31: The Score Takes Care Of Itself

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This is a podcast episode titled, 31: The Score Takes Care Of Itself. The summary for this episode is: If you liked this episode, we bet that you’ll love our blog content. blog.drift.com/#subscribe Subscribe to never miss a post & join the 20,000+ other pros committed to getting better every day. --- We're talking about one of our favorite books, "The Score Takes Care Of Itself" by legendary 49ers coach Bill Walsh. Come hang out with us at seekingwisdom.io and on Twitter @seekingwisdomio. Follow David (twitter.com/dcancel) and Dave (twitter.com/davegerhardt) on Twitter.

Dave Gerhardt: Today on Seeking Wisdom, we're going to do a little book review, and have a little conversation about one of our favorite books by a guy named Bill Walsh. And it's called, The Score Takes Care of Itself.

D Cancel: Put it on your seat belts people, we're going to bring it today. Boom.

Dave Gerhardt: This is a good day to do this, because you're all fired up.

D Cancel: Oh, I'm fired up.

Dave Gerhardt: You're all fired up. Yeah.

D Cancel: I'm fired up. Wired up. Ready.

Dave Gerhardt: Yeah. We'll have to do another conversation. It's related to carrying the water.

D Cancel: Exactly. We need a carrying the water part two.

Dave Gerhardt: We need a carrying the water part two, yeah. All right. Anyway, so this is a book that has been kind of famous in startup circles for whatever reason.

D Cancel: In business circles.

Dave Gerhardt: In business circles, yeah, because it's about leadership.

D Cancel: Mm- hmm( affirmative).

Dave Gerhardt: But we recently went through and re- read it and thought it would be a good one that fits in with what we want to talk about on Seeking Wisdom. So Bill Walsh, was the coach of the San Francisco 49ers. In his first season, he took over, they went two and 14.

D Cancel: Legend.

Dave Gerhardt: They were one of the worst teams ever and then within 24 months they won the Super Bowl.

D Cancel: What's that?

Dave Gerhardt: The Super Bowl?

D Cancel: Hmm.

Dave Gerhardt: That's what we're all trying to do out here.

D Cancel: That's what I'm trying to do.

Dave Gerhardt: That's why you listen to Seeking Wisdom. That's what we're trying to do.

D Cancel: Let's try to win some Super Bowls together.

Dave Gerhardt: So anyway, the big point in his book is he had this thing called the standard of performance, which gets you-

D Cancel: Tell me more.

Dave Gerhardt: I know it gets you all hot and bothered.

D Cancel: Let's do it, man. Yeah.

Dave Gerhardt: So tell me, why did you like this standard of performance so much?

D Cancel: All I got to say is, where are the Bill Walsh's of today?

Dave Gerhardt: Yeah.

D Cancel: We need some more of Bill Walsh's.

Dave Gerhardt: So basically, he just had his way of doing things and he immediately came in and cleaned house.

D Cancel: I loved it, because when I re- read this book and looked at the standard of performance, I thought to myself," Wow, this is actually something that a lot of companies do." Kind of a thing that I have been doing in various companies, but I didn't have a framework, I didn't have a name. And it's one of those times when you do something and then someone puts a name to it and it makes it powerful, right?

Dave Gerhardt: Right.

D Cancel: And that is the standard performance. And what I loved about Bill was kind of the same ethos that I believe in, and that we all believe in here at Drift, which is the details matter.

Dave Gerhardt: Yeah.

D Cancel: Right? The details are everything.

Dave Gerhardt: Mm- hmm(affirmative).

D Cancel: And it's the details that you need to focus in on. And if you focus on the small things, the big things take care of themselves, right? Just like you said, the score takes care of itself. And it's obvious to all of us, but it's counterintuitive to the way, to conventional wisdom, the way that people think. And they don't care about the details, they let the details slip. Uncle Bill would not let the details slip.

Dave Gerhardt: No. I think one of the things that he had this mindset that he set from the top, which was, it's a privilege to be part of this organization.

D Cancel: Amen.

Dave Gerhardt: And so he said that... His quote was," If you're lucky enough to earn a paycheck from the 49ers, you have to do things a certain way. It doesn't matter if you're an accountant here, if you're a secretary, if you're a star receiver, if you're the head coach"

D Cancel: If you mow the grass.

Dave Gerhardt: Yeah." [inaudible 00:03:19] a maintenance man, you all have to do things a certain way." And so he basically set. The standard of performance was this list of things, really detail oriented stuff for football, so how they dressed, how their uniforms looked.

D Cancel: How they carried themselves.

Dave Gerhardt: How they carry themselves, how they treated other people.

D Cancel: Yeah.

Dave Gerhardt: And so this is stuff that he said he came in and this was the first thing he focused on. He didn't focus on the X's and O's of football. He came in, cleaned house and got this culture right. And had this standard of performance, which is interesting because this is something that-. So we have been hiring a bunch of new people at Drift. And you were like," You should create a deck for marketing." So I'm leading the marketing team. You're like," You need to create a deck. You need to create this standard of performance for marketing."

