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


Investing in your Knowledge


Today we will talk about Investing in your Knowledge. This investment will play a major part on your personal and career development. You don’t acquire knowledge just when you are on school, college or on a course. Knowledge is everywhere, on a book, on your experiences; basically it’s what you take from everything that happens in your life, good or bad. On a previous post I gave some links of free online courses and videos but today we will concentrate on reading.


I read once, on a Brian Tracy book that if you take 30 minutes of your day and start reading a book on your field, that will impact your career and your income. And it is true, because I did it myself.  Reading books, implementing new ideas on your workplace, and learning how to do new things will make you smarter and will also help with your lateral thinking and creativity – you’ll be able to combine knowledge from various disciplines in order to solve problems.

You can measure the results by logging on your diary or on your PDP to track your progress. Review that after 6 months and see how many books you read and see what changed, you will be surprised!

A lot of people say they don’t have time to read, but they sit and watch TV for hours every day, and these hours you will never get back in your life and they are unproductive. You can read on your way to work if you go by bus or train, you can cut some minutes of your TV time to read, or even if you drive there are thousands of audio books that you can download to your mp3 players, iTunes and even your smart phones. Really there is no excuse not to invest in yourself especially because you are the one who will be taking the most advantage and profit in the long term.


I just invested in myself with the HBR’S 10 Must Reads Collection by Harvard Business Review Press. This series is really good because each book has 10 of the best articles published by Harvard University on each topic. I think it is a must read for any ambitious manager, new or experienced leader.

It is easy to read, each book has approximately 300 pages. Each chapter is an article from great authors such as Peter F. Drucker, Theodore Levitt, Robert S. Kaplan, David P. Norton and others.  One of the things that I liked on these books is that each chapter has a box called Idea in Brief, which gives you an idea of the basic concept of the chapter and most of them has very interesting case studies as well.


I highly recommend you to get this collection because will inspire you with ideas and knowledge that will accelerate both your own growth and company. Each title includes timeless advice that will be relevant regardless of an ever-changing business environment. The titles include: Leadership, Managing Yourself, The Essentials, Change Management,Managing People and Strategy.

One of my favorite articles were:

What Makes an Effective Executive by Peter F. Drucker (HBR’S 10 Must Reads On Leadership)

Putting the Balanced Scorecard to Work by Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton (HBR’S 10 Must Reads The Essentials)

Managing Oneself by Peter F. Drucker (HBR’S 10 Must Reads on Managing Yourself)

The Real Reason People won’t Change by Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey (HBR’S 10 Must Reads On Change Management )

What Great Managers Do by Marcus Buckingham (HBR’S 10 Must Reads On Managing People)

The Secrets to Successful Strategy Execution by Gary L. Neilson, Karla L. Martin, and Elisabeth Powers (HBR’S 10 Must Reads On Strategy)

“Knowledge has to be improved, challenged, and increased constantly, or it vanishes “ Peter F. Drucker

“The ability to change constantly and effectively is made by high-level continuity.” Michael E. Porter


How to be a Person of Influence


Today I just finished reading this amazing book, How to be like Women of Influence written by Pat and Ruth William with Michael Mink from HCI Books. Before we go any further to all our male readers please stay! Although the book is all about women’s don’t be put down by the title, because the main purpose is to learn how they made a difference, how they influenced their countries, the world and history.

The book is about how these extraordinaire women and how influenced the world and made great contributions to humanity. The authors had chosen 20 of the greatest women that lived on the 19th and 20th century. It was a great read, it’s not a biography, but you get to know a little about the life of these great women’s and how they succeed in their respective fields, how they stayed strong in face of adversity, overcame prejudices and pressed forward the boundaries of race, religion, politics, disability, culture and business to make their own contributions to the world.

Each chapter is dedicated to a woman such as: Eleanor Roosevelt, Mother Teresa, Anne Frank, Margaret Thatcher, Sandra Day O’Connor, Oprah Winfrey, Golda Meir, Rosa Parks, Helen Keller, Marie Curie, Babe Didrikson Zaharias, Amelia Earhart, Florence Nightingale, Harriet Beecher, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Clara Barton, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Mary Kay Ash.

What I liked the most about the book (besides the content),is the way it was written. Each chapter is full of stories, anecdotes, historical facts and curiosities with well chosen quotes.

On the end of each chapter there is a section How to be Like Oprah Winfrey (for example) and it comes with 7 to 16 bullet points of the characteristics and actions that these women’s had that made it possible for them to achieve their goals, with an additional text in each one of them. On top of that on the end of the book there is a section called Book Club Questions for Discussion, which I thought it was really good.

The great lesson is how can we become a person of influence? What the 20 women in this book had in common was:

  • Each one figured out what the prime motivation in their life would be and pursued it with passion.

“Before I was even into my teens…My goal was to be the greatest athlete that ever lived.” Babe Didrikson Zaharias

  • Each one set specific goals related to their passion and worked toward these goals.

“Nothing in life happens. It isn’t enough to believe in something; you have to have stamina to meet obstacles and overcome them,to struggle.” Golda Meir

  • They didn’t just dream; they made things happen.

“It is the individual who can and does make a difference even in this increasingly populous, complex world of ours. The individual can make things happen.” Sandra Day O’Connor

  • They made things happen because they were willing to work hard.

“Happiness…that’s something you can’t achieve by taking the easy way out. Earning happiness means doing good and working, not speculating and being lazy.Laziness may look inviting, but only work gives you true satisfaction.” Anne Frank

  • Each woman had a strong core belief in what she was doing and never gave up on their dreams. They persevered in good and bad times with their focus on their mission.

