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Keith E. Webb "Creator of The Coach Model™" (Seattle)
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Christ-Centered Coaching: 7 Benefits for Ministry Leaders
Christ-Centered Coaching: 7 Benefits for Ministry Leaders
by Jane Creswell
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.67

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Guide to Coaching Potential by a Master Coach, 23 Dec 2007
Christ-Centered Coaching: 7 Benefits for Ministry Leaders is a excellent introduction for Christian leaders to what coaching is and how it can help. The author, Jane Creswell, is no hack when it comes to coaching. She's the founder of the IBM Coaches Network and a Master Certified Coach, she's also a Christian with a passion to bring coaching to ministry leaders.

The strength of the book lies in Creswell's ability to dig into seven coaching approaches, which also serve as seven mental models or attitudes of a coach. Each chapter is illustrated with useful case studies of coaching situations that take the book from theory to real life. The seven are:

1. Leveraging strengths
2. Provide clarity and focus
3. Instill confidence
4. Catapult learning
5. Foster intentional progress
6. Coach others
7. Encourage God-sized goals

These seven may not sound particularly unique, they are not, what is unique is the way Creswell illustrates how coaching accomplishing these things in a non-directive way and integrates these with Scriptures. As such, this book is helpful to learn the mindset and approaches of a good coach. Both potential coaches and clients would benefit from reading it.

Christ-Centered Coaching adds to a growing library of coaching books for Christians.


Coaching for Christian Leaders: A Practical Guide (Columbia Partnership Leadership)
Coaching for Christian Leaders: A Practical Guide (Columbia Partnership Leadership)
by Linda J Miller
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.33

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Introduction to Coaching For Christian Leaders, 23 Dec 2007
Linda Miller and Chad Hall have produced a helpful introduction to Christian coaching. The strength of the book lies in its balance of explaining coaching skills, benefits, and uses of coaching in Christian ministry.

The "how to" section is roughly half the book (70 pages). These chapters introduce 8 basic coaching skills, with Listening and Asking Precise Questions getting the most coverage. The teaching is correct, helpful, and up to professional standards (Miller is an ICF Master Certified Coach working for The Ken Blanchard Companies). However, the book suffers the same fate as so many introductions: There's not enough "how to" for someone to pick up the book and significantly improved their ability to coach. (The best Christian "how to" coaching book is Leadership Coaching: The Disciplines, Skills, and Heart of a Christian Coach.)

Practical examples throughout the book demonstrate the benefits of coaching in a wide variety of settings and from a variety of helping roles. In fact, the unique contribution that Coaching For Christian Leaders makes is the summary of how to use a coaching approach in different leadership roles (leading, visioning, managing, and shepherding), and in church ministry.

Many authors and readers have trouble translating the formal coach-coachee relationship to a more spontaneous, informal relationship of using coaching skills in everyday interactions. Here Miller and Hall excel. They take the longest chapter (26 pages) to outline coaching in the church. They give a page or two to a coaching approach to:
+ Preaching
+ Sacraments
+ Prayer
+ Building Community with One Another
+ Spiritual Growth
+ Spiritual Friendships
+ Ministry Teams
+ Service to Those in Need
+ Evangelism
The cumulative effect is a beautiful picture of how coaching skills can be used in everyday interactions in the church to empower and draw out the potential of people.

Currently, Coaching For Christian Leaders the best introduction to coaching from a Christian perspective, although the subtitle, "A Practical Guide," is a bit of a stretch.

If you're looking for a well-rounded book to introduce Christian coaching, this is it.


The World Atlas of Wine, 6th Edition
The World Atlas of Wine, 6th Edition
by Hugh Johnson
Edition: Hardcover

29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The World According to Wine, 23 Dec 2007
At 400 pages, British wine experts Huge Johnson and Jancis Robinson have created their most exhaustive atlas yet, and a tremendous resource. The book is gorgeous - with a generous amount of color illustrations, photos, and maps, including 2 page spreads. All told there are 48 extra pages over the previous edition.

