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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "But here's the lesson I learned...."
Whenever a list of the NFL's greatest coaches is formulated, Bill Walsh's name is usually included with those of other Hall of Famers such as Paul Brown, George Hallas, Tom Landry, Vince Lombardi, Chuck Noll, and Don Shula. I was especially eager to read this book, written with Steve Jamison and his only surviving son, Craig, because I wanted to gain a much better...
Published on 20 Aug. 2009 by Robert Morris

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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slightly worrying individual
Read this to find out what Stuart Lancaster, the new England rugby coach, was getting so excited about. My main conclusion is to worry about the state of his mental health. Walsh comes across as a borderline psycho whose obsession with controlling other people's lives leads him to lose control of his own. It's also badly written and 'edited' with the lightest of...
Published on 15 Feb. 2013 by 94


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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "But here's the lesson I learned....", 20 Aug. 2009
By 
Robert Morris (Dallas, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
Whenever a list of the NFL's greatest coaches is formulated, Bill Walsh's name is usually included with those of other Hall of Famers such as Paul Brown, George Hallas, Tom Landry, Vince Lombardi, Chuck Noll, and Don Shula. I was especially eager to read this book, written with Steve Jamison and his only surviving son, Craig, because I wanted to gain a much better understanding of Bill Walsh's leadership style and management preferences during an illustrious career as a head coach in the NFL: a record of 102-63-1 with the San Francisco 49ers, winning ten of his fourteen postseason games along with six division titles, three NFC Championship titles, and three Super Bowls. He was named the NFL's Coach of the Year in 1981 and 1984.

Especially in recent years, there have been many articles and books written about how to develop peak performers. (Some of the best observations and insights are provided by Erika Andersen in her book, Growing Great Employees.) The most highly-admired CEOs tend be those who were especially effective developing high-impact leaders among those in middle management. At GE, Jack Welch devoted at least 20% of his time to mentoring high-potential middle managers and his successor, Jeff Immelt, continues to do so. Given that, now consider the fact that a total of 24 head coaches in the NFL were once an assistant coach on his staff at one time, and many of them led teams to victory in the Super Bowl (e.g. Brian Billick, Jon Gruden, Mike Holmgren, George Seifert, Mike Shanahan). Some of Walsh's greatest skills were those of a teacher. Many who recalled their association with him after his death (from leukemia in 2007) made it a point to praise his intellect, energy, scope and depth of knowledge, enthusiasm, insatiable curiosity, and especially his passion to help others to understand what great success required and how to achieve it.

In the introductory essay, "A Leader's Book for Leaders," Craig Walsh identifies five "key" players in his father's life: Joe Montana (the first quarterback he drafted who led the 49ers to all of their Super Bowl victories), John McVay (vice president and director of the 49ers' operations while Walsh was head coach), Mike White (a long-time personal friend and a fellow assistant coach at U. Cal Berkeley), Bill McPherson (a defensive assistant coach while Walsh coached the 49ers), and Randy Cross ("a great offensive lineman [and a] member of the San Francisco 49ers for thirteen years including his first three, which were pre--Bill Walsh seasons"). All of them accepted an invitation to "contribute their analyses of the leadership philosophy of Bill Walsh and expand on the comprehensive lessons my father offers [in this book]...these five were asked and kindly accepted the invitation to more fully explain the `genius' of Bill Walsh." Their contributions are substantial. Nonetheless, this is still Bill Walsh's book.

In the Foreword, "His Standard of Performance," Montana praises Walsh's ability "to teach people how to think and play at a different and much higher, and, at times, perfect level." How? Three ways: sharing a tremendous knowledge of all aspects of the game, assembling a highly competent staff as well as coaches "who knew how to coach" and who complemented the intensive instruction that Walsh provided on and off the field, and finally, developing a hatred of mistakes. "He was extremely demanding without a lot of noise...great at making people great students" and "ran a pretty tight ship, but he knew when to let us. He didn't beat up players mentally of physically." On the contrary, he assembled teams whose players who had to be highly intelligent to understand the immensely complicated strategies and game plans for which Walsh was noted throughout his career. He may have been the most cerebral head coach in the league's history. That said, Craig Walsh also reveals that his father "Dad was an outsider; he wanted to be an insider. What he found along the way professionally, starting in his days as an assistant coach, was an unwillingness by others to `let him in.' He didn't have the pedigree -and athletic résumé from a big-name school or assistant coaching credentials from a big college program." Nonetheless, what he accomplished as a coach was eventually considered sufficient for election to the NFL Hall of Fame.

