Coaching, Team Leadership, Manager Development Book Reviews for Amazon   

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In our work we make good use of a wide range of books, videos, articles and web resources. In fact we have read, viewed and learned a great deal from these and it occurred to us that you might gain something from what we know. The reviews below are intended to give you more information about what is available and what they cover so that can find the learning resources you need more quickly. All of the stuff will assist learning and growth in your organisation as much as your personal development. And, you never know, it might even save you money and time because you can buy confidently knowing what to expect and just a click!
What can I add to all that has been said about this great piece of research and practical design? The Balanced Scorecard approach is a well thought out design for an integrated management system and this companion book about using strategy maps adds a new dimension to seeing the whole strategic view. Thus taken together they help you to create a way to gain ownership of the strategic plans. The pioneering methods are clearly explained in a way that makes it easy to use. The outcome, as it says on the cover, gives managers a way to "maintain control over complexity and stay focused on critical issues..." And taking of critical issues I have only one criticism of this book: it is over 450 pages long so is an act of persistence to get to the end. In truth you probably don't need to because of the way it is structured you can dip in at any point and begin adding value to your thinking and teamwork just following the methods at that point. This book is essential reading for anyone interested in writing down and sharing their strategy in a way that creates a valuable and practical working document.

This is a brilliant book that we recommend to anyone interested in Leadership. Leadership on the line give practical advice to anyone whose business is faced with being flexible where team members look for support, guidance and vision in their leaders. It is also a valuable resource for any trainer. So valuable in fact that if you look in our shop we have on offer a complete training package based on the ideas and processes in this book.

The authors use metaphors to make clear the kind of action a leader must take to be effective at managing change: and they make it clear that change is here to stay so it is vital that leaders are able to do their stuff in the challenging operating climate of our time. Typical metaphors include "Get to the Balcony" which is all about different world views and getting your world view from both inside and "above" the action. The world of dancing looks vastly different when you are on the ballroom floor bumping and grinding with the other dancers: on the balcony you can see the shapes, precision and "whole view" in relation to the surroundings. This great book is filled with similar metaphors and clear explanations of the implications for leaders. The metaphors make it clear, as in the balcony example above, what any leader must do to be effective in managing change.

If you only buy one Leadership book this year make it this one!



 Less Stress More Success by Audrey Livingstone Booth is aimed at women who might be feeling pressured by their “critical role in today’s world”. Leadership, choice and power are the benefits and stress and pressure the unwanted side effects. Audrey Livingstone-Booth’s basic idea is that you can do everything you want but watch out for the adverse effect that can have you. It provides some key information about the effects of stress on your body. For example the impact of the chemicals released through feelings of distress and fear: these are compared to what happens when experiencing feelings of success. This is followed by a raft of information on how to bring about your own feeling of success based on your experiences such that, as the title of the book says, the stress and its effects are reduced, if not eliminated. In all an easy to ready and understand book that provides some valuable insights. One concern we had was the possibility of increasing your fears and distress as a result of reading the book! This is unlikely and in any event if you are feeling that stressed then you need something like this book to get you started towards harnessing stresses in a way that benefits rather than debilitates you. And it is likely to do that quickly offering some short quizzes and easy to follow action steps.


This is a the second in the series and take a practical approach to individual and team development. The main theme is the ever popular coaching approach to achieving team cohesion. The relies on a wide skill set for a manager but by persisting I am sure that you will find the time well spent.

You will be good at enabling leaders to partner with others to accelerate learning in a challenging and ever changing business environment

Ok so we have two mentoring books on offer! How are you going to choose if you want only one. This one is by UK authors so you might find the examples more relevant to your experience.

This is the follow up work to Balanced Scorecard reviewed above. It provides a superb outline of ways to link the key tasks of management (operations?) and the metric gained from having a balanced scorecard. It is also usable in "stand alone" mode as a guide to mapping your strategy. Using maps strategically, as in using them to plan complex journeys, allows you to connect together finance, core business, HR and innovation continuous improvement in an integrated "golden thread" that helps so many of our best companies sustain themselves through constantly changing operating environments. This book provides clear and precise guidelines on what you need to do and how to implement it across your business whatever sector of industry you work in.

Making Experience Pay is a great book packed with experience, practical advice and thought provoking comments. The piece that sold it to me talks about managerial behaviour - "...doing that most managerial of things - sitting thinking." And then correctly in my view says that if a manager sat at his/her desk thinking everyone would imagine they were doing nothing. First written in the 70's this book was so far ahead of its time that if you manage today the way it recommends you would be seen as a "new style" manager. Get it to set the scene for other books recommended here.

The Three Minute Meditator by David Harp and Nina Feldman is an excellent and easy to read book that does what is says on the cover - “The Three minute Meditator” introduces you to 30 simple and quick ways to unwind, anywhere and at anytime.” In the fast paced world of work that we all face today work/life balance becomes even harder to achieve. Finding a way to relax, quickly and easily and as part of our pressing schedule helps to increase feelings of being in control and thus find creative ways to achieve that elusive work/life balance. One word of caution though, reducing the total philosophy of meditation and its well documented practices to a few quick exercises is perhaps missing the point and not suited to westernised “manage your time” well approach. That said, the exercises, if followed regularly, will have you in a more relaxed state of mind that will enable you to think up better and easier ways to be just as effective. This is where this book proves its worth through easy to follow, short exercises. With just a few minutes a day you can “target” different types of issues using a focused meditation. And the good news is that the more you do it the easier and more effective it becomes. For example you can visualise, meditate on anger, self labelling and self judging to name just three. Once part of your daily routine then an increased feeling of well being is guaranteed: well almost!
Go to our Amazon Store to see a more books we have used personally and recommend to leaders, strategists and coaches alike.

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