leadership hasn't percolated down. • Praise can be more valuable than blame. • Persistence is essential because knowledge is rarely imparted on the first attempt. • Employ a somewhat unpredictable presentation style. "Droning on" is the most common, but is not effective. • The element of dealing with egotism, arrogance, and the self-styled big shots is perhaps similar profession to profession. • He relayed a personal confrontation when someone incensed about his earlier comment barked in his face. Walsh was very angry, but followed "no enemies" policy and wrote him a conciliatory letter explaining the comment wasn't aimed at him. Walsh said it wasn't an easy letter to write. But from that point on, he became a good friend and ally. • For competitive people, losing hurts so much, they can't accept it. In his business, when he did well and win, he no longer experience joy, just momentary relief (of not losing). And he had nothing left in the tank. He shared some tips to avoid the trap he fell in. ○ Do not isolate yourself; develop a small trusted network whose opinion you respect and are willing to honestly evaluate. ○ Delegate abundantly. ○ Shake it (loss) off.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Neehar Reddy

    Highly recommend this book. This book should be a foundational book for anyone looking to be a founder. This join my list of business bibles alongside - high output management by Andy grove

  21. 5 out of 5

    Juli

    Whether you’re a football fan or not (and in case you’re wondering: I fall squarely in the “NOT” category), this an intriguing conundrum: How did one man take the NFL’s (arguably) worst team and, in the space of two years, produce Super Bowl champions? In The Score Takes Care of Itself: My Philosophy of Leadership, Bill Walsh shares the secrets to his impressive success as the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers. He talks honestly about his struggles, successes, and the principles that allowed hi Whether you’re a football fan or not (and in case you’re wondering: I fall squarely in the “NOT” category), this an intriguing conundrum: How did one man take the NFL’s (arguably) worst team and, in the space of two years, produce Super Bowl champions? In The Score Takes Care of Itself: My Philosophy of Leadership, Bill Walsh shares the secrets to his impressive success as the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers. He talks honestly about his struggles, successes, and the principles that allowed him to achieve great things. By laying out the guidelines he himself followed throughout his career, Walsh, along with Steve Jamison — the originator of the book, provides the reader with an excellent protocol for success in both leadership and life. This was a remarkable book, with a lifetime of leadership wisdom. My takeaways? Honesty. Precision. Respect. The Hard Edge. Integrity. Grit. Read the summaries for each.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Bob Colwick

    Walsh's success on the gridiron is undisputed...whether he was reinvigorating the Stanford Cardinal with his patented West Coast offense or leading the San Francisco 49ers to 3 Super Bowls, he understood success and the importance of strong leadership in making it happen. This book is the result of Bill looking back upon his career and seeing what life lessons others can glean from his experiences...surrounding yourself with a strong support network (such as his 49ers coaching staff that helped Walsh's success on the gridiron is undisputed...whether he was reinvigorating the Stanford Cardinal with his patented West Coast offense or leading the San Francisco 49ers to 3 Super Bowls, he understood success and the importance of strong leadership in making it happen. This book is the result of Bill looking back upon his career and seeing what life lessons others can glean from his experiences...surrounding yourself with a strong support network (such as his 49ers coaching staff that helped him endure a brutal first season), paying attention to the details (including Walsh's insistence that 49ers clerical and janitorial staff also wear 49ers-branded polo shirts to work), and focusing on the process instead of the end result, Bill Walsh offers readers an opportunity to learn about the processes that this legendary coach used in building successful NCAA and NFL teams so that they can then be applied to leadership in other careers.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Saurabh