The 6th edition contains 200 maps, all revised and updates, including 20 new maps. The introduction contains essays on wine in the ancient world, vine types, grape varieties, weather, terroir, the wine growers calendar, how wine is made, etc. etc. Robinson has said this new edition took two years of concentrated effort. It was worth it!

Then the authors dive deep into wine regions organized by country. Each region or country covered has a colored map, an essay about the characteristics of the reason, vital statistics, and a few wine labels. France has the most with 55 regions featured, indeed, a quarter of the volume (100 pages) is on France. Italy features 18 regions. Spain 9. Portugal 6. Germany 12. United States 17. Australia 12. New Zealand 4. Other countries covered include: England and Wales, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Western Balkans, Bulgaria, Romania, Former Soviet Republics, Greece, Eastern Mediterranean, North Africa, South Africa, China, Japan, and the rest of Asia. I find the information scant on Chile and Argentina, which is odd given their increased market exposure and rising excellence of wines.

The authors have expanded New World coverage, in keeping with expanded exposure and quality of the wine produced in these regions, for Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, South America, and South Africa. These are additions, with nothing taken away from the previous fabulous coverage of Old & New World wine regions.

Since the first edition in 1971, the World Atlas of Wine has sold more than 4 million copies and I'm happy to add this new 6th edition to my library, especially at such a reasonable price. It's always a pleasure to look up some background information on tonight's glass of wine.


The Coaching Organization: A Strategy for Developing Leaders
The Coaching Organization: A Strategy for Developing Leaders
by James M. Hunt
Edition: Paperback
Price: £34.66

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Creating a Coaching Culture in an Organization, 11 Aug 2007
Until recently, there haven't been any books on how to implement a coaching style of leadership throughout an organization. In steps The Coaching Organization. This book provides leaders with a thoughtful strategy for introducing developmental coaching throughout an organization.

The Coaching Organization is straightforward, mixing helpful instruction with actual case studies. The authors also wrote The Coaching Manager and have obvious expertise in this area.

After reviewing what developmental coaching is, the authors provide an organization assessment of readiness to implement a coaching culture. The assessment has four sections: 1) the cultural context; 2) the business context; 3) the human resource management context; and 4) organizational experiences with coaching. The last assessment section leads into one of the more innovative (and therefore worth reading) chapters, that of A Strategic Approach to Coaching.

Here the authors go beyond the obvious of "linking coaching to business outcomes" and go deeper to the systemic level. The goal is to create a coaching initiative that promotes a sustainable coaching capacity. Here's where the book pays off: the authors show how some "common sense" initiatives to introduce coaching actually work against the long-term sustainability of coaching. For example, if a coach is assigned to a poorly performing manager, what is communicated is that coaching is for those not doing well, thus, managers resist the coaching initiative so they won't be labeled a "poor performer."

Two other especially useful chapters are about how to build and lead a coaching capacity, and how to develop an Internal coaching capacity. These two processes are at the heart of creating a coaching organization. In my view, it will still take partnership with a coaching provider or trainer to do it, but the chapters serve as a guide for the overall process.

The Coaching Organization is one of only a few books on organization-wide implementation of coaching.


The Power of Ren: China's Coaching Phenomenon
The Power of Ren: China's Coaching Phenomenon
by Eva Wong
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Stories of Changing Management Models in China, 14 May 2007
This is a worthwhile and important book on coaching, but possibly not for the reasons you might think. Read on...

Coaching is both a set of skills - like active listening, powerful inquiry, feedback, etc. - and a set of mental models - attitudes, beliefs, and values. The Power of Ren is primarily about the later - mental models of the coach. In my own coaching training in Asia I find it simple to pass along coaching skills to those who already have the mental models of a coach. Passing along the mental models is a much greater different challenge!

Master Certified Coaches Eva Wong and her associate Lawrence Leung take a very Chinese a approach to the subject. The first two-thirds of the book are case studies, or rather testimonials, of changes in clients' mental models. They are a collection of inspiring stories of business leaders from many industries in China who have had their mental models challenged and then shifted. For example, from win-lose to win-win. From authoritarian to collaborative. From "I've got the answers" to "they have answers too."

