If you like stories them you will enjoy this book which tells the story of Russ, who runs a golf coaching business and David who buys coaching lessons from Russ but ends up coaching him on how to improve his business. This is an easy book to read and it’s short too. On my Kindle it adds up to just 106 pages but it holds some very valuable lessons. While Russ runs his own business, he is struggling to hold everything together. He has young children, a wife, bills to pay and a business that is not generating nearly enough money.
Russ met David on a dreary morning when one of his clients had cancelled. They got talking and he found out David is a business coach who trains people using a toolkit which focuses on product architecture, pricing and value propositions. From David’s perspective that means he helps people build products their customers like, build more value into those products to sell them at higher prices and also help people spend more time with prospective clients. According to David he helps entrepreneurs develop the right kind of mindset. Continue reading
The Six Conversations of a Brilliant Manager by Alan J. Sears is a book I gained a lot from. Written in a fictional format just like a novel, it explains some complicated aspects of management in simple to understand language using an interesting story. This is a very easy to read and understand book. The story is focused on six conversations that managers at some point in their career will need to have with the people they manage.
The main character in the book is Sam Mitchell who is suddenly promoted to be the UK Operations Manager of DecisionsMaker, a tech company, after his boss leaves the job. Sam doesn’t have experience as a manager, and he’s been put in charge of an unhappy team at a time when the company is going through some major challenges. The fact that he has been told by Arnold Kramer, one of the company’s founders to come up with results a month after he started in the role does not help. Add to that having to manage a difficult team and the scene for an interesting story on effective leadership and management is born. Continue reading
The Coaching Habit was written by Michael Bungay Stanier. The book aims to help people develop coaching as a habit by teaching seven easy to ask questions to get a coaching conversation going.
The book also has tips on how to build new habits. The seven questions discussed are:
- The Kickstart question which is for starting a conversation.
- The AWE question which is for identifying options to discuss after asking the Kickstart AWE stands for “And What Else?”
- The Focus question which is about identifying the most important thing to focus the conversation on.
- The Foundation question is to find out what a person wants.
- The Lazy question is used to find out how you can be of help to a person.
- The Strategic question helps to identify issues that may be overwhelming a person.
- The Learning question is used to conclude a conversation.
I have read a couple of books on coaching, to understand some of them you will need to have gone through year 1 of a university Psychology degree, this is not one of them. So far I will say this is the simplest book on coaching I have read. While it does describe the popular GROW coaching models, it is lean on models but big on common sense. The use of stories, examples and simple explanations like, potential minus interference equals performance really got me endeared to this book. This is not surprising though, Myles Downey, the author has been on the coaching scene for a while having set up the School of Coaching in London. In the book he is also endorsed by Tim Gallwey, creator of the Inner game concept and books. Believe it or not this book was first written in 1999, and this second edition which I am reviewing in 2003. So Downey was definitely opne of the earlier proponents of coaching in the UK. Continue reading
John Whitmore is well known for the framework he created, GROW, which is one of the most well known coaching frameworks. And the framework is discussed in-depth in this book. In 182 pages John Whitmore covers a lot of ground, he starts the book with an introductory section arguing for what coaching should be and how it should be applied. In the first chapter he moves on to define what coaching is, certainly a good foundation for the rest of the book which in the next 21 chapters covers topics such as The Manager as Coach, The Nature of Coaching, Goal Setting, What is Performance, and Motivation.
In reviewing this book I would have loved to do it chapter by chapter but I didn’t. Instead I grouped the chapters into reviews of 4 to 5 chapters. Continue reading