    I wish I could give this book 10 stars out of 5. This is perhaps the greatest book written till date on leadership. Bill Walsh was essentially the underdog who proved his critics wrong by becoming the greatest coach NFL has ever had. What is more eye opening is the fact that he was empathetic towards his players. It was perhaps an eclectic mix of discipline, street smartness and unconventional wisdom coupled with deep knowledge about the game that helped Bill Walsh shape the greatest team in NFL I wish I could give this book 10 stars out of 5. This is perhaps the greatest book written till date on leadership. Bill Walsh was essentially the underdog who proved his critics wrong by becoming the greatest coach NFL has ever had. What is more eye opening is the fact that he was empathetic towards his players. It was perhaps an eclectic mix of discipline, street smartness and unconventional wisdom coupled with deep knowledge about the game that helped Bill Walsh shape the greatest team in NFL.This book is radically different from most leadership books because it talks about the demons Bill Walsh himself had to fight all his life and how he got past them to create history. I would strongly recommend it to anyone looking forward to reading phenomenal stuff on leadership.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Penny

    I admit that I did not read this entire book. I listened past the point of Mr. Walsh saying that the consequences to an employee who went around him to his boss to express concerns about his goals was to fire this this employee for "going over his head" thinking to myself that perhaps Mr. Walsh was a bit old-school and there might be redeeming qualities yet to be heard. But I gave it up as a bad cause when he said his criteria for hiring included only those that would conform to his way of think I admit that I did not read this entire book. I listened past the point of Mr. Walsh saying that the consequences to an employee who went around him to his boss to express concerns about his goals was to fire this this employee for "going over his head" thinking to myself that perhaps Mr. Walsh was a bit old-school and there might be redeeming qualities yet to be heard. But I gave it up as a bad cause when he said his criteria for hiring included only those that would conform to his way of thinking. Certainly you want a team atmosphere for a culture change; however, if you have only "yes folks" around you, in what way to you allow for any new or alternative ideas to surface? There may be nuggets in this book, but I couldn't get get past the self centered hype to find them.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Torrey

    Paradigm-shifting book on leadership, management and relationships. Major successes do not happen overnight - they take time, dedication, preparation and attention to detail. Bill Walsh took the 49ers from the worst team in football to Superbowl champions by his 3rd season with them. He gleaned some incredible insight not only from that transformation but of his own evolution as a coach (starting from the bottom) to achieve goals. A must-read book for any aspiring leaders, changers, motivators, Paradigm-shifting book on leadership, management and relationships. Major successes do not happen overnight - they take time, dedication, preparation and attention to detail. Bill Walsh took the 49ers from the worst team in football to Superbowl champions by his 3rd season with them. He gleaned some incredible insight not only from that transformation but of his own evolution as a coach (starting from the bottom) to achieve goals. A must-read book for any aspiring leaders, changers, motivators, managers, etc.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Maciej Witowski

    Incredibly down-to-earth book about leadership, from the master football coach. If you're interested in getting the top performance individually, as a team or as an organization, Bill Walsh is the person you should be listening to. What's really unique is that he tells the story not only about going from the bottom to the top (from the very worst team in NFL to winning multiple Super Bowls) but also about the price he paid for it. Incredibly down-to-earth book about leadership, from the master football coach. If you're interested in getting the top performance individually, as a team or as an organization, Bill Walsh is the person you should be listening to. What's really unique is that he tells the story not only about going from the bottom to the top (from the very worst team in NFL to winning multiple Super Bowls) but also about the price he paid for it.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Muhammad Hakim Asy'ari

    Bill Walsh used micromanagement to turn his football team from the worst team in NFL to become winner (winning several super bowl). The point was that every role within the company had a “standard of performance,” and that if everyone knew what that standard was and strived for it, high performance would naturally result on the field, and the score would take care of itself.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Robert Parker

    Master class in coaching and teaching. Great insights and cautions.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lorenzo Bovitutti

