Coaching for Leadership | Writings on Leadership from the World's Greatest Coaches | Book Review

General Observations

Coaching for Leadership, Third Edition (Goldsmith, Lyons & MacArthur) is a necessary addition to any leader or coach’s repertoire. The book is highly organized in six sections: Foundations of Coaching, Portrait of a Leader, Challenges and Forces of Change, Recognizing and Developing High Potentials, Into Action and Coaching Models and Tools. A valuable Coaching Outcome Matrix (Foreword p. xvi, Figure 1.3) offers an excellent starting point when considering whether and how to begin a coaching engagement. Also, purchase of the book allows access to premium web content. This review surveys the six parts, recommends two chapters (except a single recommendation in part 6) in each, and comments on the premium web content.

Foundations of Coaching

Chapter 1 Coaching for Behavioral Change centers on gaining agreement with clients and the key stakeholders, then offers valuable tips for involving the key stakeholders. The chapter also recommends the coach pick a self-improvement goal.

Chapter 3 Situational Leadership and Executive Coaching contains a useful Situational Leadership model (Figure 3.1 page 25) for identifying client coaching readiness and the subsequent starting approach based on the dimensions of ability and willingness.

Portrait of a Leader

Chapter 9 The Right Stuff of Leadership lists communications and seven other criteria on pages 90 – 93 for implementing leadership presence and includes a brief discussion on the perception of presence.

Chapter 11 When Leaders Are Coaches ties very closely to Academy Leadership’s concept of a Leader’s Compass, in particular setting clear standards, expecting the best, and setting the example. The article also introduces the concept of DWYSYWD (Do What You Say You Will Do).

Challenges and Forces of Change

Chapter 12 Awareness Coaching for Men and Women is an insightful article discussing perceptual differences of women, and the need for women to leverage relationships instead of just building them. Stumbling blocks for men and differences in male and female perceptual patterns are also highlighted.

Chapter 16 Leadership Insight: Going Beyond the Dehydrated Language of Management discusses the need for purpose in an organization (Figures 16.1 and 16.2 page 149) that map well to needs based motivational theories.

Recognizing and Developing High Potentials

Chapter 19 Team Building Without Time Wasting outlines a fourteen-step process to accelerate effective communication and feedback between team members in a very short time.

Chapter 22 Mentoring is Circular describes Frances Hesselbein’s fulfilling journey as CEO of the Girl Scouts of the USA from coaching to mentoring.

Into Action

Chapter 24 From the FastForward Playbook: Successfully Transition into Bigger Roles stresses the need for rational intelligence and cultural alignment, and juxtaposes the approach with unsuccessful, arrogant B-School know-it-alls.

Chapter 26 Double Your Value is a terrific recipe for personal branding – based on the cogent understanding that value is a perception. Short and sweet but great read.

Coaching Models and Tools

Chapter 31 Coaching High-Potential Women: Using the Six Points of Influence Model for Transformational Change is a well organized with six key points backed by two relevant case studies with action step. Insightful.

Comments | Premium Web Content

This is an easily accessible set of additional articles in .pdf format, listed as chapters 32 through 37. Chapter 33 Coaching Executives for Succession: A Three-Phase Approach is an overlooked topic and contains a useful template. Chapter 36 Coaching Executives: Women Succeeding Globally continues with the useful thread - developing women leaders.

An essential reference book for both coaches and mentors.

JE | December 2012