“If you have a sense of purpose and a sense of direction, I believe people will follow you.” Margaret Thatcher

  • They all had an “I can do” attitude. In their minds there were no limits to what they could achieve.

“Don’t depend on forces outside yourself to get ahead.” Oprah Winfrey

  • These women of influence simply kept focused on their passion, never letting “that’s impossible” become part of their vocabulary.

“The first principle: never to let one’s self be beaten down by persons or by events.” Marie Curie

  • In every single case these women were individuals. They defined who they were and refused to let anyone change that. They were true to themselves.
  • They all realized there was someone or something greater than themselves and they practiced their faith and also felt the need to give back to the world.

“Be a living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting.” Mother Teresa

  • They were courageous women, and each one ventured into unknown fields and were willing to take the risks necessary to achieve their dreams.

“Decide then whether or not the goal is worth the risks involved. If it is stop worrying. To worry is to add another hazard. It retards reactions, makes one unfit.” Amelia Earhart

  • These influential women took responsibility for their own lives. They didn’t blame others or circumstances. They took what life gave them and made the best of it.

“What basic objective I had, for many years, was to grasp every opportunity to live and experience life as deeply, as fully, and as widely as I possibly could. It seemed to me stupid to have a gift of life and not use it to the utmost of one’s ability.” Eleanor Roosevelt

  • Education was very important to all of them. They were all lifelong learners, contributors to society and understood the value of education.

“Books showed me there was possibilities in life, that there were actually people like me living in a world I could not only aspire to but attain. Reading gave me hope. For me it was the open door.” Oprah Winfrey

I highly recommend this book it’s a great read and very inspiring. It makes you think and give more value for the things we take for granted in life. It motivates you to aim for big goals and work hard to achieve them.

Book Review:100 ways to Motivate Yourself

I just wanted to share with you this great book I just read from Steve Chandler, 100 Ways to Motivate Yourself (Career Press). It is a fun and inspirational read full of practical ideas, and how to apply them in a simple way in your daily life. The book has 219 pages, I read the 3rd edition and it comes with an additional 10 ideas! What I loved about this book is that it is very honest; there is no “magic” or promises of “miracle” instant success. It is all real things that the author did himself and he teaches you to positively change the way you think and act. On the final chapters he concentrates in helping us understand that it’s not just reading and accumulating knowledge, we have to apply what we learn in our lives, and again there is no magic trick. The bottom line is we need to take action, in the author’s words “The best way to motivate yourself is to act” and “…action is what creates motivation. Not the other way around”.

My favorite chapters are:
2- Stay hungry
7- Look for the lost Gold
8- Push all you own buttons
9- Build a track record
26- Run toward your fear
31- Find a place to come from
62- Bring on a good coach
77- Serve and grow rich
108- Do what you can today
110 – Enjoy your resistance training
It’s difficult to choose a favorite part, but these were the ones that I identified with most. Another good thing is that throughout the book he recommends lots of great books as well (which I put on my list for future reading).
I would recommend you to read this book, and then after a while, start reading it again, one chapter a day giving you that extra dose of motivation to start your day well.


What about you? What books have you read lately that inspired and motivated your life?

Keep the Inspiration flowing

Hello friends,
Today I will share some tips on how to keep inspired and motivated.

As everyone else, I have my ups and downs, but in order to keep myself positive and inspired I make sure every day I do something to improve myself such as:

. Read a book

. Listen to an audio book.

. Watch an inspiring video

. Take a class in a subject of interest

. Surround myself with positive people

You can try it to and it doesn’t need to cost much, let me show how:

  • Inspiring videos and lessons to new entrepreneurs


  • Free business lessons


  • Tuition Free University


  • Daily Inspiring Messages with John C Maxwell


  • Free eBooks and Audiobooks



  • Free courses with certification



Remember on personal growth every little bit counts.

If you have any other suggestions of books and websites please let me know so we can share with other readers

Thinking like Successful People


Today I will talk a little bit more about the purpose of this blog, this way we can get to know each other better…

Like I said on the first post, I am also on the personal development quest. I think there will always be room for improvement and I enjoy the journey. One of the things I do to improve myself is to be constantly reading and studying.  I love reading and I collect Books of all the subjects I like. Usually I log the books I read (according to subject relevance) on my PDP, this way I keep track of my progress and performance. That’s why every now and then I will be recommending some books I read, like the one bellow:

9 Things Successful People do Differently

I just read this book, and it is totally relevant if you are setting your goals and want to create good habits,leave the bad ones and get motivated. The book was written by Heidi Grant Halvorson, PhD. The book it’s straight to the point, a fast read (106 pages) but with great quality and content. It gave me some really good insights.

On top of that, it comes in a great pocket book format so you can have it nearby when you need some help or to boost your motivation and get back on track.

On 9 Things Successful People do Differently  (Harvard Business Review Press) , Dr Halvorson explains in a very simple and enjoyable way what these nine things are:

1)      Get Specific – Dr Halvorson talks about the importance to get specific not just with your goals but also with the obstacles that lie in the way getting there. And explains about the mental contrasting technique.

2)      Seize the Moment to act on your Goals

3)      Know Exactly How Far You Have left to Go- On this chapter, Dr Halvorson explores the importance of monitor your progress and seek feedback on a to-date and to-go basis.

4)      Be a Realistic Optimistic

5)      Focus on Getting Better, Rather than Being Good

6)      Have Grit – Grit is the persistence and commitment to long-term goals. This chapter is also about the importance of will power.

7)      Build Your Willpower Muscle – Here we learn how to develop and train our will power.

8)      Don’t Temp Fate

9)      Focus on What You Will Do, Not what You Won’t Do.

Leave your recommendations and favorite reads that have helped you move forward in your personal and professional development.