    Several highly intelligent ideas. Unfortunately, it’s repetitive and there’s too much football. - “There is no guarantee, no ultimate formula for success. However, a resolute and resourceful leader understands that there are a multitude of means to increase the probability of success. And that’s what it all comes down to, namely, intelligently and relentlessly seeking solutions that will increase your chance of prevailing in a competitive environment. When you do that, the score will take care of i Several highly intelligent ideas. Unfortunately, it’s repetitive and there’s too much football. - “There is no guarantee, no ultimate formula for success. However, a resolute and resourceful leader understands that there are a multitude of means to increase the probability of success. And that’s what it all comes down to, namely, intelligently and relentlessly seeking solutions that will increase your chance of prevailing in a competitive environment. When you do that, the score will take care of itself.” “When I give a speech at a corporate event, I often ask those in attendance, “Do you know how to tell if you’re doing the job?” As heads start whispering back and forth, I provide these clues: “If you’re up at 3 A.M. every night talking into a tape recorder and writing notes on scraps of paper, have a knot in your stomach and a rash on your skin, are losing sleep and losing touch with your wife and kids, have no appetite or sense of humor, and feel that everything might turn out wrong, then you’re probably doing the job.” This always gets a laugh, but not a very big one. Those executives in the audience recognize there is a significant price to pay to be the best. That price is not something they laugh” “For example, how the players dressed at practice and the appearance they gave to others when taking the field was very important to me. I wanted our football team to look truly professional—impeccable. Thus, shirttails tucked in, socks up tight, and more were requirements. Later, when Jerry Rice, our great receiver, joined the team, he would stand in front of a full-length mirror as he got dressed before a game, not because he was vain or adoring himself—maybe there was a little of that—but mostly because he was just looking at that uniform; he was looking at perfection; perfection was what was in his mind when he entered the arena. Jerry Rice was a professional and looked like a professional. And it all helped him in some way to think and perform like a professional. That “perfect” appearance—“ appropriate appearance” is more accurate—applied to others in the organization as well, because it is part of the motif that directs thinking into a mode I view as conducive to high performance. That perfect appearance was a predicate of perfect performance.” “After careful analysis, they identified thirty specific and separate physical skills—actions—that every offensive lineman needed to master in order to do his job at the highest level, everything from tackling to evasion, footwork to arm movement. Our coaches then created multiple drills for each one of those individual skills, which were then practiced relentlessly until their execution at the highest level was automatic—routine “perfection.” “ “I had no grandiose plan or timetable for winning a championship, but rather a comprehensive standard and plan for installing a level of proficiency—competency—at which our production level would become higher in all areas, both on and off the field, than that of our opponents. Beyond that, I had faith that the score would take care of itself. In pursuing this ideal, I focused our personnel on the details of my Standard of Performance—trying to achieve it—rather than how we measured up against a given team (i.e., the score). “Let the opponent worry about that” was my thinking. I sought to channel the concentration of the 49ers toward improving performance on the field and throughout the organization with as little force as possible from outside influences such as the media, fans, friends, or the standings. This was a formidable task, but in large part I accomplished it.” “I directed our focus less to the prize of victory than to the process of improving—obsessing, perhaps, about the quality of our execution and the content of our thinking; that is, our actions and attitude. I knew if I did that, winning would take care of itself, and when it didn’t I would seek ways to raise our Standard of Performance.” “You may remember basketball’s Michael Jordan being interviewed after a game. The Chicago Bull would tell the media, “Scotty Pippen did a great job on defense; Dennis [Rodman] got a couple of key rebounds, and our bench really picked up the slack in the third quarter to give us a little breather. It was a great effort by everybody.” What Jordan didn’t mention might be the fact that he had scored fifty-five points, grabbed fifteen rebounds, and had twelve assists. As he matured as an on-court leader, he made everyone part of the victory. The leader’s job is to facilitate a battlefield-like sense of camaraderie among his or her personnel, an environment for people to find a way to bond together, to care about one another and the work they do, to feel the connection and extension so necessary for great results. Ultimately, it’s the strongest bond of all, even stronger than money.” “The culture precedes positive results. It doesn’t get tacked on as an afterthought on your way to the victory stand. Champions behave like champions