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


Key Performance Indicators


Today I will review the book Key Performance Indicators by Bernard Marr, published by Pearson.


This book is amazing! It contains 75 measures that EVERY manager needs to know. These 75 KPIs are divided in 6 parts:

Financial Perspective
Customer Perspective
Marketing and Sales Perspective
Operational processes and supply chain Perspective
Employee Perspective
Corporate social responsibility Perspective

In each of these parts Marr gives us the essential metrics according to the business perspective, for example: On part 3- Marketing and sales has KPIs such as Market growth rate and Customer online engagement level, just to name a few. For each KPI described in the book the author uses the same framework outlining:

Why is this indicator important?
How do I measure it?
Cost/effort in collecting the data
Tips and warnings

   Effective managers and decision makers understand the performance of all key dimensions of their business by distilling them down into the critical KPIs. Not understanding key metrics can often cause anxiety and can hold people back. This book will demystify and explain in simple terms the most important KPIs in use today. It will equip you with the skills to understand, measure and interpret the most important aspects of any business.
                      Bernard Marr

I found this book very usefull, because these business perspectives used are shared across most organizations irrespective from the type of industry and sector. You can use this book in two ways:

1) As a reference guide, because it allows you to look for the KPIs you want to learn about.

2) To complete your performance management framework, business dashboard, banlanced scorecard or business intelligence strategy.

If you are interested in this book click here to download a free chapter.


Sales Excellence

Sales Excellence

Sales Excellence

Systematic Sales Management

Homburg, Christian, Schäfer, Heiko, Schneider, Janna

2012, XX, 312 p. 112 illus.

ISBN 978-3-642-29168-5

The authors succeeded in providing a scientific book that has many practical references – and this combination is, unfortunately, very rare. The given checklists to evaluate the status quo helped me a lot to approach and finally to address problems I was facing. The key topics of this book are the Sales strategy and Sales management as well as the information and customer relationship management. Additionally, many other facets give a broad perspective on Sales. It contributes to systematize your work due to its structured guidelines how to deal with a certain opportunity or challenge. What I liked most was that it was so practical-related; there are many Best-Practice examples that help to understand the issue as well as to enhance the ability to behave in the appropriate manner. The graphics contribute to the understanding of what is explained in detail in the texts. With its four parts, this book covers all the topics that are relevant for the daily tasks of a Sales Manager. It is more relevant than ever before – not only for experienced managers but also for managers who are still looking for their appropriate style. Big compliment to that well-done book.

Sales Excellence is a must read for sales managers from the top down to the first line. The book does a great job of segmenting the important aspects of the things you can control as a manager. It guides the readers how to develop a deliberate sales strategy including how and which customers to address, how to designing the company’s sales channels and pricing policy. Further it discusses in detail how to organize and manage a sales department internally.
Most importantly Sales Excellence also deals with THE major challenges for Sales Managers: Setting up a useful information system and deriving customer strategies from the data. And it does a great job.
Mr. Homburg is one of the leading researchers in Sales. With Sales Excellence he wrote his masterpiece for practice.

  • Provides a structured and insightful way for managers of all levels to rethink their sales organizations in a way that should generate stronger customer relationships, a more energized sales force, and superior company performance
  • Presents an approach that has been successfully applied in companies across various sectors
  • Covers all essential facets of professional sales management
  • Offers checklists for all aspects of sales management is based on a sound academic foundation
This book presents a very novel and strategic approach to Sales Management, an area that has suffered from a lack of sophistication in practice. This content-rich and thought-provoking book has a very unique positioning: It considers the sales performance of an organization at a very high, strategic level and offers specific guidance in managing not just a few direct reports but an entire organization’s sales function. The book includes many useful tools and guidelines and is enhanced with numerous examples,  that help bring the concepts to life and make them very approachable for the trade market. A checklist-based scoring system that is utilized throughout the book allows readers to specifically evaluate their own company as well as to track its progress as concepts are applied over time. This work is an essential resource and thought-provoking read for ambitious Sales Managers, including CEO-level executives.

Content Level » Professional/practitioner

Keywords » Customer Relationship Management – Personal Selling – Sales – Sales Force Management – Sales Management

Related subjects » Business & Management for ProfessionalsMarketing

Professor Dr. Dr. h.c. Christian Homburg is Director of the Institute for Market-oriented Management at the University of Mannheim. He is also Chair of the Advisory Board of Professor Homburg & Partner, an internationally operating management consulting firm. Professor Homburg is the author of numerous publications and a regular speaker at various conferences.

Dr. Heiko Schäfer was a research assistant at Professor Homburg’s chair and a freelance corporate consultant. After having worked  for several years as a corporate consultant at a renowned American consulting firm, he is now head of the strategy-global operations department at adidas.

Dr. Janna Schneider was a research assistant at Professor Homburg’s chair. Today, she is head of the marketing and international sales department at AHS Prüfungstechnik, an international mechanical engineering company.

A systematic approach to sales is an essential component for the success of a company. The “Sales Excellence-Approach” is extensive, without being complicated, and pleasantly practically oriented.

Uwe Raschke

Member of the Board of Management, Robert Bosch GmbH

“Only those who manage their sales systematically will have long term success. This is especially true for retail banking. The Sales Excellence concept is a scientific approach that is oriented practically.”

Rainer Neske

Member of the Management Board and Head of Private and Business Clients, Deutsche Bank AG

Sales, too, must contribute to increase the company value. The productivity of using resources within sales becomes more and more important. Sales Excellence represents an outstanding help in making sales management more systematic.

Achim Berg

Chairman of the Management, Microsoft AG Germany and Area Vice President International


Control and managing sales without destroying necessary intuition or improvisation represents a great challenge. However, this can be achieved with the help of the approach presented here.

Hans W. Reiners

President of the Division Styrol-Synthetics BASF AG