I was fascinated to learn that Twelve O'clock High was one of Walsh's favorite films and that he identified with the lead character, General Frank Savage (portrayed brilliantly by Gregory Peck) who commanded the 918th Bomber group during World War II. "My father loved that movie because it told the story of what he did in football, and what happened to him as a result, in the context of something he loved - the military."

The account of Walsh's career in enlightening. There are important business lessons to be learned from his leadership and management during periods of failure as well as success. This is what his son means when referring to "his ferocious competitive instinct, and his singular brilliance as a strategist, organizer, and team builder," who "produced historic results." However, what I found riveting is the multi-dimensional portrait of a profoundly human Bill Walsh that merges in the book, an "outsider" obsessed with "proving them all wrong." He did that and, with what he so generously shares in this book, can continue to help others learn "how to be as great as they can be."
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Old stories but a modern lesson, 2 Feb. 2012
This review is from: The Score Takes Care of Itself: My Philosophy of Leadership (Paperback)
A very good book which gives great advice on how to treat people, trust your judgement and extract the most from your talent. Lots of stories are anecdotes from the 1980s when Bill Walsh resurrected the 49ers. His values are old fashioned (therefore I really appreciated and respected them) but are relevant to anybody who is in charge of a team or company today. The couple of negatives - the book was put together over several years and so many chapters contain reference to his first Super Bowl win which gets a touch repetitive as it seems the editing could have been a little tighter. And if you are under 30 years of age you may not quite appreciate the talents of Joe Montana and Jerry Rice and how they went were transformed from College average to NFL legends. Otherwise this is a really entertaining and inspiring read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, a must for any sports of business leader, 31 May 2012
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A great and enlightening read. If you're cynical and British (like me) you'll have to block out the American sycophancy that creeps in from time to time, but there's no doubt Bill Walsh was an inspirational leader. A must for any sports or business leader.

R.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!, 8 Jan. 2013
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This book kept cropping up in my management reading. It shows that by building a winning culture you can achieve results and that the little things matter. I enjoyed it and unlike many books, this is from a manager who has achieved, not just talked about achieving!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For any manager / coach facing an uphill battle, 19 Nov. 2014
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I knew nothing about Bill Walsh and little about NFL but if you are a manager/ coach facing a large mountain to climb this book will give you hope. It's also not full of management cliche!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great read - great man., 22 May 2013
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This review is from: The Score Takes Care of Itself: My Philosophy of Leadership (Paperback)
The guy was a genius, he did not get on with everyone, but had a vision and set himself goals at every level then delivered. It must be tough at the top of your game and people slagging off your way of winning. but he didn't listen to the detractors and just got on with the job of winning superbowls.
A good read for anyone but a great read for those who have teams both sports and commercial and need some energy and ideas!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book, 22 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: The Score Takes Care of Itself: My Philosophy of Leadership (Paperback)
Really good book, thoroughly enjoyed it.

I like the way the book is spilt up with the different stories from all sides of the game.

If you have OCD as I have, and believe that there is no harm in aiming high in life, then this book will be a great read for you!
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5.0 out of 5 stars if you want to read about practical sustained leadership, read this., 26 Oct. 2013
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Bill Walsh's story provides an outstanding insight into the pressures of leadership in a high profile demanding organisation. At each stage the book is punctuated by anecdotes and examples, both good and bad, giving lots of ideas which organisations should use.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, 22 April 2013
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This review is from: The Score Takes Care of Itself: My Philosophy of Leadership (Paperback)
Another great leadership and man management book for sport and business leadres alike. A real how to manual for building a successful organisation, as well as insight into methods for keeping yourself sane in an ever demanding high performance environment.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as "Legacy" but still good., 13 Aug. 2014
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mike samuels (Stockport, Cheshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Score Takes Care of Itself: My Philosophy of Leadership (Paperback)
A useful read, if a little gushing. There are some good business/life lessons to be learned in this book but the author could have done with being a little more objective and focused more on the title rather than drifting into a biography. Not bad though.
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The Score Takes Care of Itself: My Philosophy of Leadership
The Score Takes Care of Itself: My Philosophy of Leadership by Bill Walsh (Paperback - 29 Jun. 2010)
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