Along the way there's no description of how to achieve this, just stories. That's a Chinese pattern of explanation. You tell a story that highlights the point from one angle. Then tell another story that highlights it from another angle. Then another. And another. Until finally, the reader, by reading all the stories, "feels" the concept the author is trying to impart. Since I work throughout Asia, I know how large a shift their clients were making. I'm impressed. By about the sixth story, however, I wanted to hear "how" they were making that happen. The only explanation along the way was "through the Ren coaching program" or "through coaching." I feared this book might end up just being a book-brochure for their coaching program.

The final section, however, outlined the Nine-Dot-Leadership Model. These are nine mental models critical to leading in an empowering, coaching way. These are the mental models that the first two-thirds of the book exemplified. The nine are:
1. Passion
2. Commitment
3. Responsibility
4. Appreciation
5. Giving
6. Trust
7. Win-win
8. Enrollment
9. Possibilities

There's nothing ground-breaking about the nine, what may be unique is the authors' ability to see clients make shifts to adopt them. The how-to is missing from the book. You'll have to figure that out on your own. It's a shame, since that technique would be truly valuable for coaches working in Asia. The Power of Ren provides the reader with ample evidence that, despite many assessments to the contrary, leaders in China can successful function from empowering, win-win mental models and still be culturally appropriate. This in itself is a large contribution to the field of coaching.

The power of ren is the power of people. This book demonstrates how Chinese leaders are finding new and ancient ways of empowering people.


Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box
Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box
by Arbinger Institute
Edition: Paperback

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Know Thyself: Are You Self-Deceived?, 11 Mar 2007
This book tells of a manager, a CEO, a father, and a 19th century scientist who while searching diligently for their problems "out there" find that the problem is within themselves. If you're familiar with systems thinking you'll understand the science behind it. But the beauty of the book is that it's written as a business fable that follows one character through his self-discovery and correction. Along the way, you'll be drawn in as you find yourself relating to the character's challenges wanting to know what happens next in order to help yourself.

The best way to illustrate the premise behind the book, without revealing the secrets is by retelling the story of the 19th scientist, Dr Ignaz Semmelweis. As an obstetrician in the maternity ward at Vienna General Hospital he observed a high 1 in 10 mortality rate, while next door where the midwives delivered babies the mortality rate was only 1 in 50. Semmelweis researched and tested and experimented, only to discover to his horror that the doctors, who were also experimenting on cadavers, were carrying small 'particles' back to the maternity ward that sickened the women. He discovered "germs" -- and he discovered that the high mortality rate was not caused by something "out there" but by himself.

Leadership and Self-Deception sets out to answer the problem: "How can people simultaneously (1) create their own problems, (2) be unable to see that they are creating their own problems, and yet (3) resist any attempts to help them stop creating those problems?"

As I coach, I help people to recognize their role in their problems and their options to do something about it. I'm always amazed when a client resists working toward a solution because the existence of the problem provides some sort of perverse justification for my client's way of acting or a view of the world. This is self-deception. Profound. The book makes it clear that humans do this quite regularly. Indeed, I clearly saw myself in the book's story.

I won't give away the ending or the solution, only to say that the book takes the reader on a satisfying, yet challenging journey to examine inner motivations, self-betrayal, self-justification, blame of others, and what we can do to stop the cycle. We can't control other people's behavior, but we can choose our response, and this is where the power of personal responsibility lies.

With a balanced approach the book assists the reader to take responsibility for changing the world around them by changing themselves.


Active Training: WITH The Trainer's Handbook, 2r.e.: A Handbook of Techniques, Designs, Case Examples and Tips
Active Training: WITH The Trainer's Handbook, 2r.e.: A Handbook of Techniques, Designs, Case Examples and Tips
by Mel Silberman
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Activate Your Training, 25 Oct 2006
Mel Silberman is the master of active training. Just skimming his book gave me a handful of new ideas I applied to my training. Reading the book helped me to revamp my training courses to include many more participatory training exercises.

