Leadership, Coaching and Followership


Today I am reviewing Leadership, Coaching and Followership, written by Ann M. Brewer and published by Springer.

Everyone would agree that organizations are only as good as their employees. Still, many companies have not established a formal coaching and mentoring system to develop their most promising talent. Moreover, these companies do not capitalize on the vast knowledge and experience that veteran employees can pass down. Like the other useful books in the Harvard Business Essentials series, this volume is clearly written, easy to understand and brimming with practical advice. If your company already understands the value of coaching and mentoring, then you’ll be covering familiar territory here. But if you’re interested in learning the basics of a terrific business tool, we recommend this book as an excellent starting point.

  • As the title denotes, the Weekly Coaching Conversation is told as a story — and this makes it a refreshingly enjoyable read. But the power of the book lies in the meaning interwoven throughout the fictional storyline: namely, that every leader has the potential to not only get more from their team members, but to do it in a way that builds trust and rapport. The timing of Souza’s work couldn’t be more critical: in a slow growth economy everyone is being asked to do more with less. Unfortunately, this pressure exposes the unhealthy and limiting habits of the three unproductive management styles identified in the book: Do-it-all Managers, Micro-managers, and Nice-guy Managers. As a result, morale crashes, productivity falls, and teams limp along frustrated, disengaged, and unmotivated.The above sounds like a recipe for disaster, except for the one management style Souza makes the compelling case we have the ability to become: the Coach. The book draws deeply from historical examples that show how a “coach” time and time again transforms mediocrity into victory (and also why some high performers have a hard time transitioning into the coaching role.) The inclusion of such historical examples (ranging from Napoleon to Vince Lombardi) is what really takes Souza’s work above and beyond most management reads. In fact, this is the kind of book you want to keep readily on your bookshelf and return to it again and again.

    Finally, I think Souza is aware that the coaching skills outlined throughout will find themselves manifesting into one’s home and community. The empowering principles in the book will easily cross the professional / personal divide (which in my opinion is one of the true litmus tests for truly transformational works). I found The Weekly Coaching Conversation to be an engaging “must-read,” especially in today’s economic and social climate, and believe Souza’s work is destined to take its place amongst the classics in the genre.

  • Provides evidence, details and case studies that the reader can apply
  • Brings deep insights into the theory and practice of leadership, followership and coaching
  • Provokes thoughts for self-awareness

This volume presents evidence-based ideas on all three converging forces to suit an array of individuals and their organisations. The volume is rich with evidence, detail and case studies that the reader can draw upon and apply to their own situations.

Defining exactly what is leadership has been a persistent problem for researchers and theorists. Discovering how to generate or develop leaders likewise has been a difficult challenge over the years in all walks of life.

Written by an academic, executive and coach, the author focuses on three important converging aspects: leadership, followership and coaching. A focus on leaders is disproportionate to what actually occurs within most organisations especially the relationship between the leader and the followers. That leadership is tantamount with being in control of a situation is challenged, together with the belief that leadership capability is primarily shaped in line with a set of success criteria. The coach plays a significant part in this process although rarely visible.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Coaching Frameworks and Approaches – Coaching Wisdom and Assessment -Coaching and Followership – Critical Reflection – Defining Leadership – Ethical Leadership and Followership – Focus on Leadership in Organisations – Leadership is Practice – Organisational Culture and Gender – Organisational Learning – Processes of Communicative Competence -Relation between the Leader and the Followers – The Importance of Focusing and Learning -Theoretical Heredity of Leadership – Understanding Followers – Workplace Deviance and Unethical Action

Related subjects » Organization – Human Resource Management – Personality & Social Psychology – Psychology


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