D Cancel: That's right.

Dave Gerhardt: And that kind of sets the tone, because it's hard to pass down knowledge.

D Cancel: Yes.

Dave Gerhardt: Unless you've written it out and sat down and walk through it.

D Cancel: Absolutely. And he unlike most coaches, what Bill did was instead of focusing on the score of the game, instead of focusing on how do we win more games, how do we get to the Super Bowl? He said," No, I'm going to focus on the fundamentals." The fundamentals that Dave highlighted, which are fundamentals that they were doing, even when they were a championship team would be considered boring to other teams. And it was that focus on the fundamentals and those plays and reps and sets that made them legends.

Dave Gerhardt: Yeah. That's something that you mention all the time reps and sets, right? Putting in the work, right? That's a big thing that we talk about all the time.

D Cancel: Actually, uncle Arnold Schwartzenegger taught me that one.

Dave Gerhardt: Yeah, reps and sets. But he said," The key thing is to act like a winner before you're even a winner."

D Cancel: Absolutely.

Dave Gerhardt: Right?

D Cancel: It's a mind game.

Dave Gerhardt: It's a mind game. And that goes down to all the details.

D Cancel: Mm- hmm(affirmative). And even down to how you communicate to people, showing respect to the people on your team and not tolerating those people who are disrespectful of your team. I believe in that so much.

Dave Gerhardt: Right.

D Cancel: And so I love this book. This is a book that you need to go out today, get a paperback copy just like Dave has here, put it next to your bed stand, start reading this book.

Dave Gerhardt: All right. So I pulled out a couple more things that I want to mention. So, before we give the entire book away. But again, it's one of those books that you already know all the answers, just reading it kind of reinforces it.

D Cancel: Keep your eye on the ball, uncle Bill says.

Dave Gerhardt: So the big thing that he invented was this whole idea of the west coast offense. All that meant, here's the business lesson out of this, he showed up and everybody did things a certain way in the NFL. They all had quarterbacks who could throw the ball mile and everybody ran their team that way. They didn't have a quarterback, they had a shitty quarterback. So instead he said," You know what? Instead of redoing everything, we're going to make the most of what we have. And we're going to adapt." And this is my favorite quote. You put this in a company deck for us and said, he says," That's the way we've done it, is the mantra of a team that's setting themselves up to lose to an organization that's not doing it anymore."

D Cancel: Oh, man.

Dave Gerhardt: And that's the thing.

D Cancel: I passed out.

Dave Gerhardt: People are always like," No, that's how we've always done it." or," That's how we do it here."

D Cancel: Mm- hmm( affirmative).

Dave Gerhardt: How's that working out?

D Cancel: Not well. It doesn't work for them.

Dave Gerhardt: And this related to a Jason Lemkin topic we had talked about before, which is comfort is the enemy of growth, right? You're always looking. His whole thing was, how do you find ways to get more out of what you have instead of trying to always reinvent the system?

D Cancel: I'm looking at a section here.

Dave Gerhardt: Okay.

D Cancel: From the book, it's called, be a leader.

Dave Gerhardt: Oh, this is my favorite section.

D Cancel: 12 habits-

Dave Gerhardt: Good.

D Cancel: Plus one. And it's kind of based on the concepts of Stephen, Dr. Stephen Covey. And there's an underlined part here because Dave does his highlighting that I want to call out. Number one, it says," Be yourself." And the highlighted part is amazing," You must be the best version of yourself that you can be. Stay within the framework of your own personality and be authentic. If you're faking it, you'll be found out." Man, that is fire.

Dave Gerhardt: I highlighted that because that one was, damn, if you're working on being a leader, I don't have to try to be you, right? I don't have to try to be some other person. You don't have to try to be somebody else.

D Cancel: Yeah.

Dave Gerhardt: It's how do you pull out the best qualities? What's your leadership style, right? You're not running a team based on what Bill Walsh did.

D Cancel: Exactly. And he said, he opened that section by saying he's not Vince Lombardi, legendary football coach. And Vince Lombardi is not Bill Walsh. His style is his style and that's what works for him. And that's what we all need to remember as we taking lessons from other people out there, what worked for them might not work for you. You need to lean into you and you need to be yourself and you need to lean on your own style. Take lessons from other people, but not try to emulate those people.

Dave Gerhardt: Mm- hmm( affirmative).

D Cancel: There's one other section here that Dave highlighted that I want to call out.

Dave Gerhardt: Okay.

D Cancel: Okay. The last highlight here. And it's in number three, it's called, be positive. And he said," I spent far more time teaching what to do then what not to do. Not many leaders do that, far more time teaching and encouraging individuals than criticizing them. More time building up, then tearing down."

Dave Gerhardt: Damn.

D Cancel: That is some wisdom right there.

Dave Gerhardt: That's wisdom. And we had talked about this. We did a book review. We talked about The One Minute Manager, right?

D Cancel: Mm- hmm( affirmative).

