The Art and Practice of Leadership Coaching: 50 Top Executive Coaches Reveal Their Secrets
by Howard Morgan, Phil Harkins, Marshall Goldsmith
Wiley, 304 pages, $23.07

Getting the most out of your employees means going beyond managing into the deeper realms of coaching. And what better way to learn effective tactics than directly from top executive coaches? Although The Art and Practice of Leadership Coaching is targeted at executive coaches, it speaks to various aspects of leadership, from strategic leadership (at the macro level) to changing individual behavior (at the micro level). Managers seeking insightful guidance on how to maximize their coaching skills will learn from the personal observations as well as the practical tools included here.

"Coaching is a partnership that thrives on trust, confidence, and forward progress," writes Morgan. The author breaks down the coaching landscape into the following categories:

  • Coaching Leaders/Behavioral Coaching
  • Career/Life Coaching
  • Coaching for Leadership Development
  • Coaching for Organizational Change
  • Strategy Coaching

Using personal stories of fifty top executive coaches, The Art and Practice of Leadership Coaching illuminates universal truths from individual cases. Insights include the importance of a coach being able to understand the challenges of the person being coached. In a section titled "Walking a Mile in Their Shoes," managers discuss how vital it is for a supervisor to have gone through the experiences of the employees they are guiding. A more surprising finding is that technical knowledge or expertise can matter in coaching, but it is not nearly as important as one might think. Morgan concludes that the most valued attribute that a leader can have is credibility.

The best way to approach The Art and Practice of Leadership Coaching is to identify which areas of coaching are most applicable to your situation and to concentrate on the relevant sections. It not only includes expert information on coaching techniques, but discusses how to identify employees who would make good coaches themselves. Managers and leaders at various levels will welcome the book as a cutting edge resource.

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