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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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Speaking the Language of Leadership By Colin Luthardt

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.

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3013 Hits

The Velvet Revolution at Work by John Smythe

The Velvet RevolutionThe revolution that John refers to in this book is a revolution in leadership style, from a command and control to a more inclusive approach. In addition, he makes a compelling social case for employee engagement alongside the more traditional business case. The book is full of stories, case studies, well-honed arguments and tips.

He explores the topics in three main parts; explaining the Velvet Revolution, looking through the lens of the people and then the lens of the leaders to show how to achieve this.

There’s a useful discussion on the distinction between outcomes and drivers, or causes, of engagement; a distinction not always made so clearly in comparable literature. John makes the valid point that complex organisations inevitably have many drivers of engagement and hence lists key levers and enablers which he believes will make the biggest impact and are therefore the most valuable areas to focus on.

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  2471 Hits
2471 Hits

The Vital Edge, by Louis Collins

Forton Leadership Book Club September 2014 The Vital Edge People often draw parallels between the world of leadership and the sporting world.

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.

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  5626 Hits
5626 Hits

The Myths of Creativity, By David Burkus

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The Forton Group Leadership Book Club, Myths of CreativityI was attracted to ‘The Myths of Creativity’ by David Burkus, because I enjoy personal creativity and hadn’t thought about how it might be a solution to one of the biggest challenges of our age – complexity. 

People around me can always tell when I’m engaged in a good book that supports leadership development and coaching:  I grab all the yellow sticky notes I can get my hands on and fill the book with them. 

 I ran out at the airport, so I invested in some rather colourful ‘sticky arrows’ to get me through to the book’s end. 

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7862 Hits

The World’s Longest Climb by Pauline Sanderson

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You may be wondering why a book about a group of people cycling and climbing makes it to our list of books about leadership.

I’m not normally one for taking the world of sport and adventure and trying to craft parallels for the world of business. But this book is a great metaphor for all our struggles and achievements.

For me, leadership is about being successful whilst also creating success for others. It’s about having an impact, personally, for the group, the organisation and on society. Leadership is about achieving your vision, your dream, your goals, and yet, it’s only leadership when the impact is wider and when it takes others to achieve it and for them to achieve their own goals.

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  4987 Hits
4987 Hits