Lessons from the book Shoe Dog


I hope you all have heard of the name 'Nike'. The book 'Shoe Dog' is in fact a memoir written by the founder of Nike, Phill Knight.

Phil Knight was an unfamiliar name to me before I read his book. The book is beautifully written and it focuses on the starting years of his shoe business. Today I just wanted to share some of the life lessons I learned from his personal and professional life.

  1. Just do it

I think we all got this crazy ideas rumbling around our head, and yet we suppress them with our conventions. But at a young age of 24 Phil thinks to do it different and sets up on a journey to follow his dreams with a loan of $50 from his father, to start a shoe company that would eventually compete with the Adidas. Now when you look back and analyze, if he hadn't took that single step towards his goal the company Nike would not have been indeed born. There are many such incidents that are discussed in the book where the 'Just do it' feeling comes to life. So, 'Just do it' who knows sometimes our so called crazy ideas may be actually the best ones.

  1. Always work with the people that are passionate about what they do.

This has been the biggest lesson for me throughout the entire book. In order to be the best you should always try to work with the people who really wants to get the job done and try to innovate. Bowernman, who was a coach and business partner of Phill Knight was the one who constantly innovated new designs of the shoe and really helped the company to grow during it's initial stage. Everyone on Phil’s team were passionate about what they did. Even the accountants or lawyers, each person was passionate about the business, about the team, about the purpose.

  1. Freedom in work

"Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.”  -Mc Arthur

Phil always gave the freedom to his employers about how to do stuffs. And since they had freedom within their role it gave them a chance to express themselves in the best possible way. Later on the book he quotes :

“My management style wouldn’t have worked for people who wanted to be guided, every step, but this group found it liberating, empowering.”


There is so much apart from these. I think everyone will fall in love with the story of Nike, and get inspired from most of the characters. To sum up, the book taught me about courage,leadership,struggle,individuality,appreciation,freedom,love and about life as whole.  




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