Everybody loves being involved, talking, interacting, and exploring during training. Lecture, however, is too often the default methodology. In some ways lecture takes less time to prepare and is less risky, but is it more effective learning? In this day and age, linear, slow, from-up-front training just isn't effective. Instead, shift over to active training that engages and empowers participants to learn rather than be taught. I'm reminded of Winston Churchill when he said, "I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught."

Silberman gives idea after idea of how to spice up lectures, or better yet, replace them with other a dozen other learning methods that actively involve the participant. The 100+ exercises and examples in Active Training makes it easy to incorporate non-cheesy learning activities that really work.

Wake up your participants! Get active.


Law and Ethics in Coaching: How to Solve and Avoid Difficult Problems  in Your Practice
Law and Ethics in Coaching: How to Solve and Avoid Difficult Problems in Your Practice
by Patrick Williams
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £25.28

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Helpful Manual for Organizations and Coach Trainers, 25 Oct 2006
"Law & Ethics in Coaching" is a compilation of 10 chapters by professional coaches and coach trainers. Each chapter takes up a different aspect: background on ethics, developing and maintaining client trust, developing coaching competence, ethical use of assessments, legal issue, culture & ethics, and a few other topics. Not the most riveting of topics, but very practical!

Despite the title, there's not a lot in the book about coaching and specific laws, which is good since all laws are localized. Ethics on the other hand, have a broader scope. The various authors appear to be based in the USA, but also purport a lot of international expertise. One chapter speaks to the intersection of ethics and culture.

Although most coaches would benefit from reading this book, it's a great resource for supervisors/mentors of coaches, coach trainers, or someone writing up internal coaching policies for an organization.


The Art of Demotivation - Manager Edition: A Visionary Guide for Transforming Your Company's Least Valuable Asset - Your Employees
The Art of Demotivation - Manager Edition: A Visionary Guide for Transforming Your Company's Least Valuable Asset - Your Employees
by E. L. Kersten
Edition: Hardcover

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Parody That Motivates, 28 Sep 2006
The author is the creator of the Despair posters. He uses sarcasm to bring out truth in management practice. This book does the same.

As I read, I found myself imagining some other executives I've worked with nodding their heads as they read the book and mumbling to themselves, "Yeah, that's right I should just tell them to shut up or I'll replace you." It's easy to imagine "the other guy" doing all these things. Just like as we read the usual leadership or management book we consider that we pretty much already do all that stuff anyway but maybe could apply a point or two. That's the trouble with humans, we easily see the faults of others but evaluate ourselves as pretty much okay.

Here's where the book got me... I starting seeing my own actions in Kersten's parody. I cringed and thought, "Oh, I do that!" Humbling. And instructive. I found it highly motivational and funny!

The Art of Demotivation is still in print and available. The author's web site also features hilarious video vignettes demonstrating the art of demotivation.


Working with Bacchus: Adventures of an Impassioned Scot in an Italian Vineyard (Mitchell Beazley Drink)
Working with Bacchus: Adventures of an Impassioned Scot in an Italian Vineyard (Mitchell Beazley Drink)
by Colin Fraser
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.73

5.0 out of 5 stars Adventures in Italian Winemaking, 28 Sep 2006
Colin Fraser, consultant in Rome, buys a derelict property in the hills outside Rome and plants a vineyard that he intends to produce fine wine from. It's Italy, it's easy you say? Except, Fraser is holding down a full-time job, knows little about viticulture, the area he bought his land in is known for terrible wine, it's too high, and the Italian regulations are too thick. That's what makes this story a wine adventure!

I was inspired by Fraser's perseverance in learning through books and meeting with anyone who would talk with him. He educated himself as he proceeded to establish his vineyard and then his winery. The story is filled with wonderful cultural stories that bring texture to the Italian people.

For those with a secret, or not so secret, desire to get away from it all and grow grapes and produce fine wine, this book is for you.

Salute!


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