Leadership series #3

Posted by on Apr 16, 2018 in Levin Consulting Blog | No Comments

The late Bill Campbell, well-known mentor for much of the key executives in Silicon Valley. Bill taught me a valuable lesson, one that more than 30 years later I still treasure … to be nice to all of the admin assistants out there. The story is simple. Back in 1986 we were getting ready for the holiday Season and wanted to order more than a thousand Apple IIc computers. Apple’s terms were net/30 and we were looking to get some extra terms and bring the product in early to have enough for the holidays. I kept calling Bill to try to negotiate a deal – he did not call back. Finally, I let loose on his assistant (no swearing, but definitely some yelling) to get him to call me back. And he did, using profanity like I had never heard it before (he was an ex-football coach after all), all because I had raised my voice to his assistant. And he was 100% right – it was nor her fault. Since then, I have learned that being polite and nice is the best way to get through – and I have Bill Campbell to thank for it. And, oh yeah, after yelling at me for 15 minutes and telling me no way on the extended terms, he gave us an extra 15 days. Like many others, I was mentored by Bill and I appreciate his showing me leadership skills that I use to this day.