Weekend Leadership Reading: 5/31/19

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Weekends are time when things slow down a little. Your weekend shouldn’t be two more regular work days. That’s a sure road to burnout. Take time to refresh yourself. Take time for something different. Take time for some of that reading you can’t find time for during the week.

Here are choice articles on hot leadership topics culled from the business schools, the business press and major consulting firms. This week there are articles about coaching.

From Wendy Hirsch: What we do (and don’t) know about the factors linked to workplace coaching success

“We know that workplace coaching is linked to positive outcomes, such as improved performance. That’s good news considering that organizational spending on coaching is going nowhere but up. Yet, knowing that positive results from coaching are possible isn’t sufficient. We should also aim to understand the aspects of coaching that are likely to lead to such success.”

From Adam Grant: Mentors Are Good. Coaches Are Better

“Nearly a decade ago, I read a story in Fortune about Silicon Valley’s best kept secret. It wasn’t a piece of hardware or a bit of software. It wasn’t even a product. It was a man. His name was Bill Campbell, and he wasn’t a hacker. He was a football coach turned sales guy. Yet somehow, Bill had become so influential that he went on a weekly Sunday walk with Steve Jobs and the Google founders said they wouldn’t have made it without him.”

From Lolly Daskal: 7 Ways to Get the Most Out of a Leadership Coach

“A coaching relationship can be challenging, and even difficult at times, but the payoff is great. Virtually every successful person—not only in business but in sports, politics, entertainment and a host of other fields—has had the benefit of some form of coaching. When you’re ready to get started, here are seven ways to ensure you get the most of your leadership coach.”

From Ron Ashkenas: If Your Boss Tells You to Get a Coach, Don’t Panic

“How does it feel when you’re told that you need a coach, whether it’s your boss or someone else? For many managers it feels like a kick in the gut, a clear sign that you’re doing something wrong and your job might be in trouble. For others, who might be resistant to coaching in general, it raises questions about whether you really need the extra help. Having worked with dozens of managers who’ve been in this situation, these reactions are completely natural, especially if the request to work with a coach comes as a surprise. In either case, before you get started with the coaching, you need to work through these feelings so that you can have a positive experience. Here’s how:”

From Tegan Trovato: Your No-Fail Guide To Selecting An Executive Coach

“But where do you start with even finding the right person to work with?”

Wally’s Comment: My next recommendation isn’t a blog post, but it will point you to more resources than everything else in my post put together. If you have any interest in coaching, and you’re not reading Ed Batista’s blog, you should remedy that lack immediately. You’ll discover that he’s one of the most knowledgeable, practical, and well-read bloggers on the planet, and an expert on coaching to boot.

From Ed Batista: The Art of Self-Coaching

“The Art of Self-Coaching is a course that I designed and taught for the first time at the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) in Spring 2015. (I’m also in the process of writing a book on the subject.) I define self-coaching as the process of guiding our own growth and development, particularly through periods of transition.”

Book Suggestions

The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever by Michael Bungay Stanier

Wally’s Comment: If you’re a manager trying to figure out what coaching is about or looking for a practical way to do it, this is the book for you. You can read my full review here.

Coaching Questions: A Coach’s Guide to Powerful Asking Skills by Tony Stoltzfus

Co-Active Coaching, Fourth Edition: The proven framework for transformative conversations at work and in life by Karen Kimsey-House , Henry Kimsey-House , et al.

HBR Guide to Coaching Employees by Harvard Business Review

Unlocking Potential: 7 Coaching Skills That Transform Individuals, Teams, and Organizations by Michael K. Simpson

Trillion Dollar Coach: The Leadership Playbook of Silicon Valley’s Bill Campbell by Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg, et al.

Every week I share some recommendations of business books that I think are worth a look. Follow this link to the most recent list.

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What People Are Saying

Hamilton Lindley   |   03 Jun 2019   |   Reply

I would take it as a compliment that my boss wants me to get a coach. It means that I’m worth the investment.

Wally Bock   |   04 Jun 2019   |   Reply

I agree. You’re fortunate to be coming up in a time when coaching is considered an investment and not a repair job.