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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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Connecting People – creating engaging environments: Kate Davies (LEC Connect Ltd; 2015)

Connecting People Creating Engaging Environments Kate Davies

 

From the outset, Kate Davies makes it clear that this book is for people “who want to know how they can create environments that encourage people to participate to the full extent of their abilities.” It is primarily for people new to line management.

Early on, she summarises the basis of her views on engagement: it is about capability, control and purpose. In this context, capability focusses particularly on having skills that can be enhanced through a desire for learning; control is about have the choice about how much to give oneself to one’s work; and purpose – having focus, making a difference and being able genuinely to enjoy what one is doing. The author uses a number of sources to describe what she means by engagement and does this simply and descriptively. More of the examples used to illustrate engagement in action would have benefitted from being in the organisational / business world – many of the stories used are from the sports and personal-endeavour environment.

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  46 Hits
46 Hits

Humble Inquiry: Edgar Schein; Berrett-Koehler; 2013

Humble Inquiry The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling Humble Leadership Edgar H Schein

Ed Schein, an academic with a 50-year distinguished record in organisational psychology, has written a hugely-reflective book that brings to bear the rich experience arising from his pioneering career. He describes the purpose of the book as being to support the development of positive relationships and he defines ‘humble inquiry’ as “the fine art of drawing someone out, asking questions to which you do not already know the answer, of building a relationship based on curiosity and interest to the other person”.

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  43 Hits
43 Hits

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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  36 Hits
36 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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  36 Hits
36 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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  34 Hits
34 Hits