before they’re champions; they have a winning standard of performance before they are winners.” “And in the turbulent and occasionally troubled times ahead it was indeed my Standard of Performance that kept us in contention or at the top for almost twenty years and produced five Super Bowl championships. This consistency of excellence and preeminence is difficult to achieve in professional sports—and equally hard in business.” “There’s an ebb and flow, an up and down, in every significant endeavor at every level. I cut through that ebb and flow with the Standard of Performance.” “My high standards for actions and attitudes within our organization never wavered—regardless of whether we were winning or losing. I envisioned it as enabling us to establish a near-permanent “base camp” near the summit, consistently close to the top, within striking distance, never falling to the bottom of the mountain and having to start all over again.” “The key to performing under pressure at the highest possible level, regardless of circumstance, is preparation in the context of your Standard of Performance and a thorough assimilation by your organization of the actions and attitudes contained within your philosophy of leadership. With that comes the knowledge that you—and they—can step into that high-pressure arena and go about your work while the score works itself out.” “Having a well-thought-out plan ready to go in advance of a change in the weather is the key to success.” “Every detail is important. Where do you have a meeting? What is the surrounding environment? People who don’t think about these things have a harder time in business. It’s got to be the right place. It’s got to be the right color. It’s got to be the right choice. Everything has to be strategized. You have to know where you’re going to come out before you go in. Otherwise you lose.” “When you’re forced to go to some version of a “Hail Mary pass” on a recurring basis, you haven’t done your job. Nevertheless, it’s a macho attitude to believe, “I’m at my best when all hell breaks loose.” But it’s usually not true; you cannot think as clearly or perform as well when engulfed by stress, anxiety, fear, tension, or turmoil. You are not at your best. Believing you are creates a false sense of confidence that can lead to slipshod preparation. You think, “Don’t worry, I’ll be able to put it all together when it counts. I can just turn it on.” “ “I looked for clues that might indicate whether we were moving in the right direction at the right speed and, if not, what we needed to do to address the problems. In this instance, I wanted to determine what our second season’s 6-10 record really meant—good, bad, or otherwise. I also knew from experience that it is often difficult to assess these interior, or buried, signs of progress or dysfunction, strength or weakness, because we become transfixed by the big prize—winning a championship, getting a promotion, achieving a yearly quota, and all the rest. When that goal is attained, a common mistake is to assume things are fine. Conversely, when you or the organization fall short of the goal, the letdown can be so severe you’re blinded to substantive information indicating that success may be closer than you would imagine.” “Every leader does year-end reviews and comes to conclusions of one sort or another.” “If you were supposed to go twelve yards and you added an extra half yard, it was a big deal. You heard about it in no uncertain terms. Accuracy, accuracy, precision in execution of everything at all levels. No sloppiness. Game-level focus was the price of admission.” “Of course, it’s an easy trap to fall into, because the trivialities I noted are typical of what a desperate leader can grab onto and control when everything seems out of control. It creates a false and fatal sense of accomplishment,” “As a leader, when you find yourself with a host of problems that seemingly defy solution and start dwelling on the least relevant or even irrelevant aspects of your job—constantly sitting on the phone with nonessential conversations, doing endless e-mailing, writing memo after memo, fiddling around getting all your pencils sharpened and lined up perfectly, being excessively concerned about hurting feelings and trying to make sure everyone is comfortable, straightening out your desk drawer, getting wrapped up in the details of the annual Christmas party, and a million other kinds of stupid busywork, tell yourself this: “There’ll be plenty of time for pencils, parties, and socializing when I lose my job, because that’s what’s going to happen if I continue to avoid the hard and harsh realities of doing my job.” “ ”Promote an organizational environment that is comfortable and laid-back in the misbelief that the workplace should be fun, lighthearted, and free from appropriate levels of tension and urgency.” “For leaders in all professions, including coaches in the NFL, looking for relief from the high anxieties, deep frustrations, and toxic emotions that go with the job can lead you to do everything but your job—worrying about issues of lesser and lesser relevance with greater and greater consequences. The tangential aspects of your job become attractive because they’re monumentally easier to control than what you’re there to do;” “I generally preferred the opposite approach in characterizing the other team and its players. To me they were objects that were both faceless and nameless: Nameless, Faceless Objects. My logic was that I