Dave Gerhardt: One of the lessons from that book was, a lot of times it's easy to give somebody feedback when they do something wrong.

D Cancel: Yep.

Dave Gerhardt: Right? And that's what you default to. But this Bill Walsh lesson is, reinforce the positive stuff and the rest of it will kind of take care of itself.

D Cancel: A little Twilight zone moment. I turned over the book and as Dave was saying that about our talk about the one minute manager.

Dave Gerhardt: Is it on there?

D Cancel: There's a quote here.

Dave Gerhardt: Damn.

D Cancel: From the Ken Blanchard, the author of One Minute Manager. And he said," The Score Takes Care of Itself-"

Dave Gerhardt: Damn.

D Cancel: "Isnot about football, it's about how to treat people right-"

Dave Gerhardt: That's pretty good.

D Cancel: "And how to get as best out of the people around you." Damn.

Dave Gerhardt: That's awesome. All right. Here's where we're going to wrap up. The last part of this, he has a section on how you get good. You know what the secret of how you get good is?

D Cancel: Teach me, please.

Dave Gerhardt: The section is called how you get good. There's no mystery to mastery. You know what the secret is? Hard work.

D Cancel: Boom. That's the way to end it. I didn't even know that.

Dave Gerhardt: See, he talks about Jerry Rice and Joe Montana.

D Cancel: Tell me more, legends.

Dave Gerhardt: Arguably, the two best players at their positions ever, ever. The best people.

D Cancel: Did you hear that? Ever.

Dave Gerhardt: And he said that those by no coincidence were the two hardest working guys he's ever met.

D Cancel: Really?

Dave Gerhardt: Hmm(affirmative).

D Cancel: That's strange.

Dave Gerhardt: That's weird how that works, right? He said," You never stop. The difference between them and everybody else was they never stopped learning and refining their skills," right? Even in the last years of their career.

D Cancel: Yep.

Dave Gerhardt: And they did all this stuff that the high school football players that he was trying to coach in the community would never want to do.

D Cancel: Why not?

Dave Gerhardt: Because it was boring.

D Cancel: Oh, it's too boring for them?

Dave Gerhardt: Hmm(affirmative). They didn't want to do it.

D Cancel: The high schoolers?

Dave Gerhardt: Hmm(affirmative).

D Cancel: Okay.

Dave Gerhardt: The details.

D Cancel: The fundamentals.

Dave Gerhardt: But You got multimillionaires out there, best players in the game doing it.

D Cancel: Man, uncle Bill. Bring back uncle Bill.

Dave Gerhardt: All right. Wrap us up, send us out of here.

D Cancel: All right. Don't forget, we need you. This is a community. Five- star reviews. Stop hiding from me. I'm going to find you, let's bring it. 200 reviews, we're taking over.

Dave Gerhardt: Yeah.

D Cancel: This is it. Do it for uncle Walsh. All right?

Dave Gerhardt: Oh, we might as well give away some copies of this book too.

D Cancel: Amen. Let's crosstalk.

Dave Gerhardt: Tweet at us. Send a screenshot of you listening to this podcast. Tweet at us @ Drift, and we'll send the first five people a copy of this beautiful book we have right here.

D Cancel: Right here. And I'm going to add to that. Let's take it up a notch.

Dave Gerhardt: As per usual.

D Cancel: All right. crosstalk.

Dave Gerhardt: What else?

D Cancel: I want to see your Snapchat game, because I've been laying down some Snapchat challenges to Dave and to Amy here.

Dave Gerhardt: What's your Snapchat?

D Cancel: My Snapchat's D Cancel.

Dave Gerhardt: Okay.

D Cancel: What's yours?

Dave Gerhardt: Dave Gerhardt.

D Cancel: Okay. So connect with us.

Dave Gerhardt: D Gerhardt, That's right.

D Cancel: D Gerhardt.

Dave Gerhardt: Hmm(affirmative).

D Cancel: He doesn't even know his own Snapchat handle. See what I'm saying? All right. So I want to see you again, take a picture of you listening to the show, send it to us.

Dave Gerhardt: Uh oh.

D Cancel: And we'll send you a copy of this book.

Dave Gerhardt: Damn, so you got two pass.

D Cancel: But I'm going to evaluate. Well, two pass, but I'm going to evaluate your Snapchat game. Bring it. Let's see what you got.

Dave Gerhardt: All right. Have a good rest of the week. We'll talk to you later.

D Cancel: Boom, see ya. But I'm going to evaluate your Snapchat game. Bring it. He doesn't even know his own Snapchat handle. See what I'm saying?


If you liked this episode, we bet that you’ll love our blog content. blog.drift.com/#subscribe Subscribe to never miss a post & join the 20,000+ other pros committed to getting better every day. --- We're talking about one of our favorite books, "The Score Takes Care Of Itself" by legendary 49ers coach Bill Walsh. Come hang out with us at seekingwisdom.io and on Twitter @seekingwisdomio. Follow David (twitter.com/dcancel) and Dave (twitter.com/davegerhardt) on Twitter.