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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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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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  498 Hits
498 Hits

The Team Formula: Mandy Flint & Elisabet Vinberg Hearn (MX Publishing; 2013)

The Team Formula A Leadership Tale of a Team who found their Way Little Book of Big Success Mandy Flint

 

This is a ‘leadership tale of a team who found their way’, to quote the sub-title of this very readable book. Following in the footsteps of a number of eminent authors and organisational scientists who have used modern-day fables to bring home some valuable lessons for self-development, this book tracks the fortunes of Stephen and his colleagues in the global Insurance sector. The merger – or was it a takeover? – between Tightrope and Black Sparrow (the latter quickly nicknamed BS) gives Stephen the opportunity to test his team-building skills; and initially, he is found wanting.

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  490 Hits
490 Hits

The Leader’s Guide to Managing People: Mike Brent & Fiona Dent (FT Publishing; 2014)

The Leaders Guide to Managing People Mike Brent

Introduced by a quote from Jack Welch (“Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others”), this is a valuable reference book for people in, or aspiring to be in, an organisational leadership role. Leaving aside the substantial debate about whether leadership is a ‘role’ or an attitude, the authors define and explain the leadership skills-portfolio comprehensively in this book.

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  591 Hits
591 Hits

Know what you don’t know: Michael A Roberto (Pearson Education, 2009)

Know What You Dont Know How Great Leaders Prevent Problems Before They Happen Michael A Roberto

Decision-making, problem-solving and creative thinking are significant and current challenges in management practice and so Roberto’s book has some apparent relevance. Sub-titled “How Great Leaders prevent problems before they happen”, this is a book that blends structure with case studies in an easy-read style.

In order to draw the reader in, Roberto explains how organisational breakdowns and crises form from a number of small problems; how often-unrelated issues collide to bring about a unique set of corrosive circumstances. He furthermore points to a common leadership imperative not to be confronted by surprises: leaders prefer the ‘bad news’ upfront. Roberto argues that the most effective leaders are those that seek out the issues before they spiral out of control. This book, then, is about how leaders can develop an acute sense of interrogation. And, it deals with how we should develop a perception of problems as lessons for future improvement. This last message is somewhat counter-cultural: after all, we know that leaders generally dislike the “bad news” story and dirty linen is best aired behind closed doors in the corporate world.

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  506 Hits
506 Hits

Risk Intelligence: Dylan Evans (Atlantic Books, 2012)

Risk Intelligence How to Live with Uncertainty Dylan Evans

When senior managers are polled about the greatest challenges that their organisations face, one of the issues that regularly achieves high scores is that of the quality of their people’s decision-making (others, like problem-solving and talent, also perennially appear in such lists). Evans’ book about a concept he terms risk intelligence is therefore something that should be of interest to all those in organisations seeking to gain competitive advantage through their people. As the recent financial crisis demonstrated, living with ambiguity has become a constant, and this book is subtitled “how to live with uncertainty.”

Evans – an eclectic author and academic with psychoanalysis, behavioural science and risk management under his belt – employs mathematics, psychology and his own experience to demonstrate how a risk-intelligence approach to business decision-making provides more balanced and predictable outcomes despite the uncertain environment in which we operate.

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  523 Hits
523 Hits

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