wanted our focus directed at one thing only: going about our business in an intensely efficient and professional manner—“ “The true inspiration, expertise, and ability to execute that employees take with them into their work is most often the result of their inner voice talking, not some outer voice shouting, and not some leader giving a pep talk. For members of your team, you determine what their inner voice says. The leader, at least a good one, teaches the team how to talk to themselves. An effective leader has a profound influence on what that inner voice will say. The great leaders in sports, business, and life always have the most powerful and positive inner voice talking to them, which they, in turn, share with and teach to their organization. The specifics of that inner voice varies from leader to leader, but I believe all have these four messages in common: 1. We can win if we work smart enough and hard enough. 2. We can win if we put the good of the group ahead of our own personal interests. 3. We can win if we improve. And there is always room for improvement. 4. I know what is required for us to win. I will show you what it is.” “Speak in positive terms about former members of your organization. This creates a very positive impression and signals that respect and loyalty extend beyond an individual’s time on your payroll.” “Believing your own press clippings—good or bad—is self-defeating. You are allowing others, oftentimes uninformed others, to tell you who you are. The real damage occurs when you start to believe that future success will come your way automatically because of the great ability of this caricature you have suddenly become, that the hard work and applied intelligence you utilized initially are not as crucial as they once were. That’s when you get lazy; that’s when you let your guard down.” “When I criticized or gave feedback to someone, it wasn’t defeatist. It was always focused on the here and now and never conjured up images or incidents of poor play over the previous days or weeks (for example, “Your motion was lousy. That’s why you’ve been throwing interceptions for the last three weeks. How long is it going to take to get it right? I’m getting tired of seeing this over and over.”).” “Coach Newell did lots of things right, but I was particularly intrigued by his ability to keep individuals sharp and on their toes—to keep them from falling into a mental comfort zone, which can occur when the person in charge becomes too predictable. This comfort zone is dangerous because it creates an often almost imperceptible lowering of intensity, focus, and energy, which leads directly to reduced effort, additional mistakes, and diminished performance. Watching Pete’s Golden Bears during practices at their gym in Berkeley, I saw that he could suddenly become very worked up, severe, and critical—lashing out without warning or apparent cause. He would spot some minor miscue, and suddenly everything would change. It was something to witness—out of the blue, lightning and thunder from Newell over seemingly nothing situations. And then just as quickly—usually, but not always—his verbal and emotional squall would pass. When he had addressed the little “issue” that had set him off, Pete would become lighthearted and even engage in humor as the practice resumed. But it was evident the players were now on edge and would subsequently ebb and flow with his demeanor, attitude, and emotions—looking to him for a response and reacting to his behavior. He was the focal point the others responded to. Of course, the little “issue” that had set him off—for example, a pass that he declared not crisp—was often an excuse to fix the larger concern, which was usually the level, or lack thereof, of intensity, energy, and attention. Players were kept on their toes because Pete Newell was somewhat unpredictable.” “Avoid Success Disease: 1. Formally celebrate and observe the momentous achievement—the victory—and make sure that everyone feels ownership in it. 2. Allow pats on the back for a limited time. 3. Be apprehensive about applause. 4. Develop a plan for your staff that gets them back into the mode of operation that produced success in the first place. 5. Address specific situations that need shoring up; focus on the mistakes that were made and things that were not up to snuff in the success. 6. Be demanding. Do not relax your Standard of Performance. Hold everyone to even higher expectations. 7. Don’t fall prey to overconfidence so that you feel you can or should make change for the sake of change. 8. Use the time immediately following success as an opportunity to make hard decisions. 9. Never fall prey to the belief that getting to the top makes everything easy. 10. Recognize that mastery is a process, not a destination.” “It was always my goal to create and maintain a working environment both on and off the field that had a sense of urgency and intensity but did not feel like we were in constant crisis mode. Ideally, I wanted to instill in each member of our group the belief that, regardless of the opponent, we were a one-point underdog.” “And always keep this in mind: Nobody will ever come back to you later and say “thank you” for expecting too little of them.” “Concentrate on what will produce results rather than on the results, the process rather than the prize.” “Don’t label some concept or new plan the thing that will “get us back on track.” Keep in mind that simple remedies seldom solve a complex problem.”

