This book has been around a while now: first published in 2002. So a very fitting choice for The Forton Group to review in this, our 15th year of being in business. It's described as a “Leadership Fable” and, I have to be honest, that put me off. Other books in this same genre have come over as being just too cheesy for me. However, it was recommended by someone I trusted, so I persevered. I quickly found myself absorbed into the story. The characters were plausible and the scenario terribly familiar!
The big question is: why should an organisation specialising in leadership development review a book on sales? Yet, as Dan Pink points out “To Sell is Human”. And every leader needs to develop their influencing skills; selling ideas; untrodden paths; new frontiers for the organisation.
This book introduces a radically new approach to sales – based on the simple premise of focusing on the buyer’s need to buy; not the salesperson’s need to sell.
Whitmore is clear that, for him, coaching is more than a skill or a technique for individual and team development. It’s invaluable for task performance, motivation and delegation and can be deployed as effectively for quick management interactions as it can in a half hour coaching session.
Hear Sir John Whitmore talking about coaching for performance
It’s often said that today’s world of leadership is more volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous – and that we need to develop leaders better able to survive and thrive in this environment. The holy grail of people working in the field of senior leadership development is to create an integrated model. A model that deals with these realities of the complex world of leadership in the 21st century.
So Luthardt’s work is impressive in that he’s thought hard about keeping things simple; making his models understandable and, most importantly, he focuses not only on what the leader does – but what s/he says and how s/he shapes attitudes and motivates the people around them.
So what is different about this book?
Well, I enjoyed the greater depth that Louis has provided around the role of the brain. I liked his focus on emotional intelligence, as well as some of the new learning from neuroscience.
I also found the discussion about the differences between team and individual sports an interesting angle. The sporting anecdotes that he uses are both entertaining and relevant.