If you want the antidote book to ‘How to be a World Class Coach in 7 Days’ or ‘Motivational Mentoring in 5 Easy Steps’, then look no further: here is Professor Nigel MacLennan magisterial volume on coaching and mentoring, which tells it as it really is, informs as one should be informed, provides copious amounts of really practical information and ideas, and generally is a thoroughly good read from a writer who is highly intelligent, highly informed and extremely witty to boot! My only caveat with the book is that it would be a good idea if Gower commissioned an update since the last edition is reprinted in 1999 and clearly there are more developments since then that I would welcome Nigel MacLennan’s views on. That said, anyone starting off – or even well progressed – on the way to being a coach or mentor will find so much of value in this book: particularly understanding what achievement really is (and how adversity may be a prerequisite for its occurrence), what exactly are the key skills to master – the basic and the advanced – how do we analyse and assess, what about interpersonal skills, what about coaching and mentoring within teams and organisations? Along the way, MacLennan makes some strikingly pithy comments: “No individual is more effective than a team working well; but most individuals are more effective than all teams working badly” Wow! I am not sure what I admire the most: the sentiment, which I echo from experience, or the Johnsonian balance of that sentence. And there is more. Ultimately, what you get from Professor MacLennan are those old-fashioned words, wisdom and insight. So let me leave you with a flavour of the latter. For all the books and training in the world, MacLennan knows that to become a great coach or mentor something else may be necessary. In his words: “Time and time again in all sorts of different fields the most outstanding performers are self-taught”. Yes, great insight. Try this book.