This book on leadership based on American Football (ഇടികളി) coach Bill Walsh is best read as a leadership case study. The book was gifted to me as an employee by my company. The style of writing is slow paced and boring. The connection between the real life experience of Bill Walsh as a coach and his experiments is interesting to read. As a person who knows naught about American Football I could not relate or understand many of the American Football terms used, nevertheless the leadership idea could be derived from the context presented.
As the name of the book suggests, the leadership skills the writer sought to reveal is based on the practical Karma Yoga experience of Bill Walsh.
An addict to the game, he could have been unemployable in any other job unrelated to sports. That focus and sharpness of mind eventually made him develop, lead and achieve through the best team known as 49ers. The beginning of the book can hook a working professional onto it, since it talks on ‘how to know if you are doing your job’. Since the setting is USA, it talks about endless focus on work going beyond 9 to 5 (working hours). I feel this is an old era logic because now work place is not the same anymore globally. French have the right to ignore work emails after work hours.
India traditionally enjoys a lot of national holidays and paid holidays were you are not expected to work. This has been a tradition hence not a news like the French one. I had met President and CEO of a nice engineering firm in Boston who told me that productivity in Europe is less because of such schemes to disconnect from work. Deriving a global standard of performance from Bill’s book is not easy. It inclines towards USA and American Football , which is not a global game like real football (soccer).
This book re-emphasizes what Lord Krishna told Arjuna. ‘Stick to the work at hand and do not worry about the results’. This emphasizes another thought of prioritizing your time. Why ? Because, if there is a classic book and plenty of new books on the topic of leadership, which one to choose ? The time tested one. And what a reference Bhagavad Gita is ! It may take, reading a couple of other new books on stands to arrive at this conclusion. The earlier we fail, the faster we can realize that the most effort put on timeless classic can yield best cost-effective results. Of course, the broader western world may take Bhagavad Gita to be a religious book, does it matter if the lessons learned from a religious or non-religious book are the same ? End result is a better human.
With the sloppy writing and occasional sentences of wisdom, this book is compiled in a good manner and better than certain John Maxwell‘s leadership books. The goodness of a person lives in what he leaves behind. The last chapter by Craig Walsh on his father was nice to know. The book then takes itself to another level where it is not just a leadership book but a biography within itself.
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