  30. 5 out of 5

    Adam Bratt

    The author compiled this memoir on Bill Walsh's leadership in a way that packages everything into bite size pieces of advice. It makes it easy to pull out nuggets but at the same time doesn't really leave the reader with much of a framework. That said, there are some absolutely amazing pieces here with some great anecdotes attached to them that are important in any leadership position: - Being able to be both intense and relaxed. Before Super Bowl games he would break the tension in the room and j The author compiled this memoir on Bill Walsh's leadership in a way that packages everything into bite size pieces of advice. It makes it easy to pull out nuggets but at the same time doesn't really leave the reader with much of a framework. That said, there are some absolutely amazing pieces here with some great anecdotes attached to them that are important in any leadership position: - Being able to be both intense and relaxed. Before Super Bowl games he would break the tension in the room and joke around so as to get everyone out of their head. During games, he didn't get crazy upset or lose control of his emotions, he was targeted but relaxed in his approach to coaching the game. - He created systems of performance for everyone and held everyone accountable to them. Everything from how people answered the phone in the customer service center to how players stood when they entered the field. Later he expressed remorse that he didn't delegate more of this as he was managing to many things. - These systems led to him divorcing himself from the actual outcome of the game and instead focusing on honing small unique skills that would lead to the sum being a well oiled machine. He concentrated on all the important small details rather than the media, the score, or what anyone else thought. Instilling this into his players made it so that they had contingency plans for everything and were prepared for every scenario ahead of time. Each game was like clockwork and mistakes were obvious and called out, even if the game was easily won. Bill Walsh cared first and foremost about the technicals, even more than winning. - By holding people accountable to a system of clearly laid out goals and expectations, he gained respect from everyone he worked with. If someone was a high performer but didn't follow his playbook, he cut them as he realized in the long run they would do more harm than good. He was relentless about standing up for his people and also pushing them to exceed their goals. He held the highest standard for himself and in the end it got to him a bit too much as he never let himself relax even when he was winning Super Bowls. He would always find a reason why the game wasn't played exactly perfect. Even in his most perfect win, a Super Bowl win by over 20 points, he still found issue with 2 plays he called in the game for years afterwards. - He had a very good handle on his emotions and a lot of times he yelled at people it wasn't because his emotions got the best of him, but instead it was a tactic he knew would get the best performance out of them. On the road to a game when he felt the energy was low, he stopped the buses and freaked out at the whole team telling them that everyone thought they were "nobodies" and were completely disrespecting them. He loaded everyone back on the bus after and immediately the whole team was united and ready to take on their opponent.. the entire freak out was an orchestration in order to get the team in the right mental state. The last 40 pages or so were the most interesting for me in the entire book. It was the one section that I felt kept building on previous pages rather than sprinkled anecdotes on leadership. After sifting through one bite sized piece of advice after another, it was refreshing to see everything come together as he really gave his leadership style and career a thorough review. He pointed to the cons in his ways and how in his latter years he lost focus on technicals and became way too obsessed with the pressure to win Super Bowls which led to his own premature career burnout. This is a great book but I feel 30% of it could have been trimmed and the writer could have compiled things into more of a framework that could be easily applied.

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