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Powerful leadership learning and current thinking on coaching

Welcome to our book reviews

Take a look at the books that have stood the test of time in leadership and coaching.  

You'll find reviews and author interview clips below.

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Bob Hughes, Forton Group CEO & Creator of the Leadership Book Club

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Book Reviews

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The Values-driven Organization – unleashing human potential for performance and profit: Richard Barrett; Routledge. 2014

The Values Driven Organization Unleashing Human Potential for Performance and Profit Richard Barrett

 

In his preface, Richard Barrett describes his purpose as being to launch a book “for leaders, change agents and consultants on how to build a values-driven organization.” No mean ambition.

I picked up this book with considerable interest: I am accredited to use the culture-transformation tools that the author has developed (www.valuescentre.com) and have become fascinated by the role that values, personal authenticity and leader role-modelling play in developing corporate culture and employee engagement.

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  248 Hits
248 Hits

The Intuitive Compass – why the best decisions balance reason and instinct : Francis Cholle, Jossey-Bass, 2012

The Intuitive Compass Why the Best Decisions Balance Reason and Instinct Francis Cholle

Understanding the thinking and concepts of this book comes from a reading of the preface, which provides the reader with a summary of the author’s experience and influences. Cholle has certainly had a varied past and having this appreciation really helps to engage with his writing. His underlying thinking is well summarised in a quote from later in the book (p159): “Logic is powerful but rarely deep, because it is dualistic in nature …. we necessarily need to go past logic.”

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  272 Hits
272 Hits

Building the Pyramid: John Stein (TWF Publications, 2014)

Building the Pyramid

It was with some trepidation that I picked up the Chartered Management Institute’s 2014 Management Book of the Year. Never has the pressure to review a book been so intense; and so it was with some relief that I noticed the interesting graphics that adorned the cover. They were not ‘serious’ or ‘high-brow’ or ‘forbidding’. In fact for so august a volume, the book’s cover-art seemed a little frivolous.

“Building the Pyramid” is about providing an approach to delivering a successful organisational growth journey. It is a different approach to describing the process of business planning and change management and the logic behind embarking on the necessary activities to achieve the intended beneficial outcomes. Much of it relates to the behavioural issues associated with change, which is not surprising since business-change success is usually largely about engaging, aligning and motivating people.

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  250 Hits
250 Hits

Developing Mental Toughness: Clough & Strycharczyk; Kogan Page 2012

Developing Mental Toughness

 

Subtitled “Improving performance, well-being and positive behaviour in others”, this is a useful book that will offer new insights for HR managers and line managers alike. Based on over 15 years’ of academic and practitioner research, the editors take readers on a journey of discovery about an aspect of psychometrics that is increasingly relevant in a turbulent and fast-moving world.

The book has three main parts: the first (chapters 1-9) is a description of the development of and basis for the Mental Toughness tool (MTQ48). The second part focuses on its application in a number of sectors and organisational environments. The book ends (chapters 19-27) with a review of mental toughness as it relates to coaching, fatigue, positive thinking, visualisation, relaxation, attentional control, goal-setting and research.

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  246 Hits
246 Hits

Mindful Leadership Coaching: Manfred FR Kets de Vries (Palgrave Macmillan; 2014)

Mindful Leadership Coaching Manfred Kets de Vries

 

In a world where coaching seems to be on an ever-increasing popularity curve, it is a real pleasure to read a book that tackles the subject in such depth. The author – an INSEAD Professor with an awesome academic track record – confronts head-on some thorny issues on the subject: the sub-title ‘Journeys into the Interior’ indicates the book’s intended direction of travel and it does not disappoint.

It is a book of two halves: the first deals with a number of psychotherapeutic themes as they might relate to leadership coaching; the second covers a number of topics directly associated with the coaching experience. Lest this might sound a little ‘heavy’, allow me to reassure you that this is a remarkably readable book, punctuated frequently with anecdotes and case-studies. Indeed, the introduction contains a great story about Freud’s coaching of the composer Mahler which serves to summarise succinctly what the book is really about.

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  